Monday, July 13, 2020

Americans Are Increasingly Skeptical of the Police

Americans are increasingly skeptical of the police, according to a Pew Research Center Survey. A growing majority thinks police performance around the country is below par on measures such as using the right amount of force, treating racial and ethnic groups equally, and being accountable for misconduct.

Only 35 percent of the public thinks police do a good/excellent job of using the right amount of force. Fully 64 percent think police performance by this measure is only fair or poor. In 2016, Americans were more evenly split on this question, with a larger 45 percent rating police use of force good/excellent and a smaller 54 percent saying it was only fair/poor.

Similarly, when it comes to treating race and ethnic groups equally, only 34 percent think the police are doing a good/excellent job, far below the 47 percent who felt this way in 2016. When asked what kind of job police are doing holding themselves accountable for misconduct, only 31 percent say good/excellent, well below the 44 percent of 2016.

Regardless of race or Hispanic origin, most Americans agree that police performance is below par on these three measures. Blacks are especially likely to think so, and the majority of non-Hispanic whites agree.

Police are doing only fair/poor job of using the right amount of force
87% of Blacks
70% of Hispanics
57% of non-Hispanic whites

Police are doing only fair/poor job of treating racial/ethnic groups equally
90% of Blacks
73% of Hispanics
57% of non-Hispanic whites

Police are doing only fair/poor job of holding themselves accountable for misconduct
86% of Blacks
65% of Hispanics
65% of non-Hispanic whites

Source: Pew Research Center, Majority of Public Favors Giving Civilians the Power to Sue Police Officers for Misconduct

Thursday, July 09, 2020

35% Listen to Background Music Most of the Time

Do you listen to background music while doing other things such as driving, puttering around the house, exercising, and so on? More than one in three Americans aged 18 or older (35 percent) report playing background music more than half the time while they do everyday activities, according to an AARP survey. Another 34 percent listen to background music sometimes (25 to 50 percent of the time), and 28 percent do so rarely (up to 25 percent of the time). Just 4 percent say they never have music on in the background.

Younger adults are most likely to listen to background music while doing everyday activities. Here are the percentages by generation...

Listen to background music more than 50% of the time while doing everyday activities
42% of Gen Z
41% of Millennials
34% of Gen X
30% of Boomers
24% of Older Americans

Source: AARP, 2020 AARP Music and Brain Health Survey

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers' Retirement Outlook

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) has been surveying the nation's workers about their retirement plans for two decades. TCRS fielded its 20th annual survey late in 2019. Then coronavirus happened, threatening to make the 2019 results irrelevant. So, TCRS rolled up its sleeves and went back into the field in April 2020 to measure the effects of the pandemic on retirement planning.

Many workers are worried, according to the April findings. Overall, 23 percent say the pandemic has made them less confident in their ability to retire comfortably. Boomer workers are most likely to say they have lost confidence...

Percent with less confidence in ability to retire comfortably because of the pandemic
Millennials: 20%
Gen Xers: 25%
Boomers: 32%

The 58 percent majority of all workers say their job has been impacted by the pandemic, with the largest share saying their hours have been reduced. A substantial 22 percent plan to or already have dipped into a retirement account because of the pandemic—33 percent of Millennials, 15 percent of Gen Xers, and 10 percent of Boomers.

Even a small dip into retirement savings is likely to make a large dent. Although most workers are saving for retirement, they haven't accumulated much. The median amount workers have saved for retirement is only $23,000 for households headed by Millennials, $64,000 for Gen Xers, and $144,000 for Boomers.

Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Coronavirus Reshuffle

The nation's geographic mobility rate has been falling for years. That may be about to change because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than one in five adults (22 percent) say they moved or they know someone who moved because of the coronavirus, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Overall, 3 percent moved, 6 percent had someone move into their household, and 14 percent neither moved nor had someone move in but they know someone else who moved. Young adults are most likely to have moved...

Percent who moved for reasons related to the coronavirus outbreak
Aged 18 to 29: 9%
Aged 30 to 45: 3%
Aged 45 to 64: 2%
Aged 65-plus: 1%

Among those who moved, 61 percent moved in with family, 7 percent moved in with a friend, and 13 percent moved to a second home.

Source: Pew Research Center, About a Fifth of U.S. Adults Moved Due to Covid-19 or Know Someone Who Did

Monday, July 06, 2020

Business Outlook Is More Pessimistic

Every week since the end of April, the Census Bureau has been asking the nation's small businesses about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their operations and outlook for the future. The most recent results, collected during the last full week of June, are the most pessimistic yet.

As of June 21-27, the 54 percent majority of small businesses believed it would be more than 6 months before their business operations returned to normal, up from 38 percent who felt this way in Week 1 of the survey. The 54 percent figure includes the 10 percent of businesses that say their operations will never return to normal.

Percentage of small businesses saying it will be more than 6 months before their business operations return to normal...

38% in Week 1 (April 26-May 2)
39% in Week 2 (May 3-9)
42% in Week 3 (May 10-16)
52% in Week 4 (May 17-23)
51% in Week 5 (May 24-30)
51% in Week 6 (May 31-June 6)
47% in Week 7 (June 7-13)
50% in Week 8 (June 14-20)
54% in Week 9 (June 21-27)

Source: Census Bureau, Small Business Pulse Survey

Thursday, July 02, 2020

1.1 Million Fewer Children in the United States

The number of children in the United States fell by 1.5 percent between 2010 and 2019, according to the Census Bureau's population estimates, a decline of 1.1 million. Non-Hispanic whites were the only race and Hispanic origin group to experience a decline, however, with 7.8 percent fewer non-Hispanic white children in 2019 than in 2010. Among Blacks, the population under age 18 grew by just 0.9 percent during those years.

Percent change in population under age 18 by race and Hispanic origin, 2010–19

percent change 
Asians   15.7%
Blacks     0.9%
Hispanics     8.8%
Non-Hispanic whites    -7.8%

The non-Hispanic white share of the nation's children fell from 54 to 50 percent between 2010 and 2019.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2019 Population Estimates

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Younger Adults Are Watching Less TV

The decline in television viewing among younger Americans continues, according to the 2019 American Time Use Survey. People under age 55 are spending less time watching TV, while those aged 55 or older are watching more.

Overall, Americans aged 15 or older spent 2.81 hours watching television on an average day in 2019, almost identical to the 2.82 hours they spent watching TV on an average day in 2009. The overall average has barely changed because of diverging trends by age.

Time spent watching TV as a primary activity, 2019 (and percent change since 2009)
Aged 15 to 19: 2.03 hours (-12.5%)
Aged 20 to 24: 2.22 hours (  -9.4%)
Aged 25 to 34: 1.99 hours (-16.4%)
Aged 35 to 44: 2.03 hours (-14.0%)
Aged 45 to 54: 2.44 hours (  -8.6%)
Aged 55 to 64: 3.24 hours (   0.6%)
Aged 65 plus: 4.59 hours  (  13.3%)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Demo Memo analysis of unpublished tables from the American Time Use Survey

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Generations by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2019

The non-Hispanic white share of the population ranges from a low of just under 50 percent in the Recession generation (defined as children under age 10) to a high of 78 percent among the oldest Americans—those aged 74 or older, born before 1946.

Generation X most closely mirrors the race and Hispanic origin composition of the population as a whole. Generations younger than Gen X are more diverse than the national average, while those older than Gen X are less diverse.

Although Hispanics outnumber Blacks in the population as a whole, Blacks outnumber Hispanics among Boomers and Older Americans. The Asian share of the population is highest in the Millennial generation at 8.4 percent.

Percent Distribution of the Population by Generation, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 2019

Total population100.0% 7.0%14.7%18.5%    60.1%
Recession generation (0-9)100.0 7.418.326.0    49.6
Generation Z (10-24)100.0 7.317.424.0    52.1
Millennials (25-42)100.0 8.415.720.7    55.5
Generation X (43-54)100.0 7.313.918.0    60.8
Boomers (55-73)100.0 5.411.710.8    71.6
Older Americans (74-plus)100.0 4.8  8.9  8.1    77.7

Note: Numbers may not add to 100 percent because Asians and Blacks are those who identify themselves as being of the race alone or in combination with other races, Hispanics may be of any race, and not all races are shown.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's National Population by Characteristics: 2010–2019

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Worst Is Still to Come

The worst is still to come. That's what most Americans think about the coronavirus pandemic. The 59 percent majority of the public says we haven't seen the worst of it yet, according to a Pew Research Center survey fielded on June 16-22. This is 14 percentage points below the 73 percent who felt this way in April. Among Democrats, 76 percent believe the worst is yet to come, down from 87 percent in April. Among Republicans, 38 percent think it will get worse—18 percentage points below the 56 percent who felt that way in April.

Americans may be in denial about the worsening coronavirus pandemic, but businesses are not. A growing share are pessimistic about the future, according to the Census Bureau's Small Business Pulse Survey. In April, only 38 percent of small businesses thought it would take more than 6 months for their operations to return to normal. Now, a larger 50 percent feel that way. In Texas—a coronavirus hot spot—the ranks of the pessimists expanded from 34 percent in April to 52 percent in June.

Source: Pew Research Center, Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns; and Census Bureau, Small Business Pulse Survey

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2019

The non-Hispanic white population declined for the third year in a row in 2019, according to the Census Bureau's population estimates. The number of non-Hispanic whites peaked in 2016, fell by 96,000 in 2017, 213,000 in 2018, and 225,000 in 2019. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 60 percent of the total U.S. population in 2019, down from 64 percent in 2010.

The number of non-Hispanic whites under age 30 declined by 1.7 million between 2016 and 2019, in part because of the ongoing baby bust. The number aged 65 or older climbed by 3.1 million during those years as Boomers filled the age group.

Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2019 (numbers in 000s)
Total: 328,240 (100.0%)
Asian: 22,862 (7.0%)
Black: 48,221 (14.7%)
Hispanic: 60,572 (18.5%)
Non-Hispanic white: 197,310 (60.1%)

Note: Asians and Blacks are those who identify themselves as being of the race alone or in combination with other races. Hispanics may be of any race. Not all races are shown.

Source: Census Bureau, National Population by Characteristics, 2010–2019

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fewer Emergency Department Visits During Pandemic

Emergency department visits fell steeply during the first 10 weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, reports the CDC. Between March 13 (when a national emergency was declared) and May 23, emergency department visits fell 42 percent overall. Visits fell even for the most serious illnesses. The CDC examined the trend in emergency department visits for three serious illnesses—heart attack, stroke, and uncontrolled high blood sugar. The CDC notes that "these conditions represent acute events that always necessitate immediate emergency care, even during a public health emergency."

Apparently, many people did not get the memo. Compared to the 10 weeks prior to March 13, emergency department visits for heart attack were 23 percent lower in the 10 weeks following the emergency declaration. Emergency department visits for stroke fell 20 percent, and visits for hyperglycemic crisis fell 10 percent.

Who was most likely to avoid getting needed care? For uncontrolled high blood sugar, visits declined the most for younger adults. For heart attack, visits fell the most for people aged 65 to 74. For stroke, visits fell the most for men aged 65 to 74 and women aged 75 to 84.

"There have been reports of excess mortality during the Covid-19 pandemic," states the CDC. "The striking decline in ED visits for acute life-threatening conditions might partially explain observed excess mortality not associated with Covid-19."

Source: CDC, Potential Indirect Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Use of Emergency Departments for Acute Life-Threatening Conditions—United States, January—May 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Income Losses Widespread by Metro, State

Americans everywhere have been badly hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. Among all adults aged 18 or older, 48 percent say they or a member of their household has experienced an employment income loss since March 13. By metropolitan area, the figure ranges from a low of 41 percent in Washington, DC, to a high of 60 percent in Los Angeles...

Percent of adults in 15 largest metros with household employment income loss since March 13 
50.3% in Atlanta
48.5% in Boston
48.8% in Chicago
49.9% in Dallas
57.5% in Detroit
52.9% in Houston
59.6% in Los Angeles
57.5% in Miami
55.2% in New York
50.4% in Philadelphia
47.1% in Phoenix
59.2% in Riverside-San Bernardino
54.8% in San Francisco
49.2% in Seattle
40.8% in Washington, DC

By state, the percentage of adults whose household has experienced an employment income loss ranges from lows of 36 to 37 percent in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming to highs of 54 to 56 percent in California, Michigan, Nevada, and New York.

Source: Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey Week 6 (June 4-9)

Monday, June 22, 2020

Majority of 65-Plus Population Still Extremely Proud To Be an American

Among people aged 65 or older, 53 percent say they are extremely proud to be an American, according to a Gallup survey. This is the only demographic segment in which more than 50 percent still feels extreme pride in their nationality.

Extreme pride in being an American has taken a big hit over the past few years, falling from a peak of 69 percent in the years following the 2001 terrorist attacks to just 42 percent in 2020—a record low. Since 2016, the percentage who feel extreme pride in being an American has fallen by 10 percentage points. 

Extremely proud to be an American, 2020 (and percentage point change since 2016)
53% of those aged 65 or older (-2)
50% of men (-3)
49% of whites (-5)
48% of those aged 50 to 64 (-16)
46% of those without a college degree (-8)
42% of those aged 30 to 49 (-9)
34% of women (-16)
34% of college graduates (-13)
24% of nonwhites (-21)
20% of those aged 18 to 29 (-14)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dental Care Makes a Difference

Toothlessness is associated with being old, but maybe not for much longer. The percentage of people aged 65 or older who have lost all their teeth has plunged over the past two decades, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2000, a substantial 30 percent of people aged 65 or older had lost all their teeth. By 2017–18, just 13 percent were toothless. Behind the decline is more and better dental care.

Most Americans aged 18 or older see a dentist at least once a year, and nearly half see a dentist every six months. Because dental care is expensive, however, there are big differences in the frequency of dental visits by socioeconomic status such as educational attainment...

Percent with a dental visit in the past year (and past 6 months) by education
47% (27%) of those who did not graduate from high school
55% (37%) of high school graduates 
65% (48%) of those with some college/associate's degree
79% (64%) of those with a bachelor's degree 

A lack of dental care can have serious consequences. Among people aged 65 or older without a high school diploma, fully 32 percent have lost all their teeth. Among those with more education, only 10 percent are toothless.