Thursday, May 06, 2021

70% Have Received at least One Dose of Vaccine

Nearly three-quarters of American adults have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. The latest survey was fielded April 14-26. The 70 percent who reported having had the vaccine as of the last two weeks of April is up substantially from the 47 percent who reported having been vaccinated one month earlier. 

The biggest increase in the vaccination rate between March and April was among young adults. The percentage of 18-to-24-year-olds who have received at least one dose of the vaccine jumped from just 19 percent at the end of March to the 53 percent majority by the end of April.

Percent who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine as of April 14-26
Total 18-plus: 70%
Aged 18 to 24: 53%
Aged 25 to 39: 57%
Aged 40 to 54: 66%
Aged 55 to 64: 78%
Aged 65-plus: 88%

There is continuing erosion in the number who say they probably/definitely will not get the vaccine. During this round of the survey, 29 million said no—down from 39 million in the last half of March. Some of the decline in naysaying is due to the fact that the Census Bureau added a new category of response in this iteration of the survey: "Unsure about getting a vaccine." Fully 17 million say they are unsure. 

Overall, 18 million adults (7 percent of the population) say they "definitely will not" get the vaccine, numbers that barely changed between March and April. Non-Hispanic whites are most likely to say they definitely will not get the vaccine (7.5 percent), followed by Blacks (6.8 percent), Hispanics (5.1 percent) and Asians (3.0 percent).

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Births in 2020: The Covid Baby Bust Begins

The number of births in the United States fell to 3,605,201 in 2020, the smallest number since 1979 and 143,000 fewer than in 2019. Behind the large drop in births is the ongoing fertility decline among American women as well as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Births peaked in the U.S. in 2007, when 4.3 million babies were born. The 2020 figure is 16 percent below that peak and 4 percent below the 2019 number. The birth decline intensified as 2020 progressed, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. In the first six months of the year, monthly births were about 2 percent below the 2019 numbers. By December 2020, they were 8 percent below what they had been a year earlier.  

Number of births for selected years (in 000s)
2020: 3,605
2019: 3,748
2018: 3,792
2017: 3,856
2016: 3,946
2015: 3,978 
2007: 4,316 (record high)

The number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 (the general fertility rate) fell to 55.8 in 2020. This was 4 percent lower than in 2019 and a new record low. 

The fertility decline is occurring in most age groups, with birth rates for women aged 15 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 29 hitting new record lows in 2020. The fertility rate of 20-to-24-year-olds has fallen by a stunning 40 percent since 2007. 

The total fertility rate—the number of births a woman can expect in her lifetime given current age-specific fertility rates—fell to a record low of 1.637.5 in 2020. This is well below the 2.1 replacement level. "The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and has consistently been below replacement since 2007," NCHS reports.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Provisional Data for 2020

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

College Enrollment Rate Dropped in 2020

The college enrollment rate dropped in 2020. Only 62.7 percent of young adults who graduated from high school in 2020 had enrolled in college by October of that year, down from 66.2 percent in 2019. The decline "reflects the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic," the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Black high school graduates were the only ones whose college enrollment rate increased in 2020. 

College enrollment rate, 2020 (and percentage point change 2019—20)
Total: 62.7% (-3.5)
Asians: 83.2% (-6.7)
Blacks: 56.6% (+5.9)
Hispanics: 56.2% (-7.2)
Whites: 62.9% (-4.0)

Note: The college enrollment rate is defined as the percentage of 2020 high school graduates aged 16 to 24 who had enrolled in college by October of that year. The white race category includes Hispanics who identify themselves as white, which most do. 

Monday, May 03, 2021

Huge Voter Turnout in 2020

We knew voter turnout was big in 2020. What we didn't know until now was which demographic segments were responsible for the big turnout. And the answer is—all of them. 

The answer comes from the Voting and Registration Supplement to the Current Population Survey which, according to the Census Bureau, "is the most comprehensive data source available on the social and demographic composition of the electorate in federal elections." The bureau fields the supplement after each mid-term and presidential election to track the demographics of voters. The 2020 supplement was fielded November 15-24, shortly after the presidential election. The supplement asked respondents if they had registered to vote in the November 3 election, whether they had voted, and if not why not.

Overall, 155 million American citizens aged 18 or older reported voting in the November 2020 election—66.8 percent of the electorate. This is the highest voting rate since 1992 (Bill Clinton versus George H.W. Bush), when 67.7 percent voted. 

Voter participation increased in every race and Hispanic origin group in 2020, with record levels of voting by Asians, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites. Although Black voter participation was higher in 2020 than in most other election years, it did not set a record. The 62.6 percent Black voter participation rate in 2020 ranked third behind 2008 and 2012 when Barack Obama was running for president.

Percent of citizens aged 18-plus who voted in November 2020 by race and Hispanic origin
Total citizens 18-plus: 66.8%
Asians: 59.7% (record high)
Blacks: 62.6%
Hispanics: 53.7% (record high)
Non-Hispanic whites: 70.9% (record high)

Voter participation also climbed to a record high in every age group in 2020. Among adults aged 18 to 24, voter participation exceeded 50 percent for the first time. 

Percent of citizens aged 18-plus who voted in November 2020 by age group
Total citizens 18-plus: 66.8%
Aged 18 to 24: 51.4% (record high)
Aged 25 to 44: 62.6% (record high)
Aged 45 to 64: 71.0% (record high)
Aged 65-plus: 74.5% (record high)

Overall, 71 percent of voters in the 2020 election were non-Hispanic whites. Sixty percent were aged 45 or older. But the share of all voters who were non-Hispanic whites aged 45 or older fell to 45 percent in 2020, down from 48 percent in 2016.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

One-Third of the Ever-Married Have Divorced

Divorce may not yet be the norm in the United States, but it is a common experience—especially for the Baby-Boom generation. Overall, one-third of ever-married adults aged 20 or older have experienced divorce, according to a recent Census Bureau analysis of 2014 data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The figure exceeds 40 percent among Americans aged 45 to 64—just about the age range of Boomers (50 to 68) in that year. 

Percent of ever-married adults aged 20-plus who have ever divorced, 2014
      women  men
Total, 20-plus       33.7%   33.0%
Aged 20 to 24        7.1    6.2
Aged 25 to 29      13.4  10.1
Aged 30 to 34      22.3  15.9
Aged 35 to 44      30.8  27.4
Aged 45 to 54      41.6  40.1
Aged 55 to 64      42.6  42.5
Aged 65 to 74      38.5  38.6
Aged 75-plus      24.0  24.4

The marital instability of the Baby-Boom generation has long been recognized. The higher prevalence of divorce among Boomers is due to events occurring as Boomers came of age—the Vietnam War and the changing roles of women. The war sent Boomer men scurrying onto college campuses to avoid the draft or into the jungles of Vietnam to fight the war. At the same time, Boomer women began to enroll in college and enter the labor force at much higher rates than earlier generations of women. These changes in the life course of young adults strained Boomer marriages and resulted in higher levels of divorce. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 1st Quarter 2021

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, first quarter 2021: 48.2%

Homeownership rates in the first quarter of 2021 continue to fall from the stratospheric heights reached in 2020—when the coronavirus pandemic greatly reduced the response rate to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) and consequently distorted homeownership trends. The ongoing downward shift means that householders aged 30 to 34 are still falling short of the honorary First-Time Homebuyer title.   

The overall homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2021 was 65.6 percent, not significantly different from the 65.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. The homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds (the age group in which householders typically buy their first home) fell by a full percentage point between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Except for the 50.1 percent blip in the third quarter of 2020, the homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds has been below 50 percent in every quarter since the second quarter of 2011—the aftermath of the Great Recession. Until 2011, the age group's homeownership rate had never been below 50 percent in the data series that goes back to 1982. 

Yes, it may be a seller's market in the housing industry right now, but the demand for housing is not translating into noticeably higher homeownership rates in any age group. The seller's market is a consequence of the pandemic-related shortage of houses for sale.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Few Surprises in the First 2020 Census Results

April 1, 2020, was undoubtedly one of the worst times to conduct a decennial census. Just a few weeks before Census Day, on March 13, the United States had declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses were closed down. States were in lockdown. Students fled college campuses and returned to their hometowns. It was a mess. That's why we've waited so long for 2020 census numbers—the Census Bureau has been busy ensuring that the "2020 census results meet our high quality standards." Yesterday, the first results were released—population counts for the nation as a whole and the 50 states. 

The 2020 census counts differ from the Census Bureau's 2020 population estimates in some surprising ways... 

  • Population growth was greater than estimated. The Census Bureau had estimated a 2020 population of 329 million—6.7 percent more U.S. residents than in 2010. This would have made the 2010s the slowest decade of growth in U.S. history. Instead, the 2020 Census counted 331,440,281 U.S. residents as of April 1, 2020. This is nearly 2 million more than estimated, resulting in a growth rate of 7.4 percent for the decade. Consequently, the 2010s was not the slowest decade of growth in U.S. history but the second slowest. The 1930s retains its position as the decade of slowest growth, when the population grew by 7.3 percent.
  • Some of the fastest-growing states did not grow quite as fast as estimated. Arizona, for example, was estimated to have grown by 16 percent over the decade, but the 2020 census reveals the state's growth to have been a smaller 12 percent, with 270,000 fewer people living in the state in 2020 than had been estimated. Similarly, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas came up short as well. While these states grew faster than most others, they did not grow quite as fast as estimated.
  • Some of the slowest-growing states gained more people than estimated. The population of New Jersey, for example, was estimated to have grown by 1 percent between 2010 and 2020. But the 2020 census shows that New Jersey's population grew by a much larger 5.7 percent—407,700 more people than had been estimated. Similarly, rather than declining by 0.2 percent over the decade, New York State's population grew by 4.2 percent—an additional 864,000 people. The pattern is the same for Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. 
  • Only three states lost population during the decade rather than the five estimated. The losing states were Illinois (-0.1 percent), Mississippi (-0.2 percent), and West Virginia (-3.2 percent). Connecticut and New York had been estimated to lose population but instead made gains. 
Source: Census Bureau, 2020 Census Apportionment Results

Monday, April 26, 2021

Educational Attainment in 2020

It used to be that men were much more likely than women to have a bachelor's degree. You can see this history in the educational attainment of men and women aged 70 or older today. There is a hefty 10 percentage-point gap in bachelor's degree attainment between older men and women. Over the decades, women not only caught up to men in the pursuit of a college degree but surpassed them. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, women are 9 percentage points more likely than men to have a bachelor's degree—almost as big a gap as among those aged 70 or older, but in the opposite direction. 

Percent of people aged 25 or older with a bachelor's degree or more education by age and sex, and percentage point difference between women and men, 2020

      total     men    women    difference 
Aged 25-plus      37.5%    36.7%     38.3%       1.7
Aged 25 to 29      39.2    34.7     43.8       9.0
Aged 30 to 34      43.0    38.7     47.4       8.7
Aged 35 to 39      43.4    40.2     46.6       6.4
Aged 40 to 44      40.9    37.5     44.2       6.7
Aged 45 to 49      41.1    38.5     43.5       5.0
Aged 50 to 54      38.6    36.9     40.2       3.3
Aged 55 to 59      33.6    33.3     33.9       0.6
Aged 60 to 64      32.6    32.5     32.7       0.3
Aged 65 to 69      35.3    37.0     33.8      -3.1
Aged 70 to 74       34.5    39.9     29.7    -10.2
Aged 75-plus      29.6    35.3     25.3    -10.0

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Family Unemployment Doubled between 2019 and 2020

Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues a report on the employment characteristics of families. The most recent report, with annual averages for 2020, compares family employment during the coronavirus pandemic with the 2019 numbers. The data come from the Current Population Survey, which defines families as two or more people who live together and are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. 

The share of families with at least one unemployed member doubled between 2019 and 2020—rising from 4.9 to 9.8 percent—as the pandemic upended the job market. Hispanic families were most likely to have a family member unemployed in 2020 (14.3 percent), while white families were least likely (9.0 percent)...

Families with at least one family member unemployed in 2020 (and 2019)
Total families: 9.8% (4.9%)
Asian families: 10.9% (4.0%)
Black families: 13.4% (8.0%)
Hispanic families: 14.3% (6.6%)
White families: 9.0% (4.5%)

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has long refused to distinguish non-Hispanic whites from the total white population in its data releases. Consequently, the white statistics shown here also include Hispanics who identify their race as white, which most do. It is likely that unemployment in families headed by non-Hispanic whites is even lower than the white data presented above. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Characteristics of Families—2020

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

States with the Oldest and Youngest Housing Stock

The age of the housing stock varies dramatically across the country. States with an older housing stock are those that have been densely settled for generations. States with a younger housing stock are the ones that have experienced recent rapid growth. 

In the United States as a whole, 12.3 percent of housing units were built in 1939 or earlier (80-plus years ago), according to the Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey. But in some states, the figure is more than twice as high...

The five states with the largest percentage of housing units built in 1939 or earlier
1. District of Columbia: 32.8%
2. Massachusetts: 31.6%
3. New York: 31.1%
4. Rhode Island: 30.3%
5. Pennsylvania: 25.9%

At the other extreme, only 4.6 percent of housing units in the U.S. were built recently—within the past five years. But the figure is nearly double that in a few states...

The five states with the largest percentage of housing units built in 2014 or later
1. North Dakota: 9.0%
2. Texas: 9.0%
3. Utah: 8.9%
4. Idaho: 8.0%
5. South Carolina: 7.7%

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

3.8 Million Americans Were Victims of Stalking in 2016

A new report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) presents the latest data on victims of stalking. The report is as chilling as a Stephen King novel. 

The stalking data were collected by the 2016 Supplemental Victimization Survey of the National Crime Victimization Survey. The BJS defines stalking as "repeated unwanted contacts or behaviors that either cause the victim to experience fear or substantial emotional distress or that would cause a reasonable person to experience fear or substantial emotional distress."

In the past 12 months, 3,788,800 U.S. residents aged 16 or older reported being stalked. That's 1.5 percent of the population who experienced either traditional stalking, technology stalking, or both. The BJS defines traditional stalking as "sneaking into, waiting at, or showing up at a place; leaving or sending unwanted items; or harassing friends or family about the victim's whereabouts." Technology stalking is defined as "making unwanted phone calls, leaving voice mail messages, or sending text messages; spying using technology; tracking the victim's whereabouts with an electronic tracking device or application; posting or threatening to post unwanted information on the internet; sending emails or messages using the internet; or monitoring activities using social media." 

Got goosebumps? 

Nearly half of stalking victims are stalked in both ways—traditionally and with technology. Among the 2.5 million who were stalked traditionally, 59 percent said the offender followed them and watched them—the single most common traditional stalking behavior. Among the 3.1 million who were stalked with technology, the most common stalking behavior was excessive calling (phone calls/voice messages/text messages), reported by 67 percent.

Women (2.0 percent) are twice as likely as men (0.9 percent) to be victims of stalking. Young adults aged 20 to 24 are more likely to be victims (2.3 percent) than those in any other age group. The divorced (2.8 percent) or separated (3.7 percent) are much more likely to be stalked than the married (0.8 percent). 

Who is doing all this stalking? Ex-partners make up the single largest offender group (21 percent). But offenders can be acquaintances or relatives of a spouse or ex-spouse (10 percent), professional acquaintances (8 percent), roommates or neighbors (7 percent), and even strangers (17 percent). 

Sixty-two percent of victims report that the stalking has stopped, with 51 percent saying they took measures to stop it. These measures included blocking their phone number or getting a new phone/computer (23 percent), moving (8 percent), or getting a restraining order (5 percent). Police intervention did the trick for 7 percent of victims. Another 5 percent said the behavior stopped because the offender was arrested/incarcerated. Not all victims of stalking are this lucky, however. For a substantial 28 percent, the stalking is ongoing. 

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Stalking Victimization, 2016

Monday, April 19, 2021

60% of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal for Medical and Recreational Uses

The legalization of marijuana is supported by the great majority of Americans. Fully 92 percent of adults say marijuana should be legal at least for medical purposes and 60 percent say it should be legal for medical and recreational uses, according to a Pew Research Center survey. 

The percentage who favor the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes is highest among younger adults, reports Pew. But even among people aged 65 to 74, the 53 percent majority favor legalization not just for medical purposes but also for recreational use...

Marijuana should be legal for medical AND recreational uses
Total 18-plus: 60%
Aged 18 to 29: 70%
Aged 30 to 49: 65%
Aged 50 to 64: 59%
Aged 65 to 74: 53%
Aged 75-plus: 32%

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rural Resistance to the Covid Vaccine

Americans who live in rural areas are more resistant to getting the Covid-19 vaccine than urban or suburban residents, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey fielded March 15-29, 2021. While 10 percent of urban residents and 13 percent of suburban residents say they will "definitely not" get the vaccine, the figure is a much higher 21 percent among adults who live in rural areas. 

The Kaiser survey explored vaccine resistance in rural America by the characteristics of residents. Here are some of the findings...

Percent of rural residents who say they will "definitely not" get the Covid-19 vaccine
All rural residents: 21%

Aged 65-plus: 10%
Aged 50-64:19%
Aged 18-49: 28%

Blacks: 10%
Hispanics: 18%
Non-Hispanic whites: 22%

College degree: 13%
No college degree: 23%

Democrats: 4%
Republicans: 32%

White evangelicals: 31%

Among rural residents who say they will "definitely not" get the Covid-19 vaccine, 83 percent are non-Hispanic whites, 73 percent are Republicans, and 41 percent are white evangelicals.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor—Rural America 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Black Homeownership in 2020 Is below 2000 Level

The overall homeownership rate was lower in 2020 than in 2000, according to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey. But a look at homeownership rates by race and Hispanic origin reveals that Blacks lost ground between 2000 and 2020 while Asians, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites made gains... 

Homeownership rate by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2000 and 2020
    2020     2000   change
Total households     66.6%      67.4%    -0.8
Asians     60.3      52.8     7.5
Blacks     45.3      47.2    -1.9
Hispanics     50.1      46.3     3.8
Non-Hispanic whites     75.0      73.8     1.2

Black homeownership peaked during the housing bubble at 49.1 percent in 2004. The rate fell to a post-Great Recession low of 41.6 percent in 2016—a 7.5 percentage point loss in the aftermath of the Great Recession and much greater than the Great Recession losses experienced by Asians (-4.4), Hispanics (-2.1), or non-Hispanic whites (-4.1). 

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey