Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Teen Sexual Activity Has Declined

The percentage of never-married 15-to-19-year-olds who have ever had sexual intercourse has fallen over the years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The percentage of females aged 15 to 19 who have had sex fell from 51 to 42 percent between 1988 and 2011–15. Among males the percentage fell from 60 to 44 percent. When those who have not yet had sex are asked why they haven't, these are their main reasons...

Females
Against religion or morals: 35.3%
Haven't found the right person: 21.9%
Don't want to get pregnant: 19.3%
Don't want to get a sexually transmitted disease: 7.1%
In a relationship and waiting for right time: 6.2%

Males
Haven't found the right person: 28.5%
Against religion or morals: 27.9%
Don't want to get a girl pregnant: 21.2%
In a relationship and waiting for right time: 6.6%
Don't want to get a sexually transmitted disease: 4.7%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth, Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use among Teenagers in the United States, 2011–2015

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Minority Majority in Youngest Generation

According to the Census Bureau 2016 population estimates, there's now a generation of Americans in which Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities account for the majority of members. The Recession Generation, a placeholder name for those born in the most recent and ongoing baby bust beginning in 2009, is 50.1 percent minority and 49.9 percent non-Hispanic White. Hispanics account for 26 percent of the Recession generation, Blacks for 18 percent, and Asians for 7 percent.

Overall, 38.7 percent of Americans are Asian, Black, Hispanic, or another minority. Here are the percentages by generation...

Minority share of population by generation, 2016
Recession (0 to 6): 50.1%
iGeneration (7 to 21): 47.2%
Millennials (22 to 39): 44.0%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 38.5%
Boomers: (52 to 70): 28.8%
Older (71 or older): 21.3%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2016 Population Estimates

Monday, June 26, 2017

Median Household Income Stable in May 2017

In what will be the last of its monthly series of median household income estimates, Sentier Research reports no change in median household income in May 2017. The May median of $59,345 was not significantly different from the April 2017 median, after adjusting for inflation. It was 2.2 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. It was 1.0 percent above the median of January 2000, the start of Sentier's statistical series. 

The monthly series is ending because, as Sentier's John Coder and Gordon Green explain, they can no longer afford to produce it. "We believe, as we hope you do, that these estimates provided an important new dimension regarding the economic situation of American households as we slowly climbed out of the Great Recession." 

Sentier has been tracking monthly trends in median household income since 2011, providing a valuable heads-up on what the Census Bureau reports on only once a year. Demo Memo is sorry to see it end. If anyone is interested in continuing the series, please contact Sentier.

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: May 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Gun Sales Are Growing

Gun sales reached an all-time high in 2016, despite the fact that the number of households with guns has barely grown over the past decade. An estimated 40.8 million households owned a gun in 2016, up from 39.5 million in 2016—just a 3 percent increase. The percentage of households with guns fell to 32 percent in 2016, down from 34 percent in 2006, according to the General Social Survey.

Despite the small increase in the number of households with guns over the past decade, gun sales have soared. The number of background checks run through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (the best estimate of gun sales) more than doubled between 2006 and 2016, rising from 10 million to 28 million. What explains the surge in gun sales? According to the results of a Pew Research Center survey on gun ownership, the likely explanation is that gun owners are buying more guns...

Number of guns owned by gun owners
One gun: 32%
2 to 4 guns: 37%
5 or more guns: 29%
Did not answer: 2%

Source: Pew Research Center, America's Complex Relationship with Guns

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016

The U.S. population grew by 13.8 million between 2010 and 2016, according to the Census Bureau. The non-Hispanic White population accounted for just 4 percent of the increase, while Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities accounted for 96 percent of the gain. The minority share of the population climbed to 38.7 percent, up from 36.2 percent in 2010. Here are the 2016 population estimates by race and Hispanic origin...

Total population: 323,127,513
The U.S. population grew 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2016, a gain of 13.8 million.

Non-Hispanic Whites: 197,969,608 (61.3%)
The non-Hispanic White population grew by a minuscule 0.3 percent between 2010 and 2016, a gain of 575,289. Growth of the non-Hispanic White population is slowing to a crawl as deaths outnumber births. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of non-Hispanic Whites grew by just 5,206 compared with a gain of more than half a million for Asians and Blacks and more than 1 million for Hispanics.

Hispanics: 57,470,287 (17.8%)
The Hispanic population grew 13.2 percent between 2010 and 2016, a gain of 6.7 million. Hispanics accounted for 49 percent of the nation's population growth between 2010 and 2016.

Blacks (alone or in combination): 46,778,674 (14.5%)
The Black population grew 7.9 percent between 2010 and 2016, a gain of 3.4 million. Blacks accounted for 25 percent of the nation's population growth between 2010 and 2016.

Asians (alone or in combination): 21,419,159 (6.6%)
The Asian population grew 20.3 percent between 2010 and 2016, a gain of 3.6 million. Asians accounted for 26 percent of the nation's population growth between 2010 and 2016.

Source: Census Bureau, National Population by Characteristics Tables: 2010–2016

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Attitudes Toward Multigenerational Living Arrangements

When asked whether it is a good idea or a bad idea for older parents to move in with grown children or for grown children to move back home to live with their parents, younger generations are much more enthusiastic about multigenerational living arrangements...

Older parents moving in with grown children is a good idea
Millennials: 69%
Gen Xers: 72%
Boomers: 51%
Older: 30%

Grown children moving back home to live with parents is a good idea
Millennials: 52%
Gen Xers: 57%
Boomers: 41%
Older: 32%

Note: Millennials are aged 22 to 39; Gen Xers are aged 40 to 51; Boomers are aged 52 to 70.
Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Clash of Cultures: Rural vs. Urban

Most rural residents think those who live in big cities do not share their values. Urban residents are evenly split on whether rural residents share their values.

Rural residents think the values of big-city residents are...
Similar: 29%
Different: 68%

Big-city residents think the values of rural residents are...
Similar: 49%
Different: 48%

Suburban residents are more likely to believe their values align with rural than big-city folks, with 65 percent saying the values of rural residents are similar to their values and a smaller 43 percent saying the values of big-city residents are similar.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post Survey of Rural America

Monday, June 19, 2017

Aggregate Household Spending by Generation, 2015

The Baby Boom controls a larger share of aggregate household spending than any other generation—35 percent of the $7.2 trillion spent by households in 2015. Gen X and Millennial households combined control 52 percent of aggregate household spending...

Aggregate household spending (and percent distribution) by generation, 2015
Millennials (under 39): $1,906 billion (26.5%)
Gen Xers (39 to 50): $1,858 billion (25.8%)
Boomers (51 to 69): $2,522 billion (35.1%)
Older (70 or older): $910 billion (12.7%)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey

Friday, June 16, 2017

Average Household Spending by Generation, 2015

The average household spent $55,978 in 2015. Households headed by Millennials and Older Americans (age 70-plus) spend less than average, while Boomers and Gen Xers spend more than average. Gen Xers are filling the peak earning and spending age group. Their average annual household spending is the highest...

Average household spending by generation, 2015
Millennials (under 39): $51,200
Gen Xers (39 to 50): $67,700
Boomers (51 to 69): $59,400
Older (70 or older): $42,700

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Regional Trends in Median Sales Price of New Single-Family Houses Sold

Nationally, the median sales price of new single-family houses sold climbed to a record high of $316,200 in 2016. But records were set in only two of the four regions—the Midwest and South.

Northeast: $448,200 in 2016 (not a record)
The Northeast has the highest median sales price for new single-family homes sold. But the 2016 median was less than the $465,400 of 2015 (in 2016 dollars), which is the record high.

Midwest: $284,400 in 2016 (record high)
The median sales price of new single-family homes sold in the Midwest hit a record high of $284,400 in 2016. This was 7 percent above the pre-Great Recession high of $266,600 in 2005, after adjusting for inflation.

South: $284,000 in 2016 (record high)
The median sales price of new single-family homes sold in the South hit a record high of $284,000 in 2016. This was 13 percent above the pre-Great Recession high of $252,000 in 2005, after adjusting for inflation.

West: $381,300 in 2016 (not a record)
The median sales price of new single-family homes sold in the West climbed to $381,300 in 2016. While this is 40 percent greater than the post-Great Recession low of $273,100 in 2011, after adjusting for inflation, it's 5 percent below the record high of $402,000 recorded in 2006.

Overall, 561,000 new single-family houses were sold in 2016. The Northeast accounted for 6 percent of the total, the Midwest 12 percent, and the West 25 percent. The 57 percent majority of new single-family houses sold were in the South.

Source: Census Bureau, 2016 Characteristics of New Housing

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Median Sales Price of New Single-Family Houses Sold Hits Record High of $316,200

For the second year in a row, the median sales price of new single-family houses sold climbed to a record high. The $316,200 median in 2016 was 5 percent greater than the $300,100 of 2015, after adjusting for inflation.

From just $235,500 in 2000, the median price of new single-family houses sold climbed rapidly in the early years of the 2000s as the housing bubble inflated, reaching a high of $296,000 in 2005 before collapsing. From that peak to the post-Great Recession low of $242,400 in 2011, the median sales price of new single-family houses sold fell 18 percent, after adjusting for inflation. Between 2011 and 2016, the price climbed 30 percent.

Median sales price of new single-family homes sold, 2000 to 2016 (in 2016 dollars)
2016: $316,200 (record high)
2015: $300,100
2014: $286,700
2013: $277,000
2012: $256,300
2011: $242,400 (post Great Recession low)
2010: $244,100
2005: $296,000 (pre Great Recession high)
2000: $235,500

Source: Census Bureau, 2016 Characteristics of New Housing

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Boomers with Travel Bucket Lists

How many travel destinations are on your bucket list? For Boomers, the magic number is 8, according to an AARP survey of Boomers who have traveled for leisure in the past two years.

Overall, 46 percent of Boomers have a bucket list, with travel being the most popular item on those lists—83 percent of Boomers with a bucket list name travel as an item on their list.

For Boomers with a travel-related bucket list, 47 percent of destinations are international and 53 percent are domestic. Australia is the top international destination, followed by Italy and UK/Ireland. Hawaii, Alaska, and California are the top three domestic destinations.

Source: AARP Travel Research: 2017 Travel Bucket Lists

Monday, June 12, 2017

How Many Bicycle on an Average Day?

One in five Americans aged 15 or older participates in sports, exercise, or recreation on an average day, according to the American Time Use Survey. Only a handful of sports attract more than 1 million participants on a daily basis...

Number (and percent) of people aged 15-plus participating on an average day, 2015
Walking: 16.3 million (6.4%)
Weightlifting: 6.2 million (2.4%)
Running: 4.8 million (1.9%)
Using cardiovascular equipment: 4.8 million (1.9%)
Water sports: 3.3 million (1.3%)
Yoga: 1.6 million (0.6%)
Biking: 1.5 million (0.6%)
Golfing: 1.3 million (0.5%)
Basketball: 1.1 million (0.4%)

Those most likely to walk on an average day are people aged 75 or older (10 percent). No surprise there. More surprising are the demographics of those who bicycle on an average day. Bicycling peaks in two age groups—teens aged 15 to 19 and retirees aged 75-plus.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 American Time Use Survey

Friday, June 09, 2017

Millennials Head 51% of Households with Children

Despite the fact that Millennials are postponing marriage and childbearing, the generation now accounts for the majority of households with children under age 18. The Millennial share of the nation's households with children under age 18 crossed the 50 percent threshold for the first time in 2016. Here is the distribution...

Distribution of households with children under age 18 by generation, 2016
Total with children: 100.0%
Millennial (under 40): 51.2%
Generation X (40 to 51): 37.5%
Boomer and older (52-plus): 11.3%

Nearly half (48 percent) of Millennial households include children under age 18. Among Generation X, the figure is almost identical at 49 percent.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's Families & Living Arrangements data

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Adult Children Who Care for Parents

At any given time, 6 percent of adult children are caring for parents who need help with Activities of Daily Living (dressing, bathing, walking, eating, etc.) and/or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (taking medication, shopping, cooking, etc.), according to a Center for Retirement Research study. Here is the percentage of adult children who are providing care by age of adult child...

Aged 20 to 29: 3%
Aged 30 to 39: 3%
Aged 40 to 49: 5%
Aged 50 to 59: 6%
Aged 60 to 69: 10%
Aged 70-plus: 12%

Source: Center for Retirement Research, How Much Long-Term Care Do Adult Children Provide?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Air Conditioning, 1976 and 2016

Global warming skeptics should take a look at the Census Bureau’s report, 2016 Characteristics of New Housing. The proof of global warming begins on page 8 of the 751-page statistical report. Fully 93 percent of new single-family homes completed in 2016 had air-conditioning, including more than 8 out of 10 new houses in the Northeast. Not so in 1976, when only 49 percent of all new single-family homes completed (and just 13 percent in the Northeast) had air-conditioning. Here is the 40-year trend by region...

Total U.S.
2016: 93%
1976: 49% 

Northeast
2016: 86%
1976: 13%

Midwest
2016: 94%
1976: 40%

South
2016: 100%
1976: 78%

West
2016: 78%
1976: 29%

Source: Census Bureau, 2016 Characteristics of New Housing

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Median Age of Sports Participants

The median age of people who participate in sports and exercise on an average day varies greatly by activity, according to the American Time Use Survey...

Median age of participants (in years)
Football: 16.1
Basketball: 16.9
Soccer: 17.8
Baseball: 19.0
Running: 29.0
Weight lifting: 32.5
Swimming: 38.2
Bowling: 40.0
Cycling: 41.6
Hiking: 42.4
Yoga: 46.2
Cardio equipment: 46.7
Aerobics: 49.6
Walking: 52.8
Golfing: 53.1

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Spotlight on Statistics, Sports and Exercise

Monday, June 05, 2017

Decline in Number on Death Row

According to the latest government report on capital punishment, the number of prisoners on death row is shrinking. Here is how death row's population changed between 2014 and 2015...

Number of prisoners under death sentence
2015: 2,881
2014: 2,942

Number of inmates added to death row
2015: 49
2014: 69

Number of inmates removed from death row (excluding executions)
2015: 82
2014: 75

Number of executions
2015: 28
2014: 35

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment, 2014–2015

Friday, June 02, 2017

Use Internet "Almost Constantly"

Percentage of internet users who say they use the internet "almost constantly," by age...

Aged 18 to 29: 41%
Aged 30 to 49: 31%
Aged 50 to 64: 19%
Aged 65-plus: 8%

Source: Pew Research Center, Tech Adoption Climbs among Older Adults

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Older Adults Who Become Disabled Have Less Wealth

When older Americans become disabled and need long-term care services and supports (LTSS), their wealth plummets. Long-term care insurance would help to conserve this wealth. Yet only 11 percent of people aged 65 or older have purchased a policy. An Urban Institute study examines whether policies to encourage more Americans to buy long-term care insurance would be successful.

Using Health and Retirement Study data, the Urban Institute's Richard W. Johnson tracked adults without disabilities from 1992 (when they were aged 51 to 59) until 2012 (when they were 71 to 79) to determine whether those who became disabled and in need of care during the time period differed in some way from those who remained disability free. He found big differences in wealth between the two groups. Among adults who developed disabilities, median household wealth was just $139,200 in 2012. Among those who remained disability free, median wealth was 61 percent higher at $224,600.

Older adults who became disabled over the 20-year time period had much less wealth than those who remained disability free—and the wealth gap existed years before they developed disabilities. Thus, adults at high risk of becoming disabled are at an economic disadvantage and unlikely to be able to afford long-term care insurance. Consequently, concludes Johnson, "proposed policies designed to encourage people to pre-fund future LTSS expenses may have limited impact because they will be unable to target those with the highest expenses."

Source: Urban Institute, Later-Life Household Wealth before and after Disability Onset

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Social Security is at Least Half of Income for Most 65+

Most Americans aged 65 or older depend on Social Security for at least 50 percent of household income, according to an analysis of 2015 Current Population Survey data in Social Security Bulletin. Here are the percentages by demographic characteristic...

  • By age: Social Security accounts for at least half of household income for 51.8% of people aged 65 or older, including 61.4% of people aged 80 or older.
  • By sex: Social Security accounts for at least half of household income for 55.2% of women aged 65 or older and 47.5% of men in the age group.
  • By race and Hispanic origin:  Social Security accounts for at least half of household income for 51.5% of Hispanics, 51.8% of non-Hispanic Whites, and 56.9% of Blacks aged 65 or older.
  • By educational attainment:  Social Security accounts for at least half of household income for 57.9% of high school graduates aged 65 or older. Among college graduates in the age group, a smaller 34.9% depend on Social Security for at least half of household income.
  • By income quintile: Social Security accounts for at least half of household income for 86.6% of people aged 65 or older in the lowest income quintile, 82.3% of those in the second income quintile, and 62.7% of those in the third income quintile. Among those in the fourth income quintile, the figure is a smaller 24.8%. Among those in the highest income quintile, just 2.2% depend on Social Security for at least half of their household income.

Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin, The Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Income of the Aged Population

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

City Population Growth, 2010 to 2016

Between 2010 and 2016, the population of the nation's 757 largest cities (incorporated places with populations of 50,000 or more in 2016) grew by an average of 6.0 percent. The remainder of the United States grew by a smaller 3.5 percent. City growth varies little by city size, with large cities of all sizes growing faster than elsewhere...

City population growth 2010-2016 by city size
1 million or more: 5.6%
500,000 to 999,999: 7.3%
250,000 to 499,999: 6.4%
200,000 to 249,999: 5.1%
150,000 to 199,999: 6.1%
100,000 to 149,999: 5.9%
50,000 to 99,999: 5.7%

A Demo Memo analysis of annual growth rates reveals slowing growth in the nation's largest cities. Among cities with populations of 50,000 or more, the growth rate since 2010 slowed from about 1 percent annually between 2010 and 2015 to a smaller 0.8 percent between 2015 and 2016. Widespread recovery from the Great Recession, which finally boosted household incomes in 2015, may be reducing the economic incentive to move to large cities. 

Source: Census Bureau, City and Town Population Totals Tables: 2010–2016

Monday, May 29, 2017

39% of Children Have Parent(s) with Bachelor's Degree

Among the nation's children, 39 percent have at least one parent in the household who has a bachelor's degree or more education. The figure varies greatly by race and Hispanic origin...

Percent of children under age 18 with parent who has a bachelor's degree, 2015
66% of Asians
50% of non-Hispanic Whites
24% of Blacks
21% of American Indians
18% of Hispanics

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Death of Loved One in Past 5 Years

The 66 percent majority of adults experienced the death of a loved one in the past five years, according to a Kaiser survey. This figure includes 19 percent of Americans who experienced the death of a parent in the past five years, 15 percent the death of a close friend, and 12 percent the death of a sibling.

Among those who experienced the death of a loved one, 35 percent (or 23 percent of all adults) were involved in caring for the person before he or she died. Among those whose parent died, the 55 percent majority were helping to provide care.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Views and Experiences with End-of-Life Medical Care in the U.S.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Stock Ownership Has Declined

The stock market has been doing well lately, but fewer Americans are benefiting from it, reports Gallup. The percentage of adults who own stock is below the level prior to the financial crisis in 2008. Gallup asked the question: "Do you personally, or jointly with a spouse, have any money invested in the stock market right now—either in an individual stock, a stock market fund, or in a self-directed 401(k) or IRA?" Here are the responses...

Percent owning stock today (and percentage point change since 2008)
Total 18-plus: 54% (–8)
Aged 18 to 29: 31% (–11)
Aged 30 to 49: 62% (–9)
Aged 50 to 64: 62% (–7)
Aged 65-plus: 54% (+1)

Source: Gallup, US Stock Ownership Down among All but Older, Higher-Income

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Median Household Income in April 2017 Finally Surpasses Median in January 2000

Median household income in April 2017 climbed to $59,361, reports Sentier Research—a significant 1.0 percent higher than the March 2017 median, after adjusting for inflation. This gain boosted median household income above the January 2000 level, finally. The last time median household income exceeded the January 2000 level was in December 2008.    

"Median annual household income has displayed a somewhat erratic pattern over the past several years," reports Sentier. "More broadly, there has been a general upward trend in median household income since the post-recession low point reached in August 2011." The April 2017 median was 11.4 percent higher than the August 2011 median of $53,265, the low point in Sentier's household income series. Sentier's figures are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in April 2017 was 4.0 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was 2.1 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The April 2017 median was 0.9 percent higher than the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index in April 2017 was 100.9 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: April 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How Have Attitudes Changed among Boomers?

The Baby-Boom generation is becoming more liberal as Boomers age into their seventies, according to a Demo Memo analysis of General Social Survey. Comparing the attitudes of Boomers when they were younger (aged 26 to 44 in 1990) with their attitudes today (aged 52 to 70 in 2016) reveals the liberalization of the generation...
  • Same-sex relations are always wrong: Although a substantial 45% of Boomers still feel same-sex relations are always wrong, the share is down from 70% in 1990. 
  • Marijuana should be legal: The 59% majority of Boomers think marijuana use should be legalized, up from just 18 percent in 1990. 
  • Working mothers hurt children: When they were younger adults in 1990, fully 69% of Boomers did not believe working mothers harmed children. Now older and wiser, an even larger 77 percent of older Boomers don't believe working mothers are harmful.
  • Support for capital punishment: Boomers are less supportive of capital punishment for convicted murderers today (63%) than they were in 1990 (80%).
  • Identify themselves as Democrats: A larger percentage of Boomers identified themselves as Democrats in 2016 (47%) than in 1990 (43%). 
  • Identify themselves as Republicans: A smaller percentage of Boomers identified themselves as Republicans in 2016 (36%) than in 1990 (43%). 
Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Monday, May 22, 2017

Vaping More Popular than Cigarettes, Marijuana

In past 30 days, percent of high school students (grades 9 through 12) who have used...

Cigarettes: 10.8%
Marijuana: 21.7%
Vaping: 24.1%
Alcohol: 32.8%

Source: CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2015

Friday, May 19, 2017

How Many Have Retirement Accounts?

How many households have an IRA and/or a defined-contribution retirement account? According to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, 61 percent of households headed by workers aged 25 to 64 have at least one of these types of retirement savings. Here is the percentage by age of householder...

Total, 25 to 64: 61.1%
Aged 25 to 34: 50.4%
Aged 35 to 44: 60.0%
Aged 45 to 54: 63.6%
Aged 55 to 64: 71.4%

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth

Thursday, May 18, 2017

42% of Older Americans Own a Smartphone

The percentage of Americans aged 65 or older who own a smartphone has more than doubled in three years—rising from just 18 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2016, according to Pew Research Center. One factor behind the increase is the aging of the baby-boom generation into the 65-plus age group. Here is the percentage of Americans aged 65 or older who owned a smartphone in 2016, by age...

Own a smartphone, 2016
Aged 65 to 69: 59%
Aged 70 to 74: 49%
Aged 75 to 79: 31%
Aged 80-plus: 17%

Source: Pew Research Center, Tech Adoption Climbs among Older Adults

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Did Not Like Candidates" Nearly Doubled in 2016

Among the 19 million registered voters aged 18 or older who did not vote in the 2016 election, the single biggest reason given for not showing up at their polling place was that they "did not like the candidates." The percentage who cited this reason nearly doubled since the last presidential election, rising from 12.7 percent in 2012 to 24.8 percent in 2016.

Reason for not voting in 2016 (and 2012)
Did not like candidates: 24.8% (12.7%)
Not interested: 15.4% (15.7%)
Too busy/conflicting schedule: 14.3% (18.9%)
Illness/disability: 11.7% (14.0%)
Out of town: 7.9% (8.6%)
Registration problems: 4.4% (5.5%)
Forgot to vote: 3.0% (3.9%)
Transportation problems: 2.6% (3.3%)
Inconvenient polling place: 2.1% (2.7%)
Other reasons: 13.8% (14.9%)

Source: Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2016

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

When Do Americans Eat?

Nearly everyone (95 percent) engages in primary eating and drinking at least once a day, reports the USDA's Economic Research Service. Analyzing data from the American Time Use Survey, ERS researchers examined when Americans eat and whether eating is a primary or secondary activity. Primary eating occurs when eating is the main activity at the time. Secondary eating occurs when another activity—such as watching TV—is the main activity.

On an average day, 77 percent of Americans aged 15 or older engage in primary eating and drinking at dinnertime—between 5:00 pm and 7:59 pm. A smaller 62 percent report primary eating and drinking during lunchtime—between 11:00 am and 1:59 pm. Only 40 percent report eating as a primary activity during the breakfast hours of 7:00 am to 9:59 am.

More than half the public (54 percent) eats as a secondary activity during an average day. Watching television, working, and socializing are the most frequently cited primary activities engaged in while eating.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, What Time of Day Do Americans Engage in Primary and Secondary Eating?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Is Your Mother Still Alive?

Millions of Americans celebrated Mother's Day yesterday by honoring the memory of their mother rather than spending time with her. While the 60 percent majority of adults still have Mom in their life, a substantial 40 percent do not. The percentage of adults whose mother is no longer alive becomes the majority in the 55-to-64 age group...

Mother is no longer alive
Total 18-plus:   39.8%
Aged 18 to 29:  3.4%
Aged 30 to 44: 16.2%
Aged 45 to 54: 32.7%
Aged 55 to 64: 62.8%
Aged 65-plus:  96.8%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the General Social Survey

Friday, May 12, 2017

Educational Attainment of American Workers

Among the 161 million Americans with earnings in 2015, more than one-third had a bachelor's degree or more education...

Educational attainment of people aged 18 or older with earnings, 2015
8.2% do not have a high school diploma
26.3% have a high school diploma only
29.8% have some college or an associate's degree
22.6% have a bachelor's degree only
13.2% have an advanced degree

Source: Census Bureau, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2016

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Voting Rate of Non-Hispanic Whites Climbed in 2016

The long-awaited and much anticipated report on voting in the 2016 presidential election was released by the Census Bureau yesterday. What does it reveal? Most notably, an increase in the voting rate of non-Hispanic Whites and a decline in the voting rate of Blacks. The percentage of non-Hispanic Whites who voted in 2016 was 1.2 percentage points higher than in 2012. The percentage of Blacks who voted in 2016 was 7.0 percentage points lower.

Voting rate of citizens in 2016 (and 2012)
Total: 61.4% (61.8%)
Asians: 49.9% (47.9%)
Blacks: 58.9% (65.9%)
Hispanics: 47.6% (48.0%)
Non-Hispanic Whites: 65.3% (64.1%)

Another interesting finding: Non-Hispanic Whites aged 65 or older accounted for a larger share of voters in 2016 (20 percent) than in 2012 (18 percent). The number of non-Hispanic White voters aged 65 or older climbed by 2.8 million between 2012 and 2016, thanks in large part to the aging of the baby-boom generation. The number of Black voters fell by 683,000. Those shifts may have determined the election outcome.

Source: Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2016

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

54% of Women Aged 25 to 29 Are Childless

Nearly half of American women aged 15 to 44 were childless in 2016, up from about one-third in 1976. The dramatic rise in childlessness among women of reproductive age has been fueled by the especially large increases among women aged 25 to 34. The percentage of women aged 25 to 29 who have not (yet) had a child climbed 23 percentage points between 1976 and 2016. Among 30-to-34-year-olds, the percent childless nearly doubled during those years...

Percent of women who are childless, 2016 (and 1976)
Aged 15 to 44: 48.6% (35.1%)
Aged 20 to 24: 75.8% (69.0%)
Aged 25 to 29: 53.8% (30.8%)
Aged 30 to 34: 30.8% (15.6%)
Aged 35 to 39: 18.5% (10.5%)
Aged 40 to 44: 14.4% (10.2%)

Source: Census Bureau, Fertility of Women in the United States: 2016

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

$45,800 Student Loan Balance for College Graduates

Seventy-two percent of 2007-08 bachelor's degree recipients borrowed to pay for their college education, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report. At graduation, they owed an average of $45,800. Four years later in 2012, the 63 percent majority still owed an average of $41,900. Here are the amounts borrowed and owed by 2007–08 college graduates by their post-secondary school enrollment status ...

No further school enrollment
At time of college graduation: 66.4% had borrowed an average of $29,600
Four years after college graduation: 56.5% still owed an average of $24,200

Attended master's degree program
At time of college graduation: 79.1% had borrowed an average of $55,400
Four years after college graduation: 71.4% still owed an average of $52,300

Attended academic doctorate program
At time of college graduation: 59.9% had borrowed an average of $73,600
Four years after college graduation: 54.2% still owed an average of $75,200

Attended professional doctorate program
At time of college graduation: 89.7% had borrowed an average of $131,000
Four years after college graduation: 83.9% still owed an average of $134,100

While these levels of debt are disturbing, there's also good news in the report: "Despite rising student debt levels, the average increase in lifetime earnings from a bachelor's degree relative to a high school diploma still exceeds average student loan debt."

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, The Debt Burden of Bachelor's Degree Recipients

Monday, May 08, 2017

How Many Had Working Mothers?

When asked whether their mother ever worked for pay for as long as a year when they were growing up, 76 percent of Americans aged 18 or older say yes. Here are the figures by generation...

Percent with mother who worked
iGeneration (18 to 21): 89.6%
Millennials (22 to 39): 87.4%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 76.8%
Boomers (52 to 70): 69.9%
Older (71 or older): 49.9%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Sexual Orientation by Generation, 2016

Among adults aged 18 or older, 5 percent identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The percentage is as high as 12 percent among the youngest adults...

Percent identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual
iGeneration (18 to 21): 12.3%
Millennials (22 to 39): 6.9%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 5.2%
Boomers (52 to 70): 3.6%
Older (71 or older): 1.7%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

51% Majority of Households Are Wireless-Only

Most American households are now wireless-only, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The 50-percent threshold was crossed in the last half of 2016, when 50.8 percent of households reported having only wireless telephone service and no landline, up from 49.3 percent in the first half of 2016. 

Most adults are now wireless only as well. In the last half of 2016, 50.5 percent of people aged 18 or older reported having cell phone service and no landline service, up from 49.0 percent in the first half of 2016. The nation's children have been majority wireless-only since 2014. 

Percentage of adults who are wireless-only by age, July-December 2016
Aged 18 to 24: 61.7%
Aged 25 to 29: 72.7%
Aged 30 to 34: 71.0%
Aged 35 to 44: 62.5%
Aged 45 to 64: 45.2%
Aged 65-plus: 23.5%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2016

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Big Decline in Chronically Uninsured

The percentage of 18-to-64-year-olds who are "chronically uninsured"—meaning they have not had health insurance for more than one year—has fallen by more than half, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Percent of people aged 18 to 64 who are chronically uninsured 
2016: 7.6%
2015: 9.1%
2014: 12.3%
2013: 15.7%
2012: 16.2%
2011: 16.3%
2010: 16.8%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Changes in the Characteristics of Chronically Uninsured Adults: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2010–September 2016

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 1st Quarter 2017

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, first quarter 2017: 44.6%

The homeownership rate of households headed by people aged 30 to 34 fell in the first quarter of 2017. The age group's 44.6 percent homeownership rate is a new record low, although not statistically different from the previous record low. The homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds appears to have found a new normal in the mid-forties.  


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 slipped toward the 50-percent threshold. In the first quarter of 2017 the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds was 56.6 percent, down from a peak of 65.7 percent a decade ago in the first quarter of 2007.


Nationally, the homeownership rate was 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, not statistically different from the 63.5 percent of a year earlier. 

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Monday, May 01, 2017

Median Household Income Stable in March 2017

Median household income in March 2017 stood at $58,673, according to Sentier Research—not significantly different from the February 2017 median or the March 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation.  

"Median annual household income has displayed a somewhat erratic pattern over the past several years," reports Sentier. "More broadly, there has been a general upward trend in median household income since the post-recession low point reached in August 2011." The March 2017 median was 10.3 percent higher than the August 2011 median of $53,176, the low point in Sentier's household income series. Sentier's figures are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in March 2017 was 2.9 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was 1.1 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The March 2017 median was just 0.1 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index in March 2017 was 99.9 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: March 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Snapchat Use by Generation

Nearly one in four Americans (24.6%) use Snapchat, according to the General Social Survey. Here are the percentages by generation...

Percent who use Snapchat
iGeneration (18 to 21): 64.0%
Millennials (22 to 39): 37.0%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 14.8%
Boomers (52 to 70): 6.8%
Older (71 or older): 5.3%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Instagram Use by Generation

Nearly one in three Americans (32.8%) use Instagram, according to the General Social Survey. Here are the percentages by generation...

Percent who use Instagram
iGeneration (18 to 21): 68.9%
Millennials (22 to 39): 46.4%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 27.4%
Boomers (52 to 70): 12.2%
Older (71 or older): 9.7%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Population by Generation, 2016

Boomers and their elders now account for less than one-third of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau's 2016 population estimates. Millennials and younger generations account for the 52 percent majority of Americans.

Generational power is shifting as older generations shrink and younger ones grow. In the past year, the number of Gen Xers fell by 57,000, Boomers lost 652,000 of their peers, and the number of older Americans (born in 1945 or earlier) dropped by 1.7 million. Since 2010, the number of older Americans has fallen by more than 10 million.

Between 2015 and 2016 the number of Millennials grew by 348,000, the iGeneration by 280,000, and the Recession generation by a whopping 4 million as births during the year expanded its ranks. In 2017, the Recession generation will surpass older Americans in size.

Size of generations in 2016 (and % of total population)
323,127,513 (100.0%): Total population
27,989,207 (  8.7%): Recession generation (aged 0 to 6)
62,788,936 (19.4%): iGeneration (aged 7 to 21)
79,159,101 (24.5%): Millennial generation (aged 22 to 39)  
49,151,059 (15.2%): Generation X (aged 40 to 51)  
74,102,309 (22.9%): Baby Boom (aged 52 to 70)  
29,936,901 (  9.3%): Older Americans (aged 71-plus)  

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's National Population by Characteristics Datasets: 2010–2016

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Is Life Expectancy Falling among the Least Educated?

Not according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research. The least-educated Americans are not who they used to be, say CRR researchers, and that must be taken into account when determining trends in life expectancy.

Back when dropping out of high school was practically the norm, the least educated were part of the economic mainstream. Today, they are an increasingly disadvantaged economic minority. That's why comparing the life expectancy of high school dropouts over time is like comparing apples and oranges. To solve this problem, CRR researchers took a different approach. They examined life expectancy trends between 1979 and 2011 by dividing the population in each year into educational attainment quartiles. By defining educational attainment relatively rather than absolutely, the decline in life expectancy among the least educated disappears.

In fact, the life expectancy of the least educated increased between 1979 and 2011, as did the life expectancy of every other educational attainment quartile. But the gains were bigger for the better-educated groups and biggest among the most highly educated. Life expectancy is increasing for all, conclude the researchers. But "mortality inequality is worsening over time."

Source: Center for Retirement Research, Rising Inequality in Life Expectancy by Socioeconomic Status

Monday, April 24, 2017

Living Arrangements of Young Adults, 1975 and 2016

The lives of young adults have changed dramatically over the past 40 years, according to a Census Bureau report. A comparison of the living arrangements of 18-to-34-year-olds in 2016 with the living arrangements of their counterparts more than 40 years ago in 1975 shows just how much has changed...

  • Only 27% live with a spouse, down from the 57% majority in 1975.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) live with their parents, up from 26% in 1975.
  • One in eight (12%) lives with an unmarried partner, up from just 1% in 1975.
  • More live alone—8% in 2016, up from 5% in 1975.
  • One in five (21%) has some other living arrangement, up from 11% of 1975. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between then and now is that there's no longer a dominant type of living arrangement for the age group, making young adults increasingly difficult to target.

Source: Census Bureau, The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016

Friday, April 21, 2017

Twitter Use by Generation

Nearly one in five Americans (18.9%) use Twitter, according to the General Social Survey. Here are the percentages by generation...

Percent who use Twitter
iGeneration (18 to 21): 41.1%
Millennials (22 to 39): 23.9%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 16.3%
Boomers (52 to 70): 10.6%
Older (71 or older): 5.1%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Facebook Use by Generation

Three out of four Americans (74.2%) use Facebook, according to the General Social Survey. Here are the percentages by generation...

Percent who use Facebook
iGeneration (18 to 21): 72.6%
Millennials (22 to 39): 82.4%
Gen Xers (40 to 51): 75.5%
Boomers (52 to 70): 63.2%
Older (71 or older): 67.9%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Students Much More Diverse than Teachers

The nation's elementary and secondary school students are much more diverse than their teachers. Half of public school students are Hispanic, Black, Asian or another minority, according to the Digest of Education Statistics. But only 18 percent of public school teachers are minorities, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report.

Although the minority share of school teachers is growing, the Black share of school teachers  is shrinking. Between 1987 and 2012, the Black share of elementary and secondary school teachers fell from 8 to 6 percent. Here is how the racial and ethnic diversity of school teachers has changed over the past quarter century...

Non-Hispanic White share of teachers
2012: 83%
1987: 88%

Black share of teachers
2012: 6%
1987: 8%

Hispanic share of teachers
2012: 7%
1987: 3%

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, A Quarter Century of Changes in the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force: From 1987 to 2012

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Migration Fuels Urban County Growth

The nation's most urban counties grew by a substantial 6.0 percent between 2010 and 2016, faster than any other type, according to a Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2016 county population estimates by Rural-Urban Continuum (RUC). Counties in smaller metros grew at a slower rate, and those in rural areas lost population. Both international and domestic migration contributed to the faster growth of big-city counties...

International migration is greater in big-city counties. Between 2010 and 2016, the rate of net international migration was 2.6 percent in counties ranking 1 on the Rural-Urban Continuum. Although international migration was positive in every type of county, the rate was lower in less urban counties and lowest (only 0.3 percent) in the most rural counties—those ranking 8 or 9 on the RUC.

Domestic migration is positive only in big-city counties. Between 2010 and 2016, the rate of net domestic migration was positive only for counties ranking 1 or 2 on the Rural-Urban Continuum. Nonmetropolitan counties (those ranking 4 or higher on the RUC) had a negative rate of net domestic migration, meaning they lost more people than they gained.

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Rural-Urban Continuum Codes and Census Bureau, County Population Totals Datasets: 2010–2016

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jobs with Heavy Lifting

Many jobs in the U.S. require physical strength. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines "heavy work" as jobs that require workers to constantly lift/carry at least 11 pounds, frequently lift/carry at least 26 pounds, or occasionally lift/carry 51 or more pounds. Overall, 14 percent of jobs require heavy work.

The occupations with the largest percentage of jobs requiring heavy work are the usual suspects—construction and extraction (45.5%); installation, maintenance, and repair (35.4%); and transportation and material moving (32.3%). A substantial 22 percent of workers in health support occupations are required to do heavy lifting.

At the other extreme, 13 percent of jobs are sedentary, requiring no heavy lifting nor much walking or standing. The occupations with the largest percentage of sedentary jobs are legal (40.3%), office and administrative support (31.1%), and management (27.5%). Among architecture and engineering occupations as well as community and social service, a substantial 25 percent of jobs are sedentary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physical Strength Required for Jobs in Different Occupations in 2016

Friday, April 14, 2017

Americans Don't Know Much about the ACA

Americans are really confused about the Affordable Care Act. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows just how confused they are. Kaiser says these are the five biggest misconceptions...
  1. Most do not know that the ACA reduced the percentage of Americans without health insurance. The 57 percent majority thinks the ACA increased the uninsured or had no effect on the number. In fact, the ACA reduced the uninsured to an historic low. 
  2. Half says the ACA covers undocumented immigrants. It does not.
  3. Half does not know that the ACA eliminated out-of-pocket costs for birth control, annual checkups, well-child visits and vaccinations. 
  4. Forty percent of the public think the ACA cut Medicare benefits. It did not.
  5. 29 percent of the public think most Americans get their health insurance through the ACA. In fact, only 10 percent of Americans are covered by ACA marketplace plans. Most Americans have employer-provided health insurance coverage.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Data Note: 5 Misconceptions Surrounding the ACA

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Many Workers Are Looking for a Better Job

The findings from a survey on job search behavior should worry the nation's employers. Many of their employees are actively looking for a better job.

Using data from a labor market supplement to the New York Fed's Survey of Consumer Expectations, researchers analyzed the job search behavior of 18-to-64-year-olds by employment status. Overall, 23 percent of employed workers had actively looked for another job in the previous four weeks, submitting an average of 4.58 job applications and receiving 0.43 job offers. Not only were a substantial percentage of employed workers actively looking for a better job, but they received more job offers than the unemployed, despite submitting fewer applications. The unemployed submitted an average of 8.08 applications in the previous four weeks and received 0.38 job offers.

Being employed, it seems, is a big advantage in the job hunt. "The job search process is more effective for currently employed workers than for the unemployed," the researchers conclude. Not only are the employed more likely to receive job offers, but they receive better offers: "Offers received by employed workers are better than those received by the unemployed. This is true even after controlling for detailed worker characteristics and prior work history."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics, How Do People Find Jobs?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Decline in "Marriageable" Young Men

Marriage rates have fallen among younger adults over the past few decades, but they've fallen the most among the least educated. What is behind the disproportionate decline? NBER researchers answer that question by testing a hypothesis: marriage rates are down the most among the least-educated (high school or less education) because the supply of "marriageable" men has dried up.

The results confirm the hypothesis. The researchers uncover a hot mess of consequences in the aggregate and in local areas that have experienced adverse shocks in manufacturing employment over the past few decades, including...

  • a decline in male and female employment
  • a decline in men's relative earnings, especially among lower-income men
  • an increase in men's mortality from risky and unhealthful behaviors
  • a reduction in the availability of marriage-age males in affected labor markets
  • a reduction in the percentage of young adults getting married
  • a decline in fertility
  • an increase in the percentage of births to teen and unmarried mothers
  • an increase in the percentage of children living in poverty

Bottom line: "We conclude that the declining employment and earnings opportunities faced by young (i.e. under 40) U.S. males are a plausible contributor to the changing structure of marriage and childbirth in the United States."

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men, Working Paper 23173 ($5)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Majority: Nothing Wrong with Gay, Lesbian Relationships

What a difference a decade makes. The percentage of Americans who think gay and lesbian relationships are "not wrong at all" climbed from just 32 percent in 2006 to the 51 percent majority in 2016, according to the General Social Survey.

Although every generation has contributed to the growing acceptance of same-sex relationships, the biggest driver of the increase is the surge in support among Millennials. The percentage of Millennials who think there's nothing wrong at all with gay and lesbian relationships climbed 27 percentage points during the decade, from 41 to 68 percent.

Support among Generation Xers grew the least over the decade (up only 9 percentage points). In 2016, still fewer than half of Gen Xers were in the "nothing wrong at all" camp. Same story for Boomers. Approval of same-sex relationships among the oldest Americans (aged 61 or older in 2006 and aged 71 or older in 2016) nearly doubled during the decade. But only about one-third of the oldest Americans see nothing wrong at all with same-sex sexual relationships.

"Nothing wrong at all" with same-sex sexual relationships, 2016 (and 2006)
Millennials: 68% (41%)
Gen Xers: 46% (37%)
Boomers: 44% (32%)
Older: 34% (18%)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2006 and 2016 General Social Surveys

Monday, April 10, 2017

Average Earnings of Female Workers by Education

Among women aged 18 or older with earnings, the average amount earned in 2015 was $39,929, according to the Census Bureau. This is how women's average earnings compare by educational attainment...

$17,162 for those who did not graduate from high school
$26,832 for those with a high school diploma only
$31,970 for those with some college/associate's degree
$50,856 for those with a bachelor's degree only
$72,006 for those with an advanced degree

Source: Census Bureau, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2016

Friday, April 07, 2017

Legalize Marijuana? Most Say Yes

Among all Americans aged 18 or older, fully 60.1 percent support legalizing the use of marijuana, according to the 2016 General Social Survey. The majority of all but the oldest Americans supports legalization...

Support legalizing marijuana
Millennials: 68.3%
Gen Xers: 56.8%
Boomers: 59.2%
Older: 37.4%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Internet Overtakes TV as Main Source of News

Write this one down for the history books. The main source of news for the largest share of the public is now the internet, supplanting television in 2016 for the first time, according to the General Social Survey. Here's the trend since 2010...

Percent who say internet/television is their main source of information about events in the news
2016: 46% internet versus 37% TV
2014: 35% internet versus 45% TV
2012: 30% internet versus 48% TV
2010: 22% internet versus 49% TV

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the General Social Survey

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Expected Age of Retirement

More than one-third of American workers do not expect to retire until age 70 or later, according to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey. Only 4 percent of current retirees worked that long.

Expected age of retirement for workers (and actual age of retirement for retirees)
Under age 60:    9% (39%)
Aged 60 to 64: 17% (37%)
Aged 65 to 69: 37% (19%)
Aged 70-plus:  38% (  4%)

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

How Many Are Grandparents?

The Census Bureau's 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation included several questions rarely asked by the federal government...

Are you a grandparent? Turns out, being a grandparent is the norm among Americans aged 30 or older who have children aged 15 or older: 61 percent of women and 57 percent of men who meet those qualifications are grandparents.

Do you have children with multiple partners? Among all Americans aged 15 or older, 10.1 percent have children with multiple partners. Among parents aged 15 or older with two or more biological children, 20.6 percent have children with multiple partners.

Have you had children with someone other than your spouse/partner? Among married mothers aged 15 or older who do not have children with their spouse, 17.8 percent have children from a prior relationship and 12.8 percent say their spouse has children from a prior relationship. Among married fathers aged 15 or older, the equivalent figures are 16.5 and 12.6 percent. Among cohabiting parents, the percentages are much larger (50 and 32 percent for women, and 47 and 33 percent for men).

Source: Census Bureau, Fertility Research Brief and Multiple Partner Fertility Research Brief

Monday, April 03, 2017

Average Earnings of Male Workers by Education

Among men aged 18 or older with earnings, the average amount earned in 2015 was $58,944, according to the Census Bureau. This is how men's average earnings compare by educational attainment...

$30,230 for those who did not graduate from high school
$41,942 for those with a high school diploma only
$46,154 for those with some college/associate's degree
$79,927 for those with a bachelor's degree
$113,279 for those with an advanced degree

Source: Census Bureau, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2016

Friday, March 31, 2017

Median Household Income Rises in February 2017

Median household income in February 2017 stood at $58,714, according to Sentier Research, about 1 percent higher than the January 2017 median after adjusting for inflation. While this is good news, the rise only boosts median household income back to where it was a year earlier in February 2016. 

"The monthly pattern for median annual household income has been marked by some sharp increases and decreases over the past several years," reports Sentier. "More broadly, there has been a general upward trend in median household income since the post-recession low point reached in August 2011." The February 2017 median was 10.1. percent higher than the August 2011 median of $53,330, the low point. Sentier's household income figures are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in February 2017 was 2.7 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was 0.8 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The February 2017 median was just 0.3 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index in February 2017 was 99.7 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: February 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

SIPP Data Reveals New Details on Living Arrangements

The Census Bureau's 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation provides new details about the living arrangements of Americans. This is who Americans lived with in 2013 (note: categories are not mutually exclusive)...

Living arrangements
Live with a spouse: 39.2%
   Opposite-sex spouse: 39.0%
   Same-sex spouse: 0.2%
Live with parent/child: 37.4%
Live alone: 11.6%
Live with unmarried partner: 6.1%
   Opposite-sex partners: 5.7%
   Same-sex partner: 0.4%
Live with other nonrelative: 2.9%
Live with grandparent/grandchild: 0.9%
Live with sibling: 0.9%
Live with other relative: 0.9%

The SIPP survey also looked at changes in household composition. For the great majority of Americans (84 percent) household size and composition did not change over a year's time. Another 11 percent of the population experienced one change in household composition during a year's time—such as a birth or death or someone moving in or out of the household. Five percent of the population experienced two or more changes in household composition.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Home Equity Accounts for 32% of Net Worth

The median net worth of the average household was $80,039 in 2013, according to a recently released report from the Census Bureau's 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation.

The 2014 SIPP includes improvements to questions designed to measure net worth, with new, topic-specific questions about types of assets such as annuities, trusts, businesses owned as investments, and educational savings accounts. Without these changes, notes the report, median net worth may have been as low as $74,083. The revised survey also included a question about student loans.

Here is the composition of net worth for American households, excluding households in the top 1 percent of net worth because their asset ownership is unlike the average...

Composition of household net worth, 2013
Home equity: 32.2%
401(k) accounts: 16.3%
IRA and Keoghs: 10.5%
Stocks, mutual funds: 9.6%
Assets at financial institutions: 9.4%
Business or profession: 5.2%
Rental property: 4.4%
Other real estate: 3.9%
Motor vehicles: 3.3%
Annuities and trusts: 3.0%
Cash value life insurance: 2.8%
Other assets: 3.6%
Unsecured liabilities: –4.7%

The 55 percent majority of households have unsecured liabilities, which include credit card debt,  student loans, medical debt, etc. Overall, 42 percent of households have credit card debt, with a median of $3,000 owed. Twenty percent of households have student loans, and those that do owe a median of $18,000.

Source: Census Bureau, Improvements to Measuring Net Worth of Households: 2013

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Big-City Counties Continue to Grow Faster

The nation's most urban counties continue to grow faster than any other county type according to the Census Bureau's 2016 county population estimates. A Demo Memo analysis of 2010-to-2016 county population trends along the Rural-Urban Continuum documents ongoing metro growth (the bigger, the better) and continuing rural decline.

The Rural-Urban Continuum is the federal government's way of classifying counties by their degree of urbanity. The continuum is a scale ranging from 1 (the most urban counties, in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more) to 9 (the most rural counties, lacking any settlements of 2,500 or more people and not adjacent to a metropolitan area). If you sort the nation's 3,000-plus counties by their rank on the continuum, then measure population change between 2010 and 2016 for each rank, this is the result...


County population change 2010-2016 by Rural-Urban Continuum Rank

1. 6.0% for rank 1 counties, in metros with 1 million or more people
2. 4.6% for rank 2 counties, in metros of 250,000 to 1 million people
3. 3.0% for rank 3 counties, in metros with less than 250,000 people
4. 0.2% for rank 4 counties, nonmetro adjacent to metro with urban pop of 20,000+
5. 1.7% for rank 5 counties, nonmetro not adjacent to metro with urban pop of 20,000+
6. –1.0% for rank 6 counties, nonmetro adjacent to metro with urban pop of 2,500-19,999
7. –1.1% for rank 7 counties, nonmetro not adjacent to metro with urban pop of 2,500-19,999
8. –1.3% for rank 8 counties, nonmetro adjacent to metro with urban pop less than 2,500
9. –1.6% for rank 9 counties, nonmetro not adjacent to metro, urban pop less than 2,500

An examination of annual rates of population change by Rural-Urban Continuum shows population declines in every year between 2010 and 2016 for counties ranking 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the continuum. Counties with a rank of 1 on the continuum (the most urban) grew faster than any other county type in every year.  


Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Rural-Urban Continuum Codes and Census Bureau, County Population Totals Datasets: 2010–2016

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Deaths of Despair"—Economists Document Rising Mortality among Less-Educated Non-Hispanic Whites

Death rates are rising for middle-aged non-Hispanic Whites with a high school diploma or less education, report Princeton economists Ann Case and Angus Deaton in a stunning analysis of this troubled segment of the American population. The rise in mortality rates is due to what Case and Deaton call "deaths of despair"—deaths due to drug use, alcohol abuse, and suicide.

Among non-Hispanic Whites with no more than a high school diploma, mortality rates in 2015 were higher than in 1999. During those years, mortality rates fell for other segments of the population—better educated non-Hispanic Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. The mortality rates of non-Hispanic Whites with a high school diploma or less education were 30 percent lower than the mortality rates of Blacks in 1999. By 2015, they were 30 percent higher.

Case and Deaton see globalization and automation as the possible deep underlying causes of what they call the collapse of the white working class. The long-run stagnation of the wages of this group has led to a decline in marriage, greater social isolation, withdrawal from the labor force, a sense of hopelessness, and more deaths of despair.

Source: Brookings Institution, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century

Friday, March 24, 2017

Half of Same-Sex Households Are Married Couples

Among the nation's 858,896 same-sex households, nearly half (49.5 percent) are married couples, according to the 2015 American Community Survey. This figure is substantially higher than the 43 percent of 2014. There is little difference between men and women in the married share of same-sex couple households...

Male-male households
Spouses: 201,779
Partners: 210,222
Percent married: 49.0%

Female-female households
Spouses: 223,578
Partners: 223,317
Percent married: 50.0%

Source: Census Bureau, American Community Survey Data on Same Sex Couples

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Many Births Are Unplanned

Unplanned births are common, according to the Urban Institute. Fully 36 percent of respondents to the Urban Institute's nationally representative survey of women aged 18 to 44 reported experiencing an unplanned birth. Among women who had given birth, the 62 percent majority said they had experienced at least one unplanned birth.

How do women feel about these unplanned births? Among all women aged 18 to 44, the majority thought an unplanned birth would have a negative effect on four key aspects of a woman's life—education (66 percent negative), job (58 percent), income (63 percent), and mental health (59 percent). But among women who had actually experienced an unplanned birth, a smaller share reported negative effects in those four areas: education (36 percent negative), job (31.5 percent), income (47 percent), and mental health (40 percent).

"When considering the effects of an unplanned birth on women's lives in general, respondents who had experienced an unplanned birth were less likely than those who had not to perceive mostly negative effects," reports the Urban Institute. Still, a substantial share of women reported negative consequences. "For women who experience an unplanned birth, access to targeted services and supports could reduce the negative impact of an unplanned birth on a woman's life," concludes the report.

Source: Urban Institute, Prevalence and Perceptions of Unplanned Births

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Much Have Workers Saved?

Most American workers are saving for retirement. Overall, 61 percent of workers aged 25 or older say they or their spouse have saved money for retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey. In every age group, most say they have saved for retirement, with the figure ranging from a low of 52 percent among workers aged 25 to 34 to a high of 70 percent among workers aged 55 or older.

But many workers have not saved much. Most aged 25 to 34 have less than $10,000 in savings and investments, not counting home equity or defined-benefit pensions. At the other extreme, the majority of workers aged 55 or older have saved at least $100,000, and 35 percent have saved $250,000 or more.

Less than $10,000 in savings
Aged 25 to 34: 58%
Aged 35 to 44: 31%
Aged 45 to 54: 33%
Aged 55-plus: 28%

$10,000 to $100,000 in savings
Aged 25 to 34: 29%
Aged 35 to 44: 35%
Aged 45 to 54: 26%
Aged 55-plus: 17%

$100,000 or more in savings
Aged 25 to 34: 13%
Aged 35 to 44: 34%
Aged 45 to 54: 42%
Aged 55-plus: 53%

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Can Google Street View Determine Local Demographics?

Can Google Street View combined with deep learning-based computer vision provide accurate and up-to-date demographic profiles of local areas? The answer is yes, according to an astonishing study appearing in arXiv, an online repository of scientific papers.

Using 50 million Google Street View images of cars in 200 American cities, the study's researchers determined, with the help of a "machine vision framework based on deep learning," the make, model, and year of each car (2,657 categories). They then used that information to "accurately estimate income, race, education, and voting patterns, with single-precinct resolution." The average precinct has a population of only about 1,000, say the researchers. Here are some of their findings, in their own words...

  • "We successfully detected 22 million distinct vehicles, comprising 32% of all the vehicles in the 200 cities we studied, and 8% of all vehicles in the United States."
  • "Our model detects strong associations between vehicle distribution and disparate socioeconomic trends."
  • "The vehicular feature that was most strongly associated with Democratic precincts was sedans, whereas Republican precincts were most strongly associated with extended-cab pickup trucks."
  • "Our estimates accurately determined that Seattle, Washington is 69% Caucasian."
  • "We estimated educational background in Milwaukee, Wisconsin zip codes, accurately determining the fraction of the population with less than a high school degree."

The researchers ask whether this type of analysis eventually could replace costly and time-consuming door-to-door efforts such as the American Community Survey. "As digital imagery becomes ubiquitous and machine vision techniques improve, automated data analysis may provide a cheaper and faster alternative," they suggest.

Source: arXiv, Using Deep Learning and Google Street View to Estimate the Demographic Makeup of the US

Monday, March 20, 2017

Younger Adults Have More Smartphones

Households headed by people under age 25 own more than two smartphones on average, or 0.83 smartphones per household member. This is a greater concentration of smartphones than in any other age group, according to the Energy Information Administration's 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey. Not far behind are households headed by 25-to-34-year-olds, with 0.80 smartphones per household member. Smartphone ownership is lowest among householders aged 75 or older, just 0.30 per household member.

The Residential Energy Consumption Survey examines household ownership of a variety of electronic devices including televisions and computers.

Smartphones per household member (and per household) by age, 2015
Under age 25:  0.83 (2.4)
Aged 25 to 34: 0.80 (2.3)
Aged 35 to 44: 0.69 (2.4)
Aged 45 to 54: 0.75 (2.1)
Aged 55 to 64: 0.64 (1.4)
Aged 65 to 74: 0.52 (1.0)
Aged 75-plus:  0.30 (0.5)

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Average Number of Televisions in U.S. Homes Declining

Friday, March 17, 2017

Many Americans Have Past-Due Medical Debt

Among adults under age 65, a substantial 24 percent had past-due medical debt in 2015, according to a study by the Urban Institute. The figure varies by state, ranging from a low of 5.9 percent in Hawaii to a high of 37.4 percent in Mississippi. Among the 10 states with the highest rates of past-due medical debt, 8 are in the South...

States with largest percentage of 18-to-64-year-olds with past-due medical debt
Mississippi: 37.4%
Arkansas: 36.3%
West Virginia: 33.0%
Indiana: 32.5%
South Carolina: 32.4%
Kentucky: 30.9%
Missouri: 30.6%
Oklahoma: 30.0%
Alabama: 30.0%
Georgia: 29.2%

Hawaii is the only state in which the percentage of people aged 18 to 64 with past-due medical debt is below 10 percent. Minnesota has the second-lowest rate (13.3%), followed by California (16.0%), Massachusetts (16.1%), and Connecticut (16.3%).

Source: Urban Institute, Past-Due Medical Debt among Nonelderly Adults, 2012-15

Thursday, March 16, 2017

34% of Households Experience Income Volatility

More than one-third of American households experience income volatility in a year's time, according to Pew Charitable Trusts' 2015 Survey of American Family Finances. Pew defines volatility as a year-over-year change in annual household income of at least 25 percent. Here are the percentages who experienced volatility by generation...

Households with at least a 25% change in income, 2014-15 (and % gaining or losing)
Millennials: 43% (26% gain; 17% loss)
Gen Xers: 31% (18% gain; 13% loss)
Boomers: 31% (15% gain; 16% loss)
Silent: 31% (15% gain; 16% loss)

Income volatility is a hardship says Pew, and survey findings bear this out. The 34 percent of households experiencing income volatility between 2014 and 2015 were more likely than those with stable incomes to have experienced financial shortfalls in the past year. They were less likely to have savings or the ability to come up with $2,000 to pay for unexpected expenses. Households with a financial loss of 25 percent or more had median savings of just $1,550. Those with a financial gain of 25 percent or more had savings of $3,000. Those with stable incomes had median savings of $5,500.

The most commonly cited reason for income volatility is an irregular work schedule, says Pew.

Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts, How Income Volatility Interacts with American Families' Financial Security

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Younger Adults Have More Laptop Computers

Households headed by people under age 35 have an average of 1.5 laptops per household—one for every two household members. This is a greater concentration of laptops than in any other age group, according to the Energy Information Administration's 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The RECS examines household ownership of a variety of electronic devices including televisions, computers, and smartphones.

Laptop computers per household member (and per household) by age, 2015
Under age 25:  0.52 (1.5)
Aged 25 to 34: 0.51 (1.5)
Aged 35 to 44: 0.40 (1.4)
Aged 45 to 54: 0.49 (1.4)
Aged 55 to 64: 0.48 (1.0)
Aged 65 to 74: 0.42 (0.8)
Aged 75-plus:  0.29 (0.5)

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Average Number of Televisions in U.S. Homes Declining

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Many Households Unaware of Retirement Risk

Many Americans are not prepared for retirement. Some know it, but many don't. Conversely, among households that are adequately prepared for retirement, substantial numbers think they are at risk. A recent study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) measured the size of each of these groups in an attempt to determine the accuracy with which households assess their retirement readiness.

The CRR study analyzed data from the National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI), which is based on the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances. The NRRI defines households at risk as those whose retirement income will not be enough to replace a targeted percentage of pre-retirement earnings. The Survey of Consumer Finances also asks households how well prepared they think they are for retirement. Comparing those two measures—retirement readiness and perception of retirement readiness, the CRR study found the following...

52% of households are at risk
33% of households are at risk and they know it
19% of households are at risk and they don't know it

48% of households are not at risk
24% of households are well prepared for retirement and they know it
24% of households are well prepared for retirement and they don't know it

The 19 percent of households that are unaware of their retirement risk tend to be those with defined-contribution retirement plans and high incomes. The 24 percent that are well-prepared but think they are at risk tend to be homeowners with defined-benefit pension plans.

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Do Households Have a Good Sense of their Retirement Preparedness?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Average Number of Televisions Is Declining

The number of televisions in the average American home is declining, according to newly released data from the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). In 2015, there were an average of 2.3 televisions per household, down from 2.6 in 2009. Fewer households have three or more TVs (39 percent, down from 44 percent in 2009), and more households have no TVs (2.6 percent, up from 1.3 percent in 2009).

The number of televisions per household member rises with age. Households headed by people aged 75 or older have twice as many televisions per household member (1.47) as the youngest householders (0.72).

Televisions per household member (and per household) by age, 2015
Under age 25:  0.72 (2.07)
Aged 25 to 34: 0.81 (2.36)
Aged 35 to 44: 0.83 (2.89)
Aged 45 to 54: 1.08 (3.06)
Aged 55 to 64: 1.27 (2.77)
Aged 65 to 74: 1.34 (2.55)
Aged 75-plus:  1.47 (2.40)

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Average Number of Televisions in U.S. Homes Declining

Friday, March 10, 2017

Median Household Income Stable in January 2017

Median household income in January 2017 stood at $58,056, according to Sentier Research, not significantly different from the December 2016 median after adjusting for inflation. 

The 2015 rise in median household income appears to have stalled out in 2016. "With the exception of some minor ups and downs," reports Sentier, "median annual household income has essentially been flat since the fall of 2015." Nevertheless, the January 2017 median was 9.0 percent higher than the $53,265 median of August 2011—the low point in Sentier's household income series. 

"Although median annual household income did not decline significantly between December and January, it is down by $691 (or 1.2 percent) since November 2016," says Sentier's Gordon Green. "We continue to monitor the course of inflation, as this has a significant effect on the trend in real median annual household income." Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in January 2017 was 1.7 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was not significantly different from the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The January 2017 median was 1.3 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index in January 2017 was 98.7 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: January 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Drug Overdose Deaths by State, 2015

Drug overdose deaths are surging. The age-adjusted death rate nearly tripled between 1999 and 2015, rising from 6.1 to 16.3 deaths per 100,000 population. By race and Hispanic origin, non-Hispanic Whites have by far the highest drug overdose death rate—21.1 deaths per 100,000 population for non-Hispanic Whites versus 12.2 for Blacks and 7.7 for Hispanics. By age, the biggest increase in drug overdose deaths occurred among people aged 55 to 64, the rate rising five-fold from 4.2 to 21.8 deaths per 100,000 population between 1999 and 2015.

The age-adjusted drug overdose death rate is much higher in some states than in others. Here are the states with the highest and lowest death rates in 2015...

States with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population
West Virginia: 41.5
New Hampshire: 34.3
Kentucky: 29.9
Ohio: 29.9
Rhode Island: 28.2

States with the lowest rate of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population
Iowa: 10.3
Texas: 9.4
North Dakota: 8.6
South Dakota: 8.4
Nebraska: 6.9

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2015