Thursday, June 30, 2011

15 Days of Vacation

Seventy-four percent of American workers get paid vacations, a median of 15 days of vacation a year for the average worker.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employee Benefits Survey

Grim Housing Market Revealed by New York Time's/CBS Poll

49% say the downturn in the housing market has affected their plans for the future.
37% of parents have changed their minds about the type of college they can afford.
18% say the downturn has prevented them from moving or taking a different job.
10% have delayed selling their house, waiting for the housing market to improve.

Source: New York Times, Despite Fears, Owning Home Retains Allure, Poll Shows

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You Get More than You Give

For all those grumbling about Social Security and Medicare, the fact is that most Americans will receive more in benefits from those programs than they paid into them. A dual-income couple with average wages ($43,500 each) who retired in 2010 at age 65 will receive $906,000 in Social Security and Medicare benefits, having paid $704,000 into the system over their working years. A couple retiring at age 65 in 2030 will receive $1,226,000 in benefits, having paid $971,000 into the system.

So shut up already.

Source: Urban Institute, Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits Over a Lifetime

Blended Families Are Not Common

Percentage of children who live in a blended family (with a step-parent, step-sibling, or half-sibling): 16%.

Source: Census Bureau, Living Arrangements of Children: 2009

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Owns an E-reader?

Twelve percent of Americans aged 18 or older owned an e-reader in May 2011-- double the 6 percent measured six months earlier. E-reader ownership is highest among households with incomes of $75,000-plus (24 percent), college graduates (22 percent), parents with children under age 18 at home (16 percent), and people under age 65 (10 to 14 percent).

A smaller 8 percent of adults own a tablet computer (such as an iPad), and 3 percent own both.

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, E-reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months

A Recession's Deathly Hangover

"An individual who is born in a recession and who survives until age 40 lives around 11 months shorter than an otherwise identical individual born in a boom because the risk of CV [cardiovascular mortality] is lower [for those born during boom times]."

Source: "Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle," Gerard J. van den Berg, Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter, Kaare Christensen, Demography, Volume 48, No. 2, May 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chinese Americans

Of the 15 million Americans who identify themselves as Asian, the largest share (23%) are Chinese.

Source: Census Bureau, 2010 census


The Undereducated American, a new report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, argues that demand for college-educated workers is outpacing supply. The mismatch has resulted in growing income inequality between college-educated and high school-educated workers. The wage gap was 74 percent in 2010 and will rise to 96 percent by 2025 unless 20 million additional college-educated workers are added to the labor force.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cheap Clothes

Yearly spending by the average household on women's clothes: $561.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Census Bureau to Release Same-Sex Couple File

We are about to know a whole lot more about the nation's same-sex couples. Later this year, the Census Bureau will release the Same-sex Couple Households Summary File from the 2010 census, providing detailed geographical information on the number of same-sex couples as well as their marital status and other demographic characteristics.

The Census Bureau has been struggling almost as much as the nation's politicians with the issue of same-sex couples. In the Current Population Survey until 2010, according to bureau employees Daphne Lofquist and Renee Ellis, same-sex couples who reported that they were married were recoded as opposite-sex married couples. In 2010, the bureau changed the editing procedure and recoded them as same-sex unmarried partners. Now that the second largest state in the nation has legalized gay marriage, the editing procedure will have to change again.

The Census Bureau has been collecting information on same-sex couple households through the American Community Survey since 2005. The latest data, from 2009, counted 581,300 households in the United States headed by same-sex spouses or partners. This compares with 5,920,821 households headed by unmarried opposite-sex partners, and 55,811,477 headed by opposite-sex married couples.

Source: Census Bureau, Families and Living Arrangements data, scroll down to the Same-Sex Couples section.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hispanic Workers

Hispanics account for 14 percent of the U.S. labor force, but in these occupations they are least 40 percent of the labor force...

Maids and housekeepers
Grounds maintenance workers
Graders, agricultural products
Agricultural laborers
Cement masons
Construction laborers
Drywall installers
Construction helpers
Sewing machine operators
Packaging and filling machine operators
Packers and packagers, hand

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Decline in Private Health Insurance

Percentage of people aged 18 to 64 who have private health insurance coverage...

2000: 74%
2010: 64%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Rich Want the Rich to Pay More Taxes

Percentage of people with incomes of $100,000 or more who want to raise taxes on people with incomes of $100,000 or more: 55%.

Source: World Public Opinion, Program for Public Consultation, Does the Majority Want to Tyrannize the Minority?

Adult Children in the Home

The Census Bureau is now releasing 2010 census data on a state-by-state basis revealing, among other things, those all-important household relationships. Data for 12 states have been released so far, including the nation's most populous state, California. This morning's Los Angeles Times ran a front-page story about how nontraditional households in California--such as households headed by unmarried partners--are growing.

The Times missed the bigger story: the doubling in the percentage of adults living in a very traditional way--with their parents.

Buried in the 2010 census table QT-P12, and requiring a minor calculation to determine the result, is this astounding fact: 9.5 percent of California's household population are adult children living with their parents. If you add in adults living in the home of a grandparent, the figure rises to a full 10 percent. Ten percent!

Adults who live with a parent (or grandparent) is the 4th most common household relationship in California after householder (35 percent), spouse of householder (17 percent), and child of householder under age 18 (22 percent). It far surpasses the percentage of people who are unmarried partners (2 percent).

That's not all. The percentage of people who are adult children of the householder has more than doubled since 2000. The number of adults in California who live with their parents grew from 1.5 million in 2000 to 3.5 million in 2010.

In Search of Financial Stability

Percentage of Americans who say financial stability is more important to them than moving up the income ladder: 85%.

Source: Economic Mobility Project, Poll 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time Use 2010

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released findings from the 2010 American Time Use Survey. This ongoing survey of what Americans aged 15 or older did during the past 24 hours, minute by minute, provides an invaluable perspective for businesses trying to understand their customers. Here is one of the 2010 findings:

Percentage of employed people who work on an average...
Weekday: 82%
Weekend day: 35%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 American Time Use Survey

Married Couples as an Index of Economic Wellbeing

If married couples are an index of economic wellbeing--and I would argue that they are--then the index is trending down. According to 2010 census results, married couples head only 48 percent of the nation's households, down from 52 percent in 2000. The percentage of households headed by married couples with children under age 18 fell to 20 percent in 2010, down from 24 percent in 2000.

To put these numbers into perspective, back in the Good Old Days of 1957, fully 76 percent of the nation's households were headed by married couples. Nearly half--45 percent--were headed by married couples with children under age 18.

The urban activist and philosopher Jane Jacobs writes that nuclear families (the basic biological unit of society) and households (the basic economic unit of society) are often synonymous when times are good. But when times are tough, households "are more adaptable and resilient than families when subjected to stresses and jolts, while at the same time maintaining their elementary functions...Households, adaptable as they are, take over functions that families are at a loss to fill." (Dark Age Ahead, pages 50-51).

In other words, households and nuclear families decouple during hard times. This looks like decoupling to me:

2010 Census: Households by Type (numbers in 000s)

      number        percent
Total households 116,716 100.0
Married couples 56,510 48.4
  With children <18 23,588 20.2
Female family hh 15,250 13.1
Male family hh 5,778 5.0
Nonfamily hh 39,178 33.6
  Living alone 31,205 26.7
  Other 7,973 6.8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who Earns the Most?

Surgeons had the highest earnings in 2010, a median of $325,000.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey

Constitutional Generation Gap

Percentage of people who think the Supreme Court should base its rulings on its understanding of what the Constitution means in current times or its understanding of what the Constitution meant as originally written, by age...

  current  original
Total:          50           45
18 to 29: 62 34
30 to 49: 54 41
50 to 64: 44 51
65-plus: 35 58

Source: Pew Research Center, Ideological Chasm Over Interpreting Constitution

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Retirement Plan

Percentage of workers who are offered a workplace retirement savings plan: 46%.

Source: EBRI, 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey

Not My President

Percentage of Americans who would not vote for the following for president...

Atheist: 49%
Gay or lesbian: 32%
Hispanic: 10%
Woman: 6%
Black: 5%

Source: Gallup

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Asleep and Awake

At 3:00 a.m. the largest percentage of people are asleep: 94.7%.
At 6:00 p.m. the smallest percentage of people are asleep: 2.6%.

Source: American Time Use Survey

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Clean is Your House?

When General Social Survey interviewers were asked to rate the interior cleanliness of the homes of a nationally representative sample of Americans, this is what they saw...

Very clean: 49%
Clean: 30%
So-so: 14%
Not very clean: 4%
Dirty: 3%

Source: General Social Survey

Friday, June 17, 2011

Alcohol-Related Arrests

Twenty-three percent of all arrests in the United States are alcohol-related (driving under the influence, liquor law violations, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and vagrancy). The share of arrests that are alcohol related ranges from a low of 9 percent in Florida to a high of 46 percent in South Dakota.

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why the Housing Market is (Still) Collapsing

Last week the federal government proposed stricter limits on mortgage lending. For anyone over the age of 50, the new rules sound a lot like the old rules: a 20 percent down payment to get the best mortgage rate, and total debt payments not to exceed 36 percent of household income. The new regulations will be good for the housing market of the future. Unfortunately, they will further destabilize the structurally unsound housing market of today.    

A little bit of history. Beginning in the mid 1990s, the United States experienced a unique confluence of events: a housing market that was growing because of the aging of the baby-boom generation into the peak home-buying age groups and relaxed mortgage lending rules. If only the regulators had let well enough alone and allowed boomer demand to drive homeownership to historic heights. But that wasn't good enough for some, so the market was juiced with easy credit. Kaboom! Homeownership rates and housing prices soared, creating a housing market with the structural integrity of Tinkertoys. It was bound to collapse and it did. But, like a game of Angry Birds, the collapse is not yet complete. A greatly weakened housing market is straining to stand but destined to fall because of the demographics. To be blunt, there is no good news for housing in the demographic trends. Let's examine them generation by generation.

Millennials: Not Buying. The large millennial generation has now filled the 30-to-34 age group, when homeownership becomes the norm. If housing had not been juiced with easy credit, millennials would be buying homes and stabilizing the market. But falling prices, unemployment, and job insecurity are driving them away, undermining the foundation of housing. According to the Census Bureau's latest geographic mobility report, the number of people who moved because they wanted to own rather than rent fell by a whopping 53 percent during the past five years--from 3.7 million in 2004-05 to 1.7 million in 2009-10. Between 2004 (the year the homeownership rate peaked) and 2010, the homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34 declined more than any other--down 5.8 percentage points to 51.6 percent. The rate is still falling. As of the first quarter of 2011, only 50.3 percent owned a home. Even if they want to buy, bigger down payment requirements and student loans (37 percent of householders under age 35 have student loans) will prevent many from getting a mortgage.

Generation X: Underwater. No one has been hurt more by the housing crisis than Gen Xers. They were most likely to buy homes when prices were peaking, and they are most likely to be underwater today. According to a Pew survey, 21 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were underwater in 2010. The percentage was 25 percent among 30-to-49-year-olds. With housing prices continuing to decline, the number who are underwater is growing. Trapped in their expensive homes, the mortgage interest payments of householders aged 35 to 44 are an astounding 66 percent above average, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. This generation will not be moving up, another lethal crack in the structure of today's housing market. 

Boomers: Downsizing. Each year 2 million homeowners aged 45 to 64 move, joining the growing ranks of Americans who are losing money on their biggest investment. According to Zillow, 37 percent of homes sold in April 2011 went for less than their purchase price, not to mention the target price boomers had in mind when they planned their empty-nest and retirement years. Those movers may be the lucky ones, able to unload their white elephants ahead of the crowd as their peers create an increasingly top heavy and unstable housing market. According to the 2010 Del Web Baby Boomer Survey, 42 percent of 50-year-olds and 32 percent of 64-year-olds plan to move when they retire. Many will have to change their plans.  

Older Americans: Indebted. Once upon a time, it was the norm for older Americans to be debt free. Today, millions of householders aged 65 or older are in debt. Twenty-seven percent of homeowners aged 65 or older had a mortgage in 2009, according to the American Housing Survey, up from 18 percent ten years earlier. The Survey of Consumer Finances finds fully 62 percent of householders aged 65 to 74 having debt (including mortgage and other types of debt), owing a median of $48,100. The debtors probably planned at one time to sell their house and pay off their obligations. Oops! Now their wealth is frozen, creating financial hardship and threatening the inheritance of the next generation--another crack in the structure of the housing market.  

Like I said, there is no good news for housing in the demographic trends. 

For much more about homeowners, renters, and the housing market, see the all new 3rd edition of Americans and Their Homes

Facebook Friends

The average Facebook user has 229 friends. The largest percentage of friends (22 percent) are people from high school.

Source: Pew, Social Networking Sites and Our Lives

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Births in 2010: 4,007,000

The number of births in 2010 barely topped 4 million, according to a preliminary estimate released today by the National Center for Health Statistics. That's 3 percent less than in 2009 and 7 percent below the all-time high of 4,316,233 reached in 2007. It is the smallest number of births since 1999.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through 2010

Worries at Record High

The percentage of Americans who are worried about being able to maintain their current standard of living is at an all-time high of 58%.

Source: Gallup

Caring for Parents

Percentage of people aged 50 or older who provide basic care for their aged parents...

men: 17%
women: 28%

Note: Basic care is defined as at least 100 hours of help in the past two years with personal care activities such as dressing, bathing, and feeding.
Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute, The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Most Small Businesses Are Home-Based

Among the nation's small businesses, the 52 percent majority operate primarily out of someone's home, according to newly released data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

Yes, the survey is laughably dated, taken just before the Great Recession hit. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note the dominance of home-based businesses in the nation's small business milieu. It explains why the 2009 American Housing Survey found a room used for business in 31 percent of all households in the United States.

Fifty-seven percent of home-based businesses had annual receipts below $25,000. Only 7 percent reported any e-commerce sales.

Political IQ

When asked which party currently controls the House of Representatives, only 38 percent of American aged 18 or older correctly identify the Republican Party. Here are the numbers by age...

18 to 29:  26%
30 to 49:  36%
50-plus:  44%

Source: Pew Research Center

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Two-Income Difference

Median income of married couples...

Wife is in the labor force: $85,948
Wife is not in the labor force: $47,649

Source: Census Bureau

401(k): Tax Shelter or Retirement Plan?

The findings of a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (The Drawdown of Personal Retirement Assets, Working Paper 16675) suggest that defined-contribution retirement plans such as 401(k)s may be more of a tax shelter for the well-off than a serious way for the average worker to save for retirement.

In a typical year, only 17 percent of householders aged 60 to 69 with a personal retirement account--i.e. a 401(k)--withdrew any money from the account. Just 17 percent! Apparently, most households with personal retirement accounts do not need the money to pay the bills. The study found that withdrawals from these accounts do not become common until they become mandatory at age 70.5. "The sharp increase in withdrawals when distributions become mandatory suggests that many households in their early 70s would not make withdrawals if it were not for the distribution rules," say the authors of the study.

Employee Benefits Survey data show that only 9 percent of workers with wages in the bottom 10 percentile of the wage distribution participate in defined-contribution retirement plans. Among workers with wages in the top 10 percentile, the 54 percent majority participate.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where Do the French Go on Vacation?

Glad you asked. Thanks to a study by Eurobarometer, the survey arm of the European Commission, we know the answer. Among the French who plan to take a vacation in 2011, the 57 percent majority say they will spend their main vacation in France. A distant second in popularity is Spain (6 percent), followed by Italy (3 percent).

What do the Italians say? Seventy-one percent say they will spend their main holiday in Italy. France is their second choice (4 percent), followed by Spain (4 percent).

You can get this information for 32 European countries here (click on Survey on the Attitudes of Europeans towards Tourism).

Wouldn't it be nice to have this kind of information for each state in the United States? How many people in New York plan to vacation in Florida? How many from South Carolina will vacation in North Carolina? Yes, it would be nice.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Most Pay Credit Cards in Full

The 54% majority of Americans say they always pay their credit cards in full each month. Here are the numbers by age...

18 to 29: 51%
30 to 44: 45%
45 to 59: 44%
60-plus: 75%

Source: Americans' Financial Capability, NBER Working Paper 17103, $5

Friday, June 10, 2011

And the Winner Is...Guns

Question: "Which do you think is most important--to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership?"

Protect the right of Americans to own guns
2011: 48%
2000: 29%

Control gun ownership
2011: 47%
2000: 66%

Source: Pew Research Center polls, reported in Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Saving for College

Percentage of Americans with dependent children who have set aside money for their children's college education: 41%.

Source: Americans' Financial Capability, NBER Working Paper 17103 ($5)

Bathroom Dangers

You've probably heard the rumor that bathrooms are the most dangerous room in the house. How dangerous are they? Inquiring minds want to know.

According to a CDC survey of emergency room visits, 234,094 people aged 15 or older were injured (unintentionally and nonfatally) in a bathroom in 2008--or just 1 percent of the 22 million injuries that year. Sixty-four percent of the injured were female, 63 percent were aged 45 or older, 81 percent were injured because of a fall, and 68 percent were hurt in the bathtub or shower. Only 23 percent were injured while on the toilet.

Source: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries among Persons Aged ≥ 15 Years--United States 2008

Renters and Cell Phones

Percentage of adults living in wireless-only households by homeownership status...

Renters: 50.3%
Owners: 17.7%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2010

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fewer Moving into Homeownership

Number of people who moved to become homeowners...

2009-10: 1.7 million
2004-05: 3.7 million

Source: Census Bureau, Geographic Mobility

Decline in Good Health

The self-reported health of working-age Americans has been trending downward for years, according to data collected by the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The 2010 data, released today, continues to show the downward slide in the percentage of prime working-age adults who say their health is "very good" or "excellent." The biggest decline has been among 25-to-34-year-olds, a 4.2 percentage point decline over the past 10 years...

Percent reporting their health as very good or excellent:

2010 2000     change
Total 54.6 56.2 -1.6
18 to 24 62.6 62.8 -0.2
25 to 34 62.9 67.1 -4.2
35 to 44 60.0 63.2 -3.2
45 to 54 54.4 56.4 -2.0
55 to 64 51.6 49.1 2.5
65 or older 40.7 36.2 4.5

Source: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Prevalence and Trends Data

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Americans Not Saving for a Rainy Day

Disturbing results from the 2009 National Financial Capability Study: Only 49 percent of Americans have an emergency or "rainy day" fund--an amount of money set aside that could cover three months of expenses if they get sick or lose their job.

Even more worrisome, a strikingly large percentage of Americans are likely to need a rainy day fund, according to the NBER report on the survey's findings (Americans' Financial Capability, NBER Working Paper 17103, $5). The percentage of Americans who had experienced a large decline in their income in the past 12 months ranged from 33 percent among those with a rainy day fund to 40 percent of respondents without a fund. Those are big numbers, and they reveal the vulnerability of many Americans to financial shocks.

The percentage with a rainy day fund ranges from a low of 31 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds, climbs to about 50 percent among 30-to-59-year-olds, and peaks at 64 percent among people aged 60 or older.

Unsustainable Costs

Percent change in the amount employees must contribute for private health insurance by type of coverage, 2001 to 2009...

Family: +99.5%
(from $1,741 to $3,474)

Individual: +92.2%
(from $498 to $957)

Employee plus one: +120.8%
(from $1,070 to $2,363)

Note: All figures are in current dollars, not adjusted for inflation.
Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Statistical Brief #325, Changes in Premiums and Employee Contributions for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, Private Industry, 2001-2009

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sexual Identity of High School Students

In a survey of the sexual identity and behavior of high school students, the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System has released the following findings on the sexual identity of students in grades 9 through 12...

Heterosexual: 93.0%
Gay or lesbian: 1.3%
Bisexual: 3.7%
Not sure: 2.5%

Note: The survey asked high school students about their sexual identity in the states of Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and in the cities of Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Figures above are medians for the 9 reporting areas.
Source: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors among Students in Grades 9-12--Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States, 2001-2009

Bet You Didn't Know

Percentage living in a metropolitan area, by race and Hispanic origin...

Asians: 97%
Hispanics: 93%
Blacks: 89%
Non-Hispanic whites: 80%

Source: 2010 Census

Sunday, June 05, 2011

How Many Blog Posts Today?

This post makes it 1.7 million and one--worldwide, that is. So far today. Check out the Worldometer for the number of google searches performed today, tweets sent today, cell phones sold today, books published today, and so on. And in case you're wondering, there are 15,525 days left until the end of oil.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

An Average Day: Snacking

On an average day, 90 percent of Americans aged 20 or older eat (or drink) a snack, with men consuming 586 calories and women consuming 421 calories. Thirty years ago, a smaller 59 percent of Americans snacked on an average day.

Source: USDA, Snacking Patterns of U.S. Adults (PDF)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Blacks Most Likely to Use Twitter

Percent of Internet users who use Twitter, by race and Hispanic origin...

Black: 25%
Hispanic: 19%
Non-Hispanic white: 9%

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, Twitter Update 2011

Oldest and Youngest in Congress

Year in which the oldest member of Congress was born: 1923.
Year in which the youngest member of Congress was born: 1981.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile (PDF)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

June 5, 1981

Thirty years ago this Sunday, the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published an article about five young men in Los Angeles who had been sickened by a type of pneumonia. This was the first scientific account of what would later be called human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. "The occurrence of pneumocystosis in these 5 previously healthy individuals without a clinically apparent underlying immunodeficiency is unusual," notes the report.

Since that day...
594,496 Americans have died of AIDS
1 million Americans and 33 million worldwide are living with HIV

Source: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Are We Done with Boom and Bust?

Baby, that is. A look at the numbers by age coming out of the 2010 census shows uniformity in the size of five-year age groups below the age of 40. The number of people in each five-year age group ranges from a low of 19,962,099 (30-to-34-year-olds) to a high of 22,040,343 (15-to-19-year-olds)--or a difference of 2.1 million. In percentage terms, this is a difference of just 10 percent.

In 2000, the difference between the largest and smallest age groups in the under-40 population was a much larger 3.7 million--or a difference of 20 percent.

For businesses, the new uniformity in the size of age groups means one less variable to consider in their marketing strategies. Unless, that is, we are in the early years of a new baby bust.

Source: Census Bureau

Fat Workers

A recent New York Times article reported on a study linking desk jobs to weight gain. Over the past half century or so, as American workers spent more of their day sitting at a desk, their weight increased. That's the theory.

Clearly, workers are doing much less physical labor than they once did--at least some workers. And there lies the problem with the theory. Hispanic men, who are the most physically active workers according to the CDC, are more likely than the average man to be overweight (78 versus 70 percent).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Confederate Flag Not Popular

Percentage of Americans who feel positive when they see the Confederate flag: 9%

Source: Pew Research Center

How Much Money?

How much money do parents give their adult children? How many adult children receive money from their parents? These questions are answered in a new study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (An In-Depth Look Into Intergenerational Flows). Analyzing data from successive waves of the Health and Retirement Study (a longitudinal panel survey of older householders taken every two years since 1992), the researchers discovered substantial transfers of money from parents to adult children.

During each wave of the survey, approximately 20 percent of adult children living in another household received money from their parents, with $9,000 being the average amount received. Limiting the analysis to households that had participated in every wave of the survey, the researchers found that 61 percent of adult children had been given money by their parents at some point, receiving a total of $28,500.

The results show that parents give more to younger (adult) children and to children who are having financial trouble--such as those who have lost a job. These early parental transfers are "positively and significantly related with children's education and income class later in life," say the researchers.