Friday, September 04, 2015

Generational Labels

Percentage of each generation that identifies with the generation's name...

Millennials: 40%
Generation X: 58%
Baby Boomers: 79%

Source: Pew Research Center, Most Millennials Resist the "Millennial" Label

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Average Household Spending Rises in 2014

The average household spent $53,495 in 2014—3 percent more than in 2013, after adjusting for inflation. This is good news and it may signal an energized economy. Household spending reached an all-time high of $56,833 in 2006 (in 2014 dollars). In the years since, average household spending has fallen fairly steadily, reaching a low of $51,929 in 2013. 

Necessities accounted for some but not all of the spending boost between 2013 and 2014. The average household spent 7.5 percent more on rent, after adjusting for inflation, but it also spent 9.6 percent more on apparel—a category that had been in long-term decline. Spending on entertainment climbed 8.2 percent, and spending on food away from home was up 4.5 percent. Spending on gasoline was down 7 percent. Health insurance spending in 2014 is not comparable to earlier years because of changes in the way the Consumer Expenditure Survey collects the data. 

Average household spending (in 2014 dollars)
2014: $53,495
2013: $51,929
2012: $53,042
2011: $52,312
2010: $52,230 
2006: $56,833
2000: $52,303

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Heart Age vs. Chronological Age

Chances are, your heart is older than you are. That's what the CDC discovered when it estimated the "heart age" of a representative sample of Americans aged 30 to 74. Using the Framingham Heart Study's cardiovascular risk factor system, the CDC estimated the sample's vascular age and compared it to their chronological age. In every demographic segment, heart age exceeded chronological age, sometimes by a wide margin.

Take a look at the findings for men. The average chronological age of men in the sample was 47.8. The average heart age of men in the sample was 55.6. Nearly half (49 percent) of men had a heart age that exceeded their chronological age by at least five years. Here are the results by age group...

Men aged 30 to 39
Average chronological age 34.3
Average heart age: 38.1
Heart age exceeds chronological age by 5-plus years: 33%

Men aged 40 to 49
Average chronological age 44.4
Average heart age: 50.3
Heart age exceeds chronological age by 5-plus years: 41%

Men aged 50 to 59
Average chronological age 54.1
Average heart age: 64.5
Heart age exceeds chronological age by 5-plus years: 58%

Men aged 60 to 74
Average chronological age 65.7
Average heart age: 79.5
Heart age exceeds chronological age by 5-plus years: 73%

Source: CDC, Vital Signs: Predicted Heart Age and Racial Disparities in Heart Age Among U.S. Adults at the State Level

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Children Per Household, 1964 to 2014

Remember when neighborhoods were full of children? This is why they aren't anymore: the average number of children (people under age 18) per household peaked in 1964 (also the last year of the baby boom) at 1.24. Since then, the average has fallen in most years. It slipped below 1.0 for the first time in 1974 and reached an all-time low of 0.60 in 2014—less than half of the 1964 level...

Average number of people under age 18 per household
2014: 0.60
2010: 0.64
2000: 0.69
1990: 0.69
1980: 0.79
1970: 1.09
1964: 1.24

Source: Census Bureau, Historical Time Series, Households

Monday, August 31, 2015

The New Income Estimates

The Census Bureau thinks long and hard before tinkering with the all-important Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), from which emanates much of what we know about the economic status of the American people. But sometimes change is necessary, and this is one of those times. The Census Bureau has been working on a redesign of the ASEC income questions for 14 years, attempting to improve the accuracy of the nation's official income statistics. When the bureau releases the 2015 CPS ASEC results on September 16 (with income data for 2014), the redesign will be fully implemented. Here's what you need to know...
  • A redesign of the CPS ASEC income questions has been sorely needed, in part because the original questions failed to capture most withdrawals from IRAs and 401(k)s. The redesign counts these withdrawals as income. 
  • Analyzing income trends will be problematic—at least in the short run. Data from the redesigned questions are not comparable with data from the original questions. To provide a bridge, the Census Bureau has released 2013 income data from a 2014 ASEC sample that was asked the new questions. At the above link, there are two sets of 2013 tables—the original and the redesign, allowing researchers to compare the original numbers with the redesign and also to determine the 2013-to-2014 trend when the 2014 data are released on September 16. 
  • The redesigned income questions boosted overall aggregate income in 2013 by 4.2 percent, according to a comparison of data from the original and redesigned questions. While earned income did not change, unearned income was 12.4 percent higher in the redesign. 
  • Median household income in 2013 was 3.2 percent greater with the redesigned questions. While there was no statistically significant change in median household income among younger adults, the median income of households headed by people aged 55 or older was about 5 percent higher primarily because of retirement account withdrawals. 
  • Many more Americans reported receiving income from an IRA, Keogh, or 401(k)—the figure rising from 1 million in the original to 5 million in the redesign.
It will take a while to digest these changes. The Census Bureau plans to provide a research file with adjusted income data, allowing for historical comparisons. Until then, the starting point for income trend analysis will be 2013.

Source: Census Bureau, 2013 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Products Based on Redesigned Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Questions

Friday, August 28, 2015

Walking/Bicycling as Transportation

On an average day, only 10 percent of Americans walk or bicycle as transportation (rather than exercise)—meaning they walk or bicycle to get from point A to point B. Although urban populations have been growing in recent years, the percentage who walk or bicycle as transportation has fallen slightly over the past decade—from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 10.3 percent in 2012, according to the American Time Use Survey. Younger adults are most likely to walk or bicycle as transportation on an average day. Here are the 2012 stats by age...

Percent who walked or bicycled as transportation in past 24 hours
Aged 16 to 39: 14.0%
Aged 40 to 59: 8.4%
Aged 60-plus: 6.9%

Source: CDC, Active Transportation Surveillance—United States, 1999-2012

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How Spending Has Changed Since World War II

The average American household spends differently than its counterpart did in the 1940s, according to an analysis in the Monthly Labor Review. Here are the most striking changes in the share of the household budget devoted to...

Food and alcohol (-19.7 percentage points)
2013: 16.2%
1944: 35.9%

Housing (+14.1 percentage points)
2013: 40.2%
1944: 26.1%

Clothing (-12.7 percentage points)
2013: 3.3%
1944: 16.0%

Transportation (+14.1 percentage points)
2013: 20.4%
1944: 6.3%

Medical care (+2.7 percentage points)
2013: 8.2%
1944: 5.5%

The share of household spending devoted to recreation and entertainment climbed from 2.8 to 5.6 percent between 1944 and 2013, and the share devoted to education more than tripled—growing from just 0.6 to 2.1 percent. Conversely, the share of household spending devoted to tobacco fell from 2.0 to 0.7 percent, and the share devoted to reading plummeted from 1.1 to just 0.2 percent. Note: For comparative purposes, spending data are adjusted to exclude gift purchases, cash contributions, personal insurance, and pensions.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Consumer Spending in World War II: the Forgotten Consumer Expenditure Surveys

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Age Distribution of CEOs

More than 1.6 million American workers are CEOs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not surprisingly, CEOs rank among the oldest workers. Their median age is 52.3, well above the median age of 42.3 for all workers. Here is the age distribution of the nation's CEOs...

Under age 25:  0.7%
Aged 25 to 34: 8.4%
Aged 35 to 44: 18.0%
Aged 45 to 54: 32.3%
Aged 55 to 64: 30.4%
Aged 65-plus: 10.2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Automobile Alternatives

The five metropolitan areas with the lowest rate of commuting to work by automobile and their second most common mode of commute...

1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Automobile: 56.9%
Subway or elevated rail: 18.9%

2. Ithaca, NY
Automobile: 68.7%
Walk: 17.5%

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Automobile: 69.8%
Bus or trolly bus: 7.6%

4. Boulder, CO
Automobile: 71.9%
Work at home: 11.1%

5. Corvallis, OR
Automobile: 72.6%
Bicycle: 8.8%

Source: Census Bureau, Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States: 2013

Monday, August 24, 2015

Who's Looking for a New Job?

Only 39 percent of American workers say it is somewhat or very likely they will try to find a new job with another employer within the next year, according to the General Social Survey. Half of Millennial workers are job hunting...

Likely to look for a new job in the next year
Millennials: 50%
Gen Xers: 40%
Boomers: 27%
Older Americans: 7%

Note: Millennials are 20-37; Gen Xers are 38-49; Boomers are 50-68.
Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey

Friday, August 21, 2015

Drinking and Driving

Only 1.8 percent of Americans aged 18 or older admit to driving while drunk in the past 30 days, according to the CDC. Here is the percentage by age...

Drove while alcohol-impaired in past 30 days
18-20: 1.4%
21-24: 4.2%
25-34: 3.0%
35-54: 1.9%
55-plus: 0.8%

Source: CDC, Alcohol-Impaired Driving among Adults — United States, 2012

Thursday, August 20, 2015

37% of Workers Have Telecommuted

Thirty-seven percent of American workers have ever telecommuted, according to a Gallup survey. Telecommuting is defined as working from home using a computer to communicate for a job. This is the highest level of telecommuting recorded by Gallup and far above the 9 percent who ever telecommuted the first time Gallup asked the question in 1995.

Workers who have ever telecommuted typically do so a median of three days a month. But 24 percent say they telecommute more than 10 days a month—or at least half of their work days.

Source: Gallup, In U.S., Telecommuting for Work Climbs to 37%

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Decline in Commuting to Work by Automobile

The percentage of American workers who commute by automobile is on the decline, peaking at 87.9 percent in 2000 and falling to 85.8 percent by 2013, reports the Census Bureau. Much of the decline in automobile commuting is due to less carpooling. The percentage of workers who carpool fell to its lowest point in 2013—9.4 percent, and less than half of the 19.7 percent of 1980. But the percentage of workers who drive alone to work alone has also fallen (very) slightly in recent years—from the all-time high of 76.6 percent in 2010 to 76.4 percent in 2013.

Percentage of workers who drive alone to work
2013: 76.4%
2010: 76.6%
2000: 75.7%
1990: 73.2%
1980: 64.4%

Source: Census Bureau, Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States: 2013

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Death by Injury in 2013

Injury is a major cause of death in the United States. Unintentional injuries (accidents) are the 4th leading cause of death, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Add in the intentional injuries (suicides, homicides, executions, and combat deaths), and nearly 200,000 Americans died of injuries in 2013...

Deaths due to injury
Total injury deaths: 192,945
Unintentional: 130,557
Suicide: 41,149
Homicide: 16,121
Undetermined: 4,587
Legal intervention/war: 531

The government categorizes injury deaths by their cause: poisoning (48,545), firearms (33,636), motor vehicles (33,804), falling (31,240), suffocation (17,316), drowning (4,056), fire (3,220), cutting or stabbing (2,576), environmental (1,535), being struck (936), machinery (588), overexertion (13), and many thousands of injury deaths due to other causes.

The role of accidents—as opposed to suicide or homicide—varies by type of injury. Among poisonings, fully 80 percent of deaths are accidental. Among drownings, accidents account for an even larger 84 percent. For falls, the figure is 97 percent. But accidents are a tiny share of firearm deaths—just 505 people died due to the accidental discharge of a firearm in 2013. The 63 percent majority of firearm deaths are suicides and 33 percent are homicides.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Detailed Tables for Deaths: Final Data for 2013