Friday, April 29, 2016

Household Income Stable in March 2016

Median household income in March 2016 stood at $57,263, according to Sentier Research, which was not significantly different from the February 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation. The March 2016 median was 4.5 percent higher than the March 2015 median, however, and 10.3 percent above the $51,904 median of August 2011, which was the low point in Sentier's household income series. 

"We continue to see an upward trend in income that has been evident since the low point in August 2011," reports Sentier's Gordon Green. "Relatively low energy prices have contributed significantly to increases in real median household income." Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in March 2016 was 2.9 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was 1.0 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The March 2016 median was just 0.1 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index for March 2016 was 99.9 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: March 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 1st Quarter 2016

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, first quarter 2016: 45.7%

The homeownership rate of households headed by people aged 30 to 34 fell in the first quarter of 2016 to 45.7 percent, down slightly from the 45.9 percent of the fourth quarter of 2015 and nearly identical to the 45.8 percent of one year ago. The absence of a significant trend in the homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds over the past year suggests an end to the long-term decline in the homeownership rate of the age group.   

Historically, homeownership became the norm in the 30-to-34 age group—rising above 50 percent. But beginning in 2007, the homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds went into a tailspin. In the second quarter of 2011, the rate fell below 50 percent for the first time. It's been stuck there ever since. The new age of first-time home buying is 35 to 39, but even this age group has been slipping toward the 50-percent threshold. In the first quarter of 2016 the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds was 55.3 percent, slightly above the all-time low of 55.1 percent in the second quarter of 2015. The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds peaked in the first quarter of 2007 at 65.7 percent.

Nationally, the homeownership rate was 63.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, down from 63.7 percent a year earlier.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Decline in Spending on Reading Material

Percent of households spending on books, newspapers, and magazines (including e-editions), and other reading material during the average quarter of...

2014: 26%
2010: 37%
2005: 46%
2002: 54%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Generations in 2015

One in four Americans is a Millennial, a member of the nation's largest generation. According to a Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's population estimates, Millennials became the largest generation in 2011 when they outnumbered Boomers by just 332,000. In 2015, Millennials outnumbered Boomers by 4 million.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Millennials grew by 2.2 million thanks to immigration. The number of Baby Boomers shrank by 2.5 million as the aging generation faced higher mortality rates. The number of Older Americans fell by 9 million during those years.

Size of generations in 2015 (and % of total population)
Recession (aged 0 to 5): 23,925,439 (7%)
iGeneration (aged 6 to 20): 62,563,691 (19%)
Millennial (aged 21 to 38): 79,016,798 (25%)
Generation X (aged 39 to 50): 49,340,192 (15%)
Baby Boom (aged 51 to 69): 74,879,316 (23%)
Older Americans (aged 70-plus): 31,693,384 (10%)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's Population Estimates

Monday, April 25, 2016

Profile of the Top and Bottom Occupations

Physician is the highest-paying occupation in the United States. Dishwasher is the lowest. Sentier Research has created demographic profiles of full-time workers in 440 different occupations based on data from the 2014 American Community Survey. Here are some of Sentier's findings about physicians and dishwashers...

Median wage and salary income
Physicians: $180,000
Dishwashers: $18,000

Percent Hispanic
Physicians: 6.7%
Dishwashers: 58.3%

Percent not a citizen
Physicians: 8.4%
Dishwashers: 53.1%

Percent without a high school diploma
Physicians: 0.0%
Dishwashers: 49.0%

For a report on the top and bottom 25 occupations, or for a spreadsheet with profiles of all 440 occupations, visit the Sentier web site and click on Reports.

Source: Sentier Research, Highest and Lowest Paid 25 Occupations

Friday, April 22, 2016

Who Eats What and How Much

Yogurt, broccoli, orange juice, peanuts: the USDA knows how much you eat. Through diary surveys in which respondents record their daily food intake combined with commodity data measuring aggregate consumption, government researchers are able to track what we eat and how it's changing. A USDA report looks at some of the changes in per capita consumption from 1994–98 through 2007–08 (the latest data available)...

  • We are eating less fruit, but mostly because we're drinking less orange juice.
  • We are eating fewer vegetables, but mostly because we've cut back on potatoes.
  • We are drinking less milk, but we're eating more cheese and yogurt. 

The report also examines who eats what by demographic characteristic. Take yogurt, for example. The average person ate 8.07 pounds of yogurt in 2007–08, nearly twice the 4.05 pounds in 1994–98. The biggest fans of yogurt are women (10.93 pounds per year), those with higher incomes (9.26 pounds), and college graduates (10.92 pounds). 

Much more about trends in food consumption and the demographics of who eats what are available in the USDA Economic Research Service report U.S. Food Commodity Consumption Broken Down by Demographics, 1994-2008

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Women More Likely to Finish College Degree

Today's young women are more likely than young men to have a bachelor's degree, according to the latest results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. This survey tracks a nationally representative sample of men and women born from 1980 through 1984, first interviewing them in 1997. The latest report (the 16th time the sample has been interviewed) examines their educational attainment, labor force experience, and partner status.

By their 29th birthday, 34 percent of women in the sample had a bachelor's degree. Among men, the figure was 26 percent. The reasons for the higher educational attainment of young women are twofold: women are more likely to go to college, and once in college they are more likely to finish their degree.

Women: 72 percent of women in the NLSY 1997 sample had either attended some college or earned a bachelor's degree. Among those who started college, 47 percent had earned a bachelor's degree by their 29th birthday.

Men: a smaller 63 percent of men in the NLSY 1997 sample had either attended some college or earned a bachelor's degree. Among those who started college, only 41 percent had earned a bachelor's degree by their 29th birthday.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among Young Adults at 29: Results from a Longitudinal Survey

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy Declines

Ok, it's official. Non-Hispanic White life expectancy at birth fell between 2013 and 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The drop seems minuscule—from 78.9 to 78.8 years. But here's why the small decline is big news...

  • The life expectancy of Hispanics and Blacks increased between 2013 and 2014, making non-Hispanic Whites the only segment to experience a decline.
  • Life expectancy at age 65 increased for non-Hispanic White men and women, so the decline occurred among non-Hispanic Whites under age 65—a disturbing trend.

Over the past few months, several studies have documented a decline in non-Hispanic White life expectancy, attributing it to drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol poisoning among the middle aged. Now the federal government has weighed in with the numbers, making it official.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Earnings of Husbands and Wives

Among the nation's 62 million married couples, 55 percent of husbands earn substantially more than their wives. In another 20 percent of couples, wives earn substantially more than their husbands. Earnings are about equal (a difference of less than $5,000) for 25 percent...

Earnings difference between husbands and wives
Husband earns at least $50,000 more than wife: 23%
Husband earns $5,000 to $49,999 more than wife: 32%
Husband's and wife's earnings differ by less than $5,000: 25%
Wife earns $5,000 to $49,999 more than husband: 15%
Wife earns at least $50,000 more than husband: 5%

Source: Census Bureau, America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2015

Monday, April 18, 2016

Age-Related Skill Declines among White Collar Workers

Who has a harder time doing their job as they age into their sixties—blue collar or white collar workers? Not surprisingly, the answer is blue collar workers, according to a Center for Retirement Research analysis of age-related declines in job skills by occupation. But some white collar occupations are vulnerable to age-related skill declines. By determining the skills key to each occupation and identifying those known to decline with age, CRR researchers created a Susceptibility Index — a single number ranging from 0 to 100 that gauges the susceptibility of occupations to age-related skill decline. The higher the number, say the researchers, the harder it is for workers to do their job as they age.

Blue collar occupations have an average Susceptibility Index of 75. White collar occupations have an average Susceptibility Index of 32. But some white collar jobs have a much higher Susceptibility Index—those requiring fluid cognitive abilities, quick reaction times, and fine motor skills. Airline pilots and nurses, for example, have a higher Susceptibility Index than cooks or housecleaners, say the researchers.

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the researchers document a younger age at retirement for white collar workers in high Susceptibility Index occupations. "Thus, the notion that all white-collar workers can work longer or that all blue-collar workers cannot is too simplistic," the researchers conclude.

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, How Do Job Skills that Decline with Age Affect White-Collar Workers?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Use of E-Cigarettes among Teens

Tobacco use among high school students has held steady over the past few years despite a decline in cigarettes smoking. According to a 2015 survey of high school students, only 9.3 percent had smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days, down substantially from 15.8 percent in 2011. But the percentage of high school student who had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days climbed from 1.5 percent to 16.0 percent during those years. Here is the percentage of high school students who had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days by demographic characteristic, according to the 2015 survey...

High school students who used e-cigarettes in past 30 days
Total: 16.0%
Males: 19.0%
Females: 12.8%
Blacks: 8.9%
Hispanics: 16.4%
Non-Hispanic Whites: 17.2%

Source: CDC, Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011–2015

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Projections of College Enrollment to 2023

The number of students in the nation's colleges, including both two-year and four-year institutions, is projected to rise from 20.4 million in the fall of 2015 to 22.6 million in the fall of 2023, according to the National Center for Education Statistics—an increase of 2.2 million. Black and Hispanic students will account for 63 percent of the increase. Here are the projections by race and Hispanic origin...

Projections of college enrollment 2015 to 2023 (and percent change)
Total students will grow by 2.2 million to 22,642,000 (10.9%)
Asian students will grow by 130,000 to 1,391,000 (10.3%)
Black students will grow by 632,000 to 3,705,000 (20.5%)
Hispanic students will grow by 777,000 to 3,981,000 (24.3%)
Non-Hispanic White students will grow by 632,000 to 12,813,000 (5.2%)

By 2023, non-Hispanic Whites will account for 57 percent of college enrollment, down from 60 percent in 2015. Hispanics will be 18 percent of enrollment, Blacks 16 percent, and Asians 6 percent. The multiracial and American Indians/Alaska natives will account for the remainder of the student population.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics to 2023

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Partner Status at Age 29

Young adults have been postponing marriage. The latest results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 are more evidence of this trend. The NLSY 1997 is tracking a nationally representative sample of men and women born from 1980 through 1984 and first interviewed in 1997. The latest results, which examine educational attainment, labor force experience, and partner status, are from the 16th interview of the sample and took place in 2013-14. On their 29th birthday, fewer than half of young adults were married, one in five was cohabiting, and among men the plurality was single...

Marital status of men on 29th birthday
Single: 44%
Cohabiting: 20%
Married: 36%

Marital status of women on 29th birthday
Single: 35%
Cohabiting: 20%
Married: 45%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Market Activity, Education, and Partner Status among Young Adults at 29: Results from a Longitudinal Survey

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Place of Death Is Changing

The percentage of deaths that occur in a hospital declined between 2000 and 2014—falling from 50 to 37 percent, reports the CDC. The percentage of deaths that occur at home grew from 23 to 29 percent during those years...

Place of death in 2014 (and 2000)
37% in a hospital (50%)
29% at home (23%)
20% in a nursing home (22%)
7% in a hospice facility (no data in 2000)
6% in other/unknown place (5%)

Source: CDC, Percentage Distribution of Deaths, by Place of Death—United States, 2000-2014