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 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 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