Monday, March 19, 2018

26% Online "Almost Constantly"

How often do you go online? If that seems like a silly question because you're always online, join the crowd. More than one in four American adults (26 percent) reports going online almost constantly, according to Pew Research Center. Another 43 percent go online several times a day, 8 percent once a day, 11 percent less than once a day, and another 11 percent do not go online at all. By age, the percentage who report going online almost constantly looks like this...

Percent who go online almost constantly
Aged 18 to 29: 39%
Aged 30 to 49: 36%
Aged 50 to 64: 17%
Aged 65-plus: 8%

Source: Pew Research Center, About a Quarter of U.S. Adults Say They Are "Almost Constantly" Online

Friday, March 16, 2018

20% of Older Americans Have Diabetes

Diabetes has become a common health condition among older Americans, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Overall, 8.8 percent of Americans aged 18 or older had been diagnosed with diabetes as of the first half of 2017, up from 5.3 percent two decades ago in 1997. The percentage with diabetes rises steeply with age...

Percent diagnosed with diabetes, January–September 2017
Aged 18 to 44:   2.8%
Aged 45 to 54:   9.6%
Aged 55 to 64: 15.7%
Aged 65-plus:  19.6%

One factor behind the rise of diabetes is growing obesity. The percentage of adults who are obese (defined as having a body mass index of 30 kg/m² or higher) climbed from 19 percent in 1997 to 31 percent in the first half of 2017. But this estimate of obesity is conservative because it is based on self-reported rather than measured heights and weights. When self-reporting, inches are gained and pounds are shed. According to a 2015–16 NCHS survey of measured heights and weights, a stunning 40 percent of American adults are obese.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data from the January—September 2017 National Health Interview Survey

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Surprises in the 2017 Population Projections

The Census Bureau's new population projections (vintage 2017) are interesting for a number of reasons—slowing growth, the aging of the population, the decline in non-Hispanic Whites, and minorities becoming the majority. Also interesting is how they differ from the previous projection series, produced in 2014. A look at how the bureau revised its estimates of births, deaths, and net international migration reveals the unexpected trends reshaping us now.
  • The population is growing more slowly than expected. The size of the American population in the future will be less than what the Bureau had projected just a few years ago, and the differences will pile up quickly. The 2020 population will be smaller by 2 million than what the bureau projected for that date in its 2014 vintage projections. In 2060, the population will be 13 million less than the previous projection for that year (404 million versus 417 million). 
  • Women will have fewer babies than expected. Compared to the 2014 projection series, the latest series forecasts 3 million fewer births during the 2017 to 2060 time period. The ongoing baby bust and reduced immigration are behind the muted births. Overall, the annual number of births is forecast to rise from about 4 million today to 4.38 million in 2060. The earlier projection series forecast 4.52 million births a year by 2060. 
  • Fewer immigrants will come to the United States. Compared to the 2014 projection series, the latest series projects 14 million fewer net international migrants over the 2017 to 2060 time period. Even this smaller projected number of migrants may be too optimistic because it does not take into account Trump administration policies that could further curb immigration. The annual net number of international migrants is forecast to be about 1.1 million during most of the 2017 to 2060 period, down from the 1.3 to 1.5 million previously projected.
  • Fewer deaths will occur during the forecast period. Compared to the 2014 series, the bureau projects 5 million fewer deaths during the 2017 to 2060 time period. This makes sense since the population will be smaller. The annual number of deaths is projected to rise from 2.7 million today to 3.9 million by 2060—less than the projected 4.1 million annual deaths by 2060 in the earlier projection series. But this forecast of fewer deaths may be overly optimistic. According to Tom Lawler, a housing economist writing in Calculated Risk, the latest mortality projections do not incorporate the recent increase in deaths among young and middle-aged adults. Indeed, the bureau assumes rising life expectancy for all groups rather than the decline of the past two years. 
If the number of immigrants is further reduced by Trump's policies, and if there are more deaths than predicted, then U.S. population growth over the next few decades may be even slower than forecast by the new projections.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2017 National Population Projections

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Minority Majority in 2045

The U.S. population will become minority majority in 2045, according to the Census Bureau's new (2017 vintage) population projections. This is one year later than forecast by the bureau's earlier series of projections (2014 vintage). Behind the one-year delay is the ongoing baby bust as well as slowing immigration.

Minorities as a percent of U.S. population, 2017 to 2060
2017: 39.1%
2020: 40.3%
2025: 42.3%
2030: 44.2%
2035: 46.2%
2040: 48.3%
2045: 50.3%
2050: 52.2%
2055: 54.0%
2060: 55.7%

The Census Bureau projects that the non-Hispanic White population will fall by 10 percent between 2017 and 2060. The Black population will grow 58 percent during those years, Hispanics 89 percent, and Asians 111 percent.

Although Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities will become the majority of the population in 2045, they will not come the majority of voters for another couple decades. According to a Demo Memo analysis, minorities will become the majority of voters in the presidential election of 2064.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2017 National Population Projections

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trends in Home Values by Household Income

Regardless of household income—with one exception—most homeowners estimated a lower market value for their home in 2016 than their counterparts did in 2006, according to an analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average homeowner valued his or her home at $172,263 in 2016—5.9 percent lower than the $183,212 estimated by homeowners in 2006. The second income quintile of homeowners was the only one to estimate a higher market value for their home in 2016 than in 2006...

Estimated home value in 2016 by income quintile (and % change since 2006)
Lowest: $63,932 (–10.9%)
Second: $102,084 (+3.1%)
Middle: $128,788 (–6.7%)
Fourth: $186,282 (–11.8%)
Highest: $380,958 (–3.7%)

Note: In the BLS analysis, 2006 home values are not adjusted for inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Majority of U.S. Households Estimate Decreased Home Market Values from 2006 to 2016

Monday, March 12, 2018

74% Read a Book in the Past Year

Nearly three out of four Americans aged 18 or older have read a book in the past year, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Print is the most popular format by far, and the percentage who have read a print book has not changed much in the past six years despite competition from digital books.

Percent who read a book in past year by format
Print: 67%
E-book: 26%
Audiobook: 18%

Among those who have read a book in the past year, 53 percent have read only print books, 9 percent have read only digital books (a category that includes e-books and audiobooks), and the remaining 39 percent have read both print and digital books.

Source: Pew Research Center, Nearly One-in-Five Americans Now Listen to Audiobooks

Friday, March 09, 2018

Asians Most Likely to be Multilingual

Among American adults, 29 percent can speak a language other than English. The multilingual population varies greatly by race and Hispanic origin. Most Asians and Hispanics are multilingual. Most Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites are not...

Can speak a language other than English
Total: 29%
Asians: 82%
Blacks: 26%
Hispanics: 68%
Non-Hispanic Whites: 19%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Men's Wages Are Increasingly Unequal

Trends in the real wages of men tell a story of growing inequality, according to an analysis by Patrick J. Purcell in Social Security Bulletin. Between 1981 and 2014, says Purcell, "the wage distribution became more unequal as wage growth in the top 10 percent of earners substantially outpaced the rate of growth for earners below the 90th percentile."

Real annual wage of men aged 25 to 59 by income percentile, 2014 (% change since 1981)
10th percentile: $13,387       (+3.8%)
25th percentile: $25,339       (–2.0%)
50th percentile: $45,000       (+4.7%)
75th percentile: $75,413      (+22.1%)
90th percentile: $121,763    (+50.7%)
99th percentile: $392,250  (+117.7%)

For all men, median real wages (50th percentile) climbed just 4.7 percent during those years. For men at the top of the wage distribution, real wages more than doubled.

Source: Social Security Bulletin, Trends in Men's Wages, 1981–2014

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Homeownership by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2017

Homeownership varies greatly by race and Hispanic origin. According to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey, the gap in the homeownership rate of non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks is fully 30 percentage points...

Homeownership rate in 2017
Asian: 57.2%
Black: 42.3%
Hispanic: 46.2%
Non-Hispanic White: 72.3%

The 30 percentage-point gap in 2017 was even bigger than the gap in 2000 (26.6 percentage points) as Black homeownership fell more than non-Hispanic White in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Because housing equity accounts for the largest share of household wealth, the wealth gap between Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites has grown. Between 2001 and 2016, the median net worth of non-Hispanic White households rose 2.8 percent to $171,000, after adjusting for inflation. The median net worth of Black households fell 33 percent to just $17,600.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey; and Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Boomer Love Affair with Cars

No segment of the population is as devoted to the automobile as the baby-boom generation. Boomers were born into a world of one-car families. By the time they were old enough to drive, second cars were becoming common and Boomers took the wheel, radios blasting. More than 1,500 songs about cars were recorded between 1961 and 1965, reports Wikipedia. Youth culture and car culture were one.

Boomers are no longer young, but their devotion to cars continues. The average Boomer household is home to more cars (2.3) than people (2.0), according to an AARP survey. The survey explores Boomer attitudes toward cars as they approach the age when their children will wonder whether they should take Daddy's car keys away. That won't be easy.

"Independence" is one of the top words Boomers use to describe their feelings about driving, with 78 percent saying their vehicle is the key to their independence. That may be why fully 57 percent of Boomers say they will never stop driving. Three out of four Boomers say their vehicle brings them happiness. It's not that Boomers are completely averse to changes in how they get from here to there. But only 20 percent have ever used ride-sharing services. When asked to describe their ideal vehicle, 78 percent would make it a standard rather than a driverless vehicle because they love to drive. And kids, don't try arguing with your Boomer parents about how their driving skills aren't what they used to be. Eighty percent of Boomers say they are better drivers than most people they know.

Source: AARP, Boomers Going the Distance: 2018 Consumer Insights on the Driving Experience

Monday, March 05, 2018

Smartphone Ownership, 2018

More than three-quarters of American adults (77 percent) own a smartphone, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Smartphone ownership does not vary much by race, Hispanic origin, or sex. But big differences persist by age and education...

Smartphone ownership by age
Aged 18 to 29: 94%
Aged 30 to 49: 89%
Aged 50 to 64: 73%
Aged 65-plus: 46%

Smartphone ownership by education
Not a HS grad: 57%
HS grad only: 69%
Some college: 80%
College grad: 91%

Source: Pew Research Center, Mobile Fact Sheet

Friday, March 02, 2018

7% Smoke During Pregnancy

Among all women who gave birth in 2016, 7.2 percent smoked during pregnancy, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. By state, smoking during pregnancy varies greatly. These are the extremes...

25.1% in West Virginia
  1.6% in California

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy: United States, 2016

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Homeownership Rate by Age, 2017

The nation's homeownership rate increased in 2017, rising to 63.9 percent, according to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey, the first increase in more than a decade. Does this mean the housing market is returning to normal? Not likely, since the advancing age of first-time home buying (the age at which the homeownership rate first surpasses 50 percent) shows no signs of retreating.

Householders aged 30 to 34 were once the nation's first-time home buyers. But their homeownership rate has fallen by a stunning 11.7 percentage points since the overall homeownership rate peaked in 2004—the largest decline of any age group. With a homeownership rate of just 45.7 percent in 2017, householders aged 30 to 34 are no longer the nation's first-time home buyers. That distinction now belongs to householders aged 35 to 39.

Homeownership rate by age, 2017 (and percentage point changed since 2004 peak)
Under age 25: 22.6 (–2.6)
Aged 25 to 29: 32.1 (–8.1)
Aged 30 to 34: 45.7 (–11.7)
Aged 35 to 39: 56.4 (–9.8)
Aged 40 to 44: 61.8 (–10.1)
Aged 45 to 54: 69.3 (–7.9)
Aged 55 to 64: 75.3 (–6.4)
Aged 65-plus: 78.7 (–2.4)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Housing Vacancy Survey

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Homeownership Rate Rises to 63.9% in 2017

The homeownership rate increased to 63.9 percent in 2017, according to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancies and Homeownership Survey. This was 0.5 percentage points higher than the post-Great Recession low of 63.4 percent recorded in 2016. Despite the increase, the 2017 homeownership rate still ranks among the lowest since the Census Bureau created the data series in 1982. But it is significantly higher than in 2016 and the first increase in more than a decade—since the homeownership rate peaked in 2004. Could it be the start of a trend?

Homeownership rate
2017: 63.9%
2016: 63.4% (post Great Recession low)
2015: 63.7%
2010: 66.9%
2004: 69.0% (all-time peak)
2000: 67.4%
1990: 63.9%
1982: 64.8%

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership