Monday, August 03, 2015

Fewer Millennials Live Independently

Young adults aged 25 to 34 are less likely to live independently than were their counterparts in 2007, according to an analysis of Current Population Survey data by Pew Research Center. Pew defines independent living as heading one's own household or living in a household headed by a spouse, unmarried partner, or other nonrelative. 

The percentage of 25-to-34-year-olds who live independently is 86 percent among those with a bachelor's degree, 79 percent among those with some college, and 75 percent among those with a high school diploma or less education. Regardless of educational attainment, the figures are lower in 2015 than in 2007. 

Behind the decline in independent living is less money. Median weekly earnings for 25-to-34-year-olds in 2015 are below the 2007 level, after adjusting for inflation...

Median weekly earnings of 25-to-34-year-olds
Bachelor's or more: $951 in 2015, still less than the $966 of 2007.
Some college: $560 in 2015, well below the $640 of 2007.
High school or less: $500 in 2015, below the $527 in 2007.

Source: Pew Research Center, More Millennials Living with Family Despite Improved Job Market

Friday, July 31, 2015

The IRA Tax Shelter

Is the IRA more of a tax shelter for the affluent rather than a vehicle for retirement savings? It looks that way. According to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis, few IRA owners aged 60 or older take money out of their account until they reach the age (70.5) when withdrawals become mandatory...

Percentage of traditional IRA owners who took a withdrawal in 2013
Aged 60 to 64: 18.9%
Aged 65 to 70: 27.2%
Aged 71 to 79: 83.6%
Aged 80-plus: 85.8%

Once they reach the mandatory age, according to EBRI, most IRA owners withdraw only the minimum required. Just one in four traditional IRA owners aged 71 or older withdrew more than the minimum amount from his or her account in 2013.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, IRA Withdrawals in 2013 and Longitudinal Results 2010-2013

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Workers with Paid Sick Leave

Only 61 percent of the nation's private-sector workers get paid sick leave. Here is the percentage with paid sick leave by occupation...

88% of managers
78% of professionals
73% of office workers
67% of installation/maintenance/repair workers
57% of production workers
55% of transportation workers
53% of sales workers
39% of service workers
36% of construction/extraction/farming workers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employee Benefits in the United States—March 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Growing Wealth Gap Between Old and Young

The old are wealthier than the young, a pattern that has long been true. But the gap is growing, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, researchers compared median wealth in 1989 and 2013 for households in three broad age groups. Here are the trends (in 2013 dollars)...

Old (aged 62+): +40%
Median wealth in 2013: $209,590
Median wealth in 1989: $149,728

Middle-aged (aged 40-61): –31%
Median wealth in 2013: $106,094
Median wealth in 1989: $153,759

Young (under age 40): –28%
Median wealth in 2013: $14,220
Median wealth in 1989: $19,830

The old are doing better, and the middle-aged and young are falling behind. There's more bad news: "Baby boomers, who are now retiring in droves, are likely to be less well-off than their 'old' counterparts in the two previous generations," the Fed researchers conclude. "And it looks as if members of the next two generations—Generation X and Generation Y (the millennials)—might also end up less wealthy than the generation before them."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, The Demographics of Wealth—How Age, Education and Race Separate Thrivers from Strugglers in Today's Economy, Essay No. 3: Age, Birth Year and Wealth

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 2nd Quarter 2015

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, second quarter 2015: 45.2%

The homeownership rate of households headed by people aged 30 to 34 fell in the second quarter of 2015 to an all-time low of 45.2 percent. 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. In the past year, the homeownership rate of the age group fell 1.3 percentage points. Is this the bottom for the age group? Only time will tell. 

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. The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds stood at 55.1 percent in the second quarter of 2015—the same as in the first quarter and the age group's record low. Since peaking in the first quarter of 2007, the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds has fallen by more than 10 percentage points. 

Nationally, the homeownership rate fell to 63.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015, down from 64.7 percent a year earlier.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Monday, July 27, 2015

Household Income Stable in June

Household income fell slightly in June 2015, but the decline was not statistically significant. June's median household income stood at $55,132, according to Sentier Research, about the same as the previous month after adjusting for inflation. The June 2015 median was 2.1 percent higher than the June 2014 median and 6.4 percent above the $51,804 median of August 2011, which was the low point in Sentier's household income series. 

"Although median annual household income did not change significantly in June, we continue to see a general upward trend in income since the low-point reached in August 2011," says Sentier's Gordon Green. Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey. 

Median household income in June 2015 was 0.8 percent below the median of June 2009, the end of the Great Recession. It was 2.7 percent below the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. It was 3.8 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index for June 2015 stood at 96.2 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: June 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Number of Unauthorized Immigrants Has Declined

Despite all the talk about "illegals" in the United States, their number has declined slightly since the peak year of 2007, according to Pew Research Center. There were an estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, down from the peak of 12.2 million in 2007. During the Great Recession and its aftermath, fewer unauthorized immigrants have been crossing our borders.

The 62 percent majority of unauthorized immigrant adults have been in the United States for at least 10 years, according to a 2012 analysis by Pew. More than one in three (38 percent) live with their children born in the United States.

Source: Pew Research Center, Unauthorized Immigrant Population Stable for Half a Decade

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Decline in Teen Sexual Activity

Today's teenagers are not as sexually active as teens were a decade or two ago. That explains, in part, why the birth rate of 15-to-19-year-olds fell 57 percent between 1991 (the peak year) and 2013. Among never-married females aged 15 to 19, the percentage who have ever had sexual intercourse fell from 51 percent in 1988 to 44 percent in 2011-13. Among their male counterparts, the figure fell from 60 to 47 percent.

Another reason for the decline in the teen birth rate is the increased use of emergency contraception. Twenty-two percent of sexually active 15-to-19-year-old females in 2011-13 had ever used emergency contraception, up from only 8 percent who had ever used it in 2002.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing of Teenagers Aged 15-19 in the United States

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Private Sector Health Insurance Costs in 2014

Among workers in the private sector, this is how much health insurance cost in 2014...

Average total premium
Employee only: $5,832
Employee-plus-one: $11,503
Employee and family: $16,655

Average employee contribution
Employee only: $1,234
Employee-plus-one: $3,097
Employee and family: $4,518

Average deductible
Individual deductible: $1,353
Family deductible: $2,640

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Statistical Brief #477, Results from the 2014 MEPS-IC Private-Sector National Tables

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Mid-Term Elections Are Different

The demographics of mid-term elections are strikingly different from the demographics of presidential elections. In mid-terms, older non-Hispanic Whites overwhelm the polls. In presidential elections, younger and more diverse voters are in control. Take a look...

Non-Hispanic Whites aged 45+ as a share of voters
2014 mid-term election: 55%
2012 presidential election: 48%
2010 mid-term election: 54%
2008 presidential election: 47%

Older non-Hispanic Whites dominate mid-term elections because they are much more likely to vote. In the 2014 mid-term, fully 56 percent of non-Hispanic Whites aged 45 or older cast a vote. In contrast, only 31 percent of younger non-Hispanic Whites and 33 percent of minorities went to the polls. (Note: calculations of voting rates are based on citizen populations.)

Source: Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2014

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Geography of Cuban Americans

United States
Total U.S. population: 316,128,839
Hispanic population: 53,986,412 (17% of the total population)
Cuban-origin Hispanics: 2,013,155 (4% of the Hispanic population)

Number of Cuban-origin Hispanics who live in Florida: 1,349,136
Percent of Cuban-origin Hispanics who live in Florida: 67%
Cuban-origin Hispanics as a percentage of Florida's population: 6.9%

Number of Cuban-origin Hispanics who live in the Miami metropolitan area: 1,073,372
Percent of Cuban-origin Hispanics who live in the Miami metropolitan area: 53%
Cuban-origin Hispanics as a percentage of Miami's population: 18%

Source: Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey

Friday, July 17, 2015

Health Status: Education Matters (Even More)

Higher education leads to better health. Social scientists have known this for a long time. But a National Bureau of Economic Research analysis shows that the relationship is even stronger than we thought.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NBER researchers compared self-reported health with the results of actual medical tests to determine whether educated respondents more accurately self-report their health. They do. The study found accurate self-reporting of health status rising with education, with less-educated respondents underreporting their health problems. The problems examined were smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

To date, many of the studies examining the effect of educational attainment on health have been based on self-reports. This is a problem, say the researchers. They conclude: "Our results imply that the educational gradient in health, when measured using self-reported health, tends to understate the true gradient." Measuring the true size of the educational gradient in health may require objective tests rather than self-reports.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, Health Disparities Across Education: The Role of Differential Reporting Error, NBER Working Paper 21317 ($5)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Who Is a "Typical" American?

The 69 percent majority of Americans think of themselves as a "typical" American, according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Older Americans are far more likely to see themselves as typical (78%) than young adults (55%). By race and Hispanic origin, here's who thinks they're typical...

Whites: 77%
Blacks: 61%
Hispanics: 48%

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Interest in Space Exploration

Americans are "meh" about space exploration. The 45 percent plurality of the public is only moderately interested in outer space. Another 33 percent are not at all interested. The smallest share—22 percent—are enthusiasts very interested in space exploration. Men are twice as likely as women to be enthusiasts...

Very interested in space exploration
Men: 31%
Women: 15%

Moderately interested in space exploration
Men: 46%
Women: 44%

Not at all interested in space exploration
Men: 23%
Women: 41%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey