Friday, September 30, 2011

Haves vs. Have Nots

When asked whether they think the United States is divided into "haves" and "have-nots," 52 percent of Americans say it is not divided and 45 percent say it is, according to a Pew Research Center survey. There is a telling attitudinal split on this question, with the "haves" much less likely than the "have-nots" to see a divided nation.

Percent of people with household incomes of $75,000 or more
Who identify themselves as haves: 75%
Who think the country is divided into haves and have-nots: 36%

Percent of people with household incomes below $30,000
Who identify themselves as haves: 36%
Who think the country is divided into haves and have-nots: 53%

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unemployment Tops Self Employment

American men are now more likely to receive unemployment checks than income from non-farm self employment. According to the Current Population Survey, 7.2 million men (6.9 percent) made money from non-farm self employment in 2010 versus a larger 7.5 million (7.1 percent) who received unemployment compensation. In 2007, men who made money from non-farm self employment outnumbered those receiving unemployment by more than two to one.

Source: Census Bureau, Current Population Surveys

Spending More for Health Insurance

The average household spent, out-of-pocket, 47 percent more for health insurance in 2010 than in 2000, after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

Same-Sex Couple Bruhaha

For a good overview of the Census Bureau's problem and subsequent correction of the 2010 census count of same-sex couple households, see this Pew Research Center analysis. According to the Census Bureau, the "preferred" census count of same-sex couple households is 646,464. Among them, 131,729 are same-sex married couples.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Happened in the 2010 Election

If you thought the election of 2010 was a fluke, you might be right. Voters in 2010 were older and whiter than voters in 2008, as is usually the case in Congressional election years. This is the percentage of voters who were non-Hispanic whites aged 45 or older in the two elections...

2010: 54%
2008: 47%

Source: Census Bureau, Voting and Registration

Population by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin

Following each decennial census, the Census Bureau revisits and refigures its annual population estimates for the previous decade. Those estimates were released today, with tables showing the U.S. population count by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin for April 1, 2000, estimates for July 1 of each year through 2009, the April 1, 2010 census count, and estimates for July 1, 2010.

Gen Xers Slash Spending

The average annual spending of householders aged 35 to 44 fell by $6,222 between 2006 (the year household spending peaked) and 2010, after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dual Income Couples Decline

The number of married couples in which both husband and wife work full-time fell by more than 2.5 million between the start of the Great Recession and today. Here are the numbers...

2010: 16,345,000
2007: 18,920,000

Source: Census Bureau, Current Population Surveys

Household Spending Down 8 Percent Since Peak

The average household spent $48,109 in 2010, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. This is 8 percent less than the $52,349 (in 2010 dollars) spent by the average household in 2006, the year household spending peaked. In dollar terms, the decline in spending since 2006 exceeds $4,000 per household.

Perhaps even more worrisome, the average household spent $67 less in 2010 than in 2000, after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey

Monday, September 26, 2011

Think You Will Be a Millionaire?

If so, join the crowd. More than one in five Americans think they will be a millionaire within the decade. When asked, "How likely do you think it is that in the next ten years you will be a millionaire, meaning that your net worth will total at least one million dollars," a substantial 21 percent of Americans say it is fairly or very likely, according to an August 2011 AP-CNBC poll.

Minority Share of Preschoolers

Only 50.8 percent of children under age 5 are non-Hispanic white, according to my analysis of the 2010 American Community Survey. Nearly half--49.2 percent--are Hispanic, black, Asian, or another minority.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Biggest Smokers

Smoking varies greatly by education, and for some strange reason no one is more likely to smoke than people with a GED--specifically a GED. Fully 45 percent of adults with a GED smoke cigarettes. This is more than double the 19 percent of all adults who smoke and four times the percentage of college graduates who smoke.

Source: CDC, Adult Smoking in the US

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Housing Values in 2010

The median value of the nation's owned homes was $179,900 in 2010, according to the American Community Survey. This was down from the peak of $197,600 reported to the ACS in 2008. Housing value is self-reported, and the fact that median self-reported value increased through 2008 as home prices fell suggests that owners overestimate the value of their homes.

Number (and percent) of owned homes by value in 2010 (numbers in 000s)...
Total owner-occupied: 74,873 (100%)
Under $100,000: 17,809 (24%)
$100,000 to $149,999: 11,993 (16%)
$150,000 to $199,999: 11,375 (15%)
$200,000 to $249,999: 7,948 (11%)
$250,000 to $299,999: 6,002 (8%)
$300,000 to $399,999: 7,756 (10%)
$400,000 to $499,999: 4,164 (6%)
$500,000 to $749,999: 4,626 (6%)
$750,000 to $999,999: 1,642 (2%)
$1,000,000 or more: 1,558 (2%)

Source: Census Bureau, American Factfinder

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Look at ACS Homeownership Rates

The 2010 homeownership rates estimated by the American Community Survey (an annual survey replacing the census long form questionnaire) confirm the lower rates counted by the 2010 census. According to the census, the 2010 homeownership rate was 65.1 percent. According to the ACS, it was 65.4 percent. Both figures are well below the 66.9 percent estimated by the Housing Vacancy Survey during the same time period.

Among householders under age 45, the ACS rates are even lower than the census rates. This could be due to the fact that the census counted homeownership as of April 1, 2010, and the ACS collected its survey data throughout 2010, when rates were declining among younger adults. Here are the comparisons...

      ACS     census
Total 65.4 65.1
<25 14.7 16.1
25-34 41.3 42.0
35-44 61.9 62.3
45-54 71.7 71.5
55-64 77.9 77.3
65+ 78.6 77.5

Source: Census Bureau, American Factfinder

Peak Affluence

More than 25 years ago (in 1985), when I was the editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine, I wrote an editorial called "The Affluent Nineties." I predicted a spike in affluence during the 1990s because the baby-boom generation would be in its peak earning years. Was I right or what?

We are well past the peak now, and in hindsight we can look back and see the moment of "peak affluence," when household income reached its maximum. This concept is similar to "peak oil," a term used to describe the moment when global oil production reaches a maximum. The timing of peak oil is hotly debated, but not so the timing of peak affluence. The moment arrived in 1999. In that year, median household income reached its peak of $53,252 (in 2010 dollars)--a peak we may not see again in our lifetimes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2010 American Community Survey Data Released Today

Why should you care? Because the American Community Survey is the source of all local area socioeconomic statistics. The ACS replaced the census long form, which once collected data on incomes, education, housing, migration, and so on. Today's release provides the 2010 socioeconomic data that complements the more general demographic statistics collected by the 2010 census. In the next few days, you will hear a lot about incomes, poverty, and housing in your state, county, city, and perhaps even your neighborhood as reporters pore over the voluminous findings.

Yes, the ACS sort of competes with the Current Population Survey--the official source of income statistics, whose 2010 data were released last week (see my reporting about those results here, here, and here). But the ACS has the local data. The CPS does not.

For an overview of what the ACS is revealing, see the article in USA Today, Recession Changes American Way of Life. Yours truly is quoted.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Great Recession vs Great Depression: An Update

This is an update of the comparison between the Great Recession and the Great Depression posted by Demo Memo in February 2011. In that analysis, I compared the two downturns using six demographic measures. At that time, the results showed the Great Recession to be only 35 percent as severe as the Great Depression. How have those numbers changed in the past seven months?

GDP (update) Let's begin by updating the initial GDP comparison. Back in February, the government had estimated an overall GDP decline of 4 percent during the Great Recession. That number has now been revised downward to 5 percent, but it is still well below the 27 percent GDP decline during the Great Depression. Score: (5/27) x 100 = 19. Using this traditional measure, the Great Recession was 19 percent as severe as the Great Depression. (Back in February, this calculation showed it to be only 15 percent as bad.)

Unemployment (no update) The unemployment score has not changed because the Great Recession's unemployment peak of 10.1 percent in October 2009 still stands, as does the more expansive definition of unemployment (U-6) which peaked at 18.0 percent in January 2010. I averaged these scores against the Great Depression's unemployment rate of 25.2 percent (10.2/25.2 = 40; 18.0/25.2 = 71; (40+71)/2 = 56). Score = 56.

Homeownership (update) Estimates of homeownership have continued to fall since February, and the 2010 census found an even lower rate than had been estimated. The new numbers suggest that the homeownership rate may have fallen from a peak of 69.0 percent in 2004 to the 65.1 percent found by the 2010 census--a 3.9 percentage point decline. This compares with a 4.2 percentage point decline during the Great Recession. Score: (3.9/4.2) x 100 = 93.

Immigration (update) Since February, there has been an annual update of the number of immigrants coming to the United States, and the new number is somewhat lower. In 2010, 1,042,625 legal immigrants came to the United States, 17.7 percent fewer than during the peak year of 2006. During the Great Depression, legal immigration fell by a much larger 91.8 percent. Score: (17.7/91.8) x 100 = 19.

Births (update) Since February, there has been an annual update of the number of births in the United States. The number has fallen from a peak of 4,316,233 in 2007 to an estimated 4,007,000 in 2010--a 7.2 percent decline versus a 10.7 percent decline during the Great Depression. Score: (7.2/10.7) x 100 = 67.

Marriages (no update) No new data for this one. During the Great Depression, the number of marriages fell by 20.4 percent. During the Great Recession, the number has fallen by 5.8 percent. Score: (5.8/20.4) x 100 = 28.

Life expectancy (update) During the Great Depression, life expectancy at birth fell 4.8 years. New estimates show no decline in life expectancy, which reached a record high of 78.2 years in 2009. Score: (0/4.8) x 100 = 0.

Score Update Average the six scores and the result is 44. The Great Recession is 44 percent as bad as the Great Depression. This is up from 35 percent seven months ago. The increase in the score means that, in retrospect, the Great Recession is closing in on the Great Depression in its demographic impact. But it is still less than half as severe--although more than twice as bad as the traditional GDP comparison suggests.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Incomes Decline in 2010: Here's the Story

The Great Recession was supposed to have ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But the release last week of the 2010 income statistics calls that claim into question. According to the Census Bureau, median household income fell to $49,445 in 2010--7 percent lower than in 2000, after adjusting for inflation--and that's just the beginning of the story.

I would hazard a guess that the macroeconomic indicators on which the National Bureau of Economic Research dates recessions have become decoupled from the microeconomics of American households--thanks to globalization and the rise of multinational corporations. The Census Bureau even includes a helpful chart in its income report showing just how odd this "recovery" has been. It is the only one in modern history in which the number of workers with earnings has declined. There were 1.6 million fewer workers in the "recovery" year of 2010 than during the Great Recession itself. It ain't over folks, and by the time the Great Recession does end we might need a new name for it. Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has taken to calling it the Lesser Depression.

If the politicians cannot hear the middle class crying for help in the 2010 income statistics, then we really are trapped in a downward spiral on our way to becoming a third world nation. At this point, the only thing propping open the doors of many businesses is the valiant effort by middle class families to keep up appearances by spending down their savings and taking on debt (mainly in the form of student loans). They can't fake it much longer.

Rather than focus on the big story contained in the income statistics, the media have been tsk-tsking in knee-jerk fashion about the rise in the poverty rate--copying and pasting from the bullet points of the Census Bureau's press release. Sure, poverty is an important problem, but its rise is perhaps the least surprising finding in the 2010 numbers. Poverty is a small part of the bigger story: the massive decline in the standard of living of the great majority of Americans. The media's failure to report the big story gives cover to the many politicians who are intent on ignoring the elephant in the room as they fatten their wallets for the 2012 elections.

Somebody has to tell the story. Why not an obscure blog about demographic trends? So let's begin at the bottom of the age distribution and work our way up.

The young. If the world is in the midst of an historic technological and economic transformation caused by the Internet revolution (it is, in my opinion), then the consequences will emerge first among the youngest adults--the pioneers in the emergent society. That's what the 2010 income statistics show. The median income of householders under age 25 fell by a stunning 20 percent (to $28,322) between 2000 and 2010, after adjusting for inflation. This startling decline occurred despite the fact that many young adults have given up entirely and moved back home with mom and dad. The number of households headed by people under age 25 has been declining even as the population has been growing. Increasingly, the young adults left fending for themselves are the ones without parents with the resources to take them in.

The middle aged. The Census Bureau reports that a substantial 14 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 now live with their parents. Many have had little choice but to move back home since the median household income of this age group fell 11 percent between 2000 and 2010, after adjusting for inflation. Householders aged 35 to 44 did not fare much better, with a 9 percent decline in their median income. Then we get to the real horror story: householders aged 45 to 54. Their median income fell by 14 percent between 2000 and 2010, a decline second only to the one experienced by the youngest householders. The 45-to-54 age group has seen its median income fall by more than $10,000 since 2000! So precipitous has been this decline that the age group--once the nation's peak earners--now makes only 26 percent more than the average household, down from a margin of more than 40 percent in the 1990s. The household income gap between the 35-to-44 and 45-to-54 age groups once exceeded $8,000. By 2010 it had shrunk nearly tenfold to just $841.

Older generations. It might seem as though there is more stability in the older generations. The median income of householders aged 55 to 64 fell just 0.4 percent between 2000 and 2010, after adjusting for inflation--but only because they are working harder to stay even. During the decade, the labor force participation rate of men aged 55 to 64 climbed from 67 to 70 percent and that of women from 52 to 60 percent. Half of married couples in the 55-to-64 age group are now dual earners, up from 44 percent in 2000. The only seeming bright spot in the income statistics is among householders aged 65 or older, with a 7 percent rise in their median income during the decade. But again, labor force participation rates are rising in the age group, and whatever financial stability older Americans possess cannot be passed down to younger generations since it exists in the form of defined benefit pensions and Social Security and Medicare benefits--all of which have been axed or are being threatened by mad-as-hell politicians intent on cutting the deficit at any cost.

History will show, in my opinion, that the Internet is behind the upheaval in our society. But the dire situation in which the middle class now finds itself has been caused primarily by the failure of our politicians to respond appropriately to the challenges and opportunities the digital society presents.

For a comparison of median household incomes by age in 2010 and 2000, see this Demo Memo blog post.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Lot of Texting

Seventy-three percent of cell phone owners use text messaging, according to a new report by Pew. Average number of text messages sent/received per day by adults who use text messaging on their cell phones, by age...

Total: 41.5
18-24: 109.5
25-34: 41.8
35-44: 25.9
45-54: 14.0
55-64: 9.8
65-plus: 4.7

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, How Americans Use Text Messaging

The Security in Social Security

Percent of people aged 65 or older who are poor: 9.0%.
Percent of people aged 65 or older who would be poor without Social Security: 48%.

Source: Census Bureau, Effect of Benefits and Taxes on Income and Poverty

Sunday, September 18, 2011

No Health Insurance Coverage

The percentage of Americans with no health insurance coverage at any time during the year grew by 3 percentage points during the past decade, from 13.1 percent in 2000 to 16.3 percent in 2010. Here are the  percentages of people without health insurance in 2010...

Total: 16.3%
< age 18: 9.8%
18 to 24: 27.2%
25 to 34: 28.4%
35 to 44: 21.8%
45 to 54: 18.0%
55 to 64: 14.4%
65-plus: 2.0%

Source: Census Bureau, Health Insurance

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Employment-Based Health Insurance

The percentage of Americans covered by employment-based health insurance has fallen by nearly 10 percentage points during the past decade, from 65.1 percent in 2000 to 55.3 percent in 2010. Here are the  percentages of people covered by employment-based health insurance in 2010...

Total: 55.3%
< age 18: 54.8%
18 to 24: 45.9%
25 to 34: 55.8%
35 to 44: 64.2%
45 to 54: 66.4%
55 to 64: 64.5%
65-plus:  32.5%

Source: Census Bureau, Health Insurance

Friday, September 16, 2011

1.3 Million More Living Alone

You would think in the middle of a massive economic downturn Americans would be less inclined to live alone. Yet the Census Bureau's 2011 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement--which provides official income and poverty statistics--finds almost the entire 1.1 million increase in households between 2010 and 2011 to have occurred in the number of people who live alone. This would explain why average household size fell slightly from 2.59 to 2.58 people.

People living alone
2011: 32,723,000
2010: 31,399,000
Difference = +1,324,000

The increase in single-person households was not caused by more of the elderly living alone. The numerical gains occurred almost entirely among people under age 65. The biggest increase in the propensity to live alone occurred in the 55-to-64 age group. Among women in the age group, the share who live alone grew from 17.8 to 19.0 percent between 2010 and 2011. Among men in the age group, the share climbed from 15.2 to 17.2 percent. More than one in four households in the United States (27.6 percent) are people who live alone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Households Grow by More than 1 Million

The number of households in the United States grew by more than 1 million between 2010 and 2011, according to the Current Population Survey's 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. This one-year increase in households was the largest since 2006-07 and more than three times as great as the increase between 2009-10. By age, the number of households in 2011 and the change since 2010 look like this (numbers in 000s)...

      2011  change
Total  118,682 1,144
<25  6,140 -93
25-34  19,572 315
35-44  21,250 -269
45-54  24,530 -341
55-64  21,828 1,441
65-plus  25,362 92

Source: Census Bureau, Current Population Survey

$100,000-plus Households

Percentage of households with incomes of $100,000 or more (in 2010 dollars)...

1970: 8.2%
1980: 11.0%
1990: 15.6%
2000: 21.4%
2007: 21.9% (peak year)
2010: 20.5%

Source: Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Wives Earn More

Percentage of wives who earn more than their husbands...

2010: 29%
2000: 23%
1990: 18%

Source: Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables

Some Good News about Health Insurance

In the barrage of bad news emanating from Census Bureau's release of income, poverty, and health insurance statistics for 2010 is one small piece of good news: the percentage of 18-to-24-year-olds who do not have health insurance fell by more than 2 percentage points between 2009 and 2010--from 29.3 to 27.2 percent.

This statistically significant decline in the percentage of young adults without health insurance is due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), which allows young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26. Because of the decline, the 25-to-34 age group is now the one most likely to be without health insurance, at 28.4 percent in 2010.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Men's Incomes Plummet

The 2010 income statistics were especially bad for men. Here is the percent change in the median income of men by age, 2000 to 2010 (in 2010 dollars)...

2010 2000    % ch
Total   32,137  35,885 -10.4
< 25  9,959  12,086 -17.6
25-34  31,793  38,305 -17.0
35-44  42,252  48,014 -12.0
45-54  45,420  51,960 -12.6
55-64  41,197  43,287 -4.8
65-plus  25,704  24,577 4.6

Source: Census Bureau, Current Population Survey

College Bubble about to Burst

Who are the biggest spenders on education? Householders under age 25 and aged 45 to 54: college students and their parents. Those two age groups account for 56 percent of all household spending on college tuition, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

These are the age groups that have experienced the largest declines in household income over the past decade, according to numbers released by the Census Bureau. Householders under age 25 saw their median household income fall by a stunning 20 percent between 2000 and 2010, after adjusting for inflation. Those aged 45 to 54 experienced a 14 percent decline--a loss of more than $10,000. No other age groups have been hurt as badly by the Great Recession as these.

The downward spiral in the incomes of college students and their parents explains why nonrevolving consumer credit (a figure that includes student loans) is growing at an annual rate of 11.2 percent, according to the Federal Reserve. It also explains why the percentage of student loans in default reached 8.8 percent as of September 2010--up from 7 percent a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The college market is a bubble about to burst. What will colleges look like after the implosion?

Double-Digit Losses in 14 States

Fourteen states saw double-digit declines in median household income during the past decade (two-year moving averages 1999-2000 to 2009-2010), after adjusting for inflation...

Alabama: -11.6
Delaware: -13.3
Georgia: -15.7
Illinois: -12.1
Indiana: -13.1
Michigan: -21.0
Minnesota: -15.9
Mississippi: -14.3
Missouri: -13.9
North Carolina: -11.2
Ohio: -12.6
South Carolina: -12.4
Tennessee: -12.2
Wisconsin: -12.2

Source: Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables

Median Household Income Drops

Median household income fell to $49,445 in 2010, according to the Census Bureau, down from $50,599 in 2009 (a 2.3 percent decline) and $53,164 in 2000 (a 7.0 percent decline), after adjusting for inflation. Among householders under age 25, median household income has fallen 20 percent since 2000. The decline in median household income ranges from 9 to 14 percent for householders between the ages of 25 and 55. Here are the ugly numbers, all in 2010 dollars.

2010 2000      % ch.
Total  49,445  53,164 -7.0
<25  28,322  35,257 -19.7
25-34  50,059  56,233 -11.0
35-44  61,644  68,069 -9.4
45-54  62,485  72,981 -14.4
55-64  56,575  56,789 -0.4
65-plus  31,408  29,226 7.5

Source: Census Bureau, 2011 Current Population Survey

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning the Census Bureau releases income, poverty, and health insurance statistics for 2010, based on the 2011 Current Population Survey (fielded in March). For all you demographic trend trackers, tomorrow is the equivalent of Christmas. For details about how to tune in to the 10:00 a.m. live online presentation, click here. The Census Bureau expects "substantial interest in these findings," so log in early.

The single most important number to be revealed tomorrow is median household income. My guess is that the median will be little changed from the $49,777 of 2009 (which was 5 percent below the median of 2000, after adjusting for inflation). Behind the stability is the structure of the population, with lots of older Americans on fixed incomes (remember when a "fixed income" was a bad thing?) and lots of boomers in their peak-earning years. The drama is likely to be in median income by age among householders under age 55.

Visit this page tomorrow for the results.

The Generations, 2010

Below are the 2010 census counts of the U.S. population by generation, calculated using single-year of age data released by the Census Bureau. The total population in 2010 was 308,745,538...

iGeneration: 65,470,033 (21.2%)
   aged 15 and younger, born 1995 and later
Millennial generation: 76,608,254 (24.8%)
   aged 16 to 33, born 1977 to 1994
Generation X: 49,418,690 (16.0%)
   aged 34 to 45, born 1965 to 1976
Baby-boom generation: 76,980,577 (24.9%)
   aged 46 to 64, born 1946 to 1964
Older generations: 40,267,984 (13.0%)
   aged 65 and older, born 1945 and earlier

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Deaths Due to Terrorism

Number of U.S. citizens killed in international terrorist incidents...

2001: 2,689
2002: 27
2003: 35
2004: NA
2005: 56
2006: 28
2007: 19
2008: 33
2009: 25
2010: 15

Source: National Counterterrorism Center

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Average Day: Leisure

Americans aged 15 or older enjoy 5.18 hours of leisure time on an average day, spending 53 percent of their leisure time watching television.

Source: American Time Use Survey

Friday, September 09, 2011

Not Enough Money

Nearly half--45 percent--of Americans say they are feeling "quite pinched" or "not able to make ends meet," according to the Economic Mobility Project.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

29 Million Can't Afford Medical Care

Twenty-nine million Americans delayed getting medical care during the past year because of cost. That number is bigger than the population of Texas--the nation's second largest state.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Summary Health Statistics for the U.S. Population: National Health Interview Survey, 2010

Busting More Myths about Renters

The number of renters with household incomes of $100,000 or more grew 10 percent between 2007 and 2009, to more than 2 million.

Source: Census Bureau, American Housing Survey

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Local Area Health Statistics

Want to know how many people in your city are fat, or go to the dentist, or drink alcohol? Find out by visiting the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) City and County Data site, where a variety of health information is available by metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area. Most obese is Wauchula, Florida, where 42 percent of the population has a body mass index of 30 or higher (the definition of obese). In Key West, only 17 percent of residents are obese--one of the lowest levels in the nation.

Busting Myths about Renters

Renters are three times more likely to live in single-family homes (28%) than large buildings with 50 or more rental units (9%).

Source: Census Bureau, American Housing Survey

What Men Drink

What men drink on an average day (number of cups)...

Water: 4.4
Regular soda: 1.9
Coffee: 1.6
Alcohol: 1.3
Tea: 0.9
Diet soda: 0.7
Milk: 0.5
Juice: 0.4

Note: According to the report, alcoholic beverage consumption is "mostly in the form of beer."
Source: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, What We Eat in America, Beverage Choices of U.S. Adults

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Why So Few Stories about Jobs ?

Calculated Risk asks why there was so little media coverage of jobs and unemployment on Labor Day. Usually I do not defend the media, but this time I will. The answer, I think, is that there is frustratingly little fresh data out there that tells the story. Sure, there are the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Employment Situation reports, but so little has changed in those numbers over the months that there's nothing new or revealing about them. The most recent Monthly Labor Review is dedicated to an analysis of jobs and unemployment, but it is so academic and full of acronyms that it is nearly impossible to understand, let alone report.

The media are looking for the story, but finding a jumble of letters. It takes time for stories to be written, and unfortunately this story is still unfolding.

Depression by Age

Percent of Americans who are currently depressed, by age...

Total: 8.2%
18-24: 10.2%
25-34: 8.3%
35-44: 8.3%
45-54: 10.2%
55-plus: 6.1%

Source: CDC, Mental Illness Surveillance among Adults in the United States

Monday, September 05, 2011

Downward Mobility among Unemployed

Among workers who lost their job during the Great Recession, then found new full-time employment, percentage who had to accept lower pay: 52%.

Source: Source: Rutgers University, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Out of Work and Losing Hope: The Misery and Bleak Expectations of American Workers

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Workplace Homicides

In 2010, 506 workers were murdered while on the job. The 81 percent majority were men, 79 percent were shot, and the 26 plurality were in sales.

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Many College Graduates Still Supported by Parents

Percentage of young adults who graduated from four-year colleges between 2006 and 2010 who receive financial support from their parents, by age...

For miscellaneous bills
22-25: 32%
26-29: 15%

For living situation
22-25: 29%
26-29: 17%

For health care
22-25: 21%
26-29: 7%

For food
22-25: 26%
26-29: 15%

For college loans
22-25: 12%
26-29: 9%

For car payment
22-25: 11%
26-29: 6%

Source: Rutgers University, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy

Friday, September 02, 2011

Farm Income in 2010

Among households with farm operators...
Median household income earned from farming: $ -2,020
Median household income earned from off-farm sources: $50,385

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, 2011 Farm Income Forecast

Attitudes of the Unemployed

Percentage of the unemployed who want to improve the economy...
by cutting government spending to reduce the deficit: 67%
by boosting government spending on construction projects: 49%

Source: Source: Rutgers University, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Out of Work and Losing Hope: The Misery and Bleak Expectations of American Workers

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Keeping Track of Marriages

The National Center for Health Statistics is no longer publishing monthly updates on the number of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in the United States. Birth and death counts will be updated only twice a year, marriages and divorces just once a year. Sign up for email update alerts here.

Ten Percent Decline in Starting Salaries

Median starting salary for graduates from four-year colleges in...

2006 and 2007 (pre-Great Recession): $30,000
2009 and 2010 (post-Great Recession): $27,000

Source: Rutgers University, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy

Who is Online in 2011?

Seventy-eight percent of Americans aged 18 or older use the Internet, according to a 2011 survey by Pew Internet & American Life Project. By age, this is how many use the Internet...

Adults who use the Internet
Total: 78%
18-29: 95% 
30-49: 87%  
50-64: 74%  
65-plus: 42%  

Pew reports that 65 percent of Internet users are on a social networking site such as Facebook. By age, these are the percentages of Internet users who use social networking sites...

Internet users who use social networking sites
Total: 65%
18-29: 83%
30-49: 70%
50-64: 51%
65-plus: 33%

If you multiply the percentage who use the Internet by the percentage of Internet users who use social networking sites, then this is the percentage who use social networking sites by age...

Adults who use social networking sites
Total: 51%
18-29: 79% 
30-49: 61%
50-64: 38%
65-plus: 14%

As of May 2011, most adults under age 50 are on Facebook or another social networking site. Most adults aged 50 or older are not.

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 65% of online adults use social networking sites