Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who Wants to Quit?

Among smokers aged 18 or older, 74 percent want to quit. They have tried to stop smoking an average of 3.6 times.

Source: Gallup, Most U.S. Smokers Want to Quit, Have Tried Multiple Times

Trends in Healthy Life Expectancy

Older Americans are living longer than ever, but are they enjoying those years in good health? That question is posed by a National Bureau of Economic Research study, which measured the health status of the elderly in the years prior to death based on data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.

There is good news to report: life expectancy at age 65 is growing, and so are years of healthy life. The average 65-year-old in 2003-05 could expect to live an additional 18.2 years in total, up from 17.5 years for their counterparts in 1991-93. Of those 18.2 years of life, 10.4 years are lived free of disability, up from 8.8 disability-free years for 65-year-olds in 1991-93. The number of years of expected life lived with a disability fell from 8.7 years in the earlier time period to 7.8 years in the 2000s.

But the findings are different if healthy life is defined as one without disease rather than disability. Disease-free life expectancy has increased, but so has life expectancy with a major disease (defined as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, pulmonary disease, heart attack, heart disease, stroke, broken hip, arthritis, or diabetes). Of the 18.2 years of total life expectancy for 65-year-olds in 2003-05, 8.6 years are lived free of disease, up from 8.0 disease-free years for their counterparts in 1991-93. But the number of years of expected life lived with a major disease also climbed, from 9.5 years in the earlier time period to 9.7 years in the 2000s.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, Evidence for Significant Compression of Morbidity in the Elderly U.S. Population, NBER Working Paper 19268

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who Claims at 62?

Percentage of men who claimed early Social Security benefits at age 62, by birth year...
1920-24: 52%
1925-29: 56%
1930-34: 57%
1935-37: 55%
1938-42: 50%
1943-44: 45%

Source: The Urban Institute, How Did the Great Recession Affect Social Security Claiming?

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: Second Quarter 2013

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, second quarter 2013: 48.4%

The homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34 fell 0.5 percentage points between the first and second quarters of 2013, to 48.4 percent. Although the homeownership rate of the age group has recovered from the all-time low of 46.9 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2012, it is well below the 50 percent mark (and has been for nine quarters and counting) that defines first-time homebuyers. 

In the new normal, the typical first-time homebuyer is a middle-aged 35-to-39-year-old rather than a young adult. In the second quarter of 2013, the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds was 55.4 percent, fully 2.2 percentage points lower than one year ago and the biggest year-over-year decline experienced by any age group. Prior to the Great Recession, the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds exceeded 66 percent.

Nationally, the homeownership rate was 65.0 percent in the second quarter of 2013, identical to the first quarter rate and 0.5 percentage points below the 65.5 percent of one year ago.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Monday, July 29, 2013

Household Income Up in June 2013

Finally, household income is moving in the right direction. Median annual household income increased between May and June 2013, according to the latest monthly update from Sentier Research. The June median of $52,098 was 0.7 percent higher than the May median, after adjusting for inflation. This is the first statistically significant increase in more than a year, and as the report states: "It is noteworthy that in this latest monthly reading, real median annual household income managed to increase by 0.7 percent even though there was an increase in consumer prices of 0.5 percent."

Despite the increase, median household income has yet to recover from the Great Recession. In June 2013, median household income was still 4.4 percent below the median of June 2009, the end of the Great Recession. It was 6.1 percent lower than the median in December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. It was 7.2 percent lower than the median in January 2000. 

The Household Income Index for June 2013 was 92.8 (January 2000 = 100.0). The index compares median annual household income in a given month as a percent of its value in January 2000, after adjusting for inflation. An Excel spreadsheet of the entire household income time series is available from Sentier's web site for $25.00.

Source: Sentier Research, Trends in Household Income: June 2013

Non-Hispanic Whites in School

Non-Hispanic white share of elementary and secondary students by type of school...

Public: 52%
Private: 71%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results from the 2011-12 Private School Universe Survey and Digest of Education Statistics

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In Trouble

Percentage of Americans who have ever...

Received a traffic ticket: 64%
Been picked up by police: 20%
Spent time in prison or jail: 14%

Source: 2012 General Social Survey

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hispanic or Latino?

Which term do Hispanics prefer? According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of Latinos say it does not matter whether the term "Latino" or "Hispanic" is used.

There is some variation by age in this attitude, however, with the proportion of Hispanics who say either term is ok ranging from a low of 53 percent among people aged 65 or older (with 33 percent preferring Hispanic and 14 percent Latino) to a high of 76 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds (with 16 percent preferring Hispanic and 7 percent Latino).

Source: Gallup, U.S. Blacks, Hispanics Have No Preferences on Group Label

Black or African American?

Which term do African Americans prefer? According to a Gallup poll, 65 percent of blacks say it does not matter whether the term "black" or "African American" is used.

There is little variation by age in this attitude, with the proportion of blacks who say either term is ok ranging from a low of 62 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds (with 20 percent preferring African American and 17 percent black) to a high of 73 percent among those aged 65 or older (with 16 percent preferring African American and 11 percent black).

Source: Gallup, U.S. Blacks, Hispanics Have No Preferences on Group Label

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What's Happening with Health Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges will open for business in a few weeks. On October 1st, each state's exchanges will begin to enroll the nation's uninsured and underinsured in standardized health insurance plans, effective January 1, 2014. The big rollout will generate a lot of media coverage, but it will not have a direct impact on most Americans because the majority already has employer-provided health insurance (55 percent of the population) or Medicare (15 percent). The health insurance exchanges will make a big difference for the 10 percent of Americans who buy health insurance privately and the 16 percent who have no health insurance.

Prepare for a barrage of media reports about the price of health insurance in each state's exchanges. In preparation, keep in mind just how much the average American pays for health insurance. Among private-sector workers, the average health insurance premium for single coverage is $449 per month. For family coverage, the average premium is $1,289 per month, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The typical worker spends less than those amounts because employers pay most of the cost. For the self-employed and those without employer-provided health insurance, however, the cost often greatly exceeds those figures and benefits can be limited. Many Americans can't get insurance at all because of pre-existing conditions. This awkward, paternalistic health insurance system has long distorted the labor market and stunted entrepreneurship in the United States.

All that is about to change. The new health insurance plans must accept all applicants regardless of health status, many Americans will receive subsidies to help them pay the cost, benefits will be standardized, and the uninsured will be required to get insurance or pay a fine. Watching how this much-needed update of our antiquated health insurance system affects health insurance coverage, health care demographics, employment, entrepreneurship, and the American psyche is an armchair demographer's dream.

Is Capitalism Working?

The 53 percent majority of Americans think capitalism is working well, but there is a difference of opinion on this issue by economic status...

Percent who think capitalism is working very or somewhat well by household income
$100,000 or more: 67%
Less than $30,000: 47%

Source: Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, Do Americans Believe Capitalism and Government Are Working?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

College Degree Outcomes

Despite the high cost of college, most of the nation's parents still believe college is worth the cost, according to the 2013 Sallie Mae report, How America Pays for College. Eighty-five percent of parents with children enrolled in an undergraduate program think college is an investment in their child's future, and 65 percent say having a college degree is more important than it used to be.

They feel this way despite the fact that fewer than half of 21-to-24-year-olds who earned a bachelor's degree between 2003 and 2011 are employed in a job that requires a college degree. Here is the percent distribution of recent college graduates by their current employment status, according to a study by the Economic Mobility Project (How Much Protection Does a College Degree Afford?)...

42% are employed in a "college job"
26% are employed in a "high school job"
22% are attending school
10% are unemployed or not in the labor force

College graduates may be getting beat up in the labor market, but you should have seen the other guy. Among 21-to-24-year-old high school graduates, 45 percent have a high school job, 30 percent are in school, 18 percent are unemployed or not in the labor force, and 7 percent have a college job. That's why parents want their children to go to college—to boost their odds of getting a college job from 7 to 42 percent.

Few Plan for College Expenses

Only 43 percent of American families know how they will pay for college before their child enrolls in school, according to the latest Sallie Mae survey. The college cost "surprise" that greets many families as their child heads out the door is one factor behind the rise in student debt.

The typical family with an 18-to-24-year-old enrolled in an undergraduate program paid $21,178 for college in the 2012-13 school year. The funds came from a combination of parent income and savings ($5,727), loans ($5,760), grants and scholarships ($6,355), student income ($2,284), and gifts from relatives and friends ($1,053).

The out-of-pocket parental contribution to college costs has fallen 35 percent since 2009-10, according to the survey, probably because parents are steering their children toward less expensive schools. During the college admissions process, 67 percent of families eliminated schools from consideration because of their cost.

Source: Sallie Mae, How America Pays for College 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

America's Philosophical Divide

Here's an interesting way to look at what divides us: a new survey of religious beliefs combined with economic and social attitudes finds Americans falling into four philosophical camps:

38% religious moderates
28% religious conservatives
19% religious progressives
15% nonreligious

Not surprisingly, these four groups differ in size by political party. The 56 percent majority of Republicans, but only 13 percent of Democrats, are religious conservatives. Forty-five percent of Democrats, but only 11 percent of Republicans, are religious progressives or nonreligious.

There are big differences by generation as well. Only 17 percent of Millennials are religious conservatives versus 23 percent of Gen Xers, 34 percent of Boomers, and 47 percent of older Americans (aged 66 or older). Conversely, 45 percent of Millennials are religious progressives or nonreligious versus 33 percent of Gen Xers, 30 percent of Boomers, and just 22 percent of older Americans. These generational differences, says the report, "highlight the likelihood that religious conservatives will shrink as a proportion of the population, while religious progressives will maintain their share and the ranks of the nonreligious will grow."

Source: Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, Do Americans Believe Capitalism and Government Are Working?

Zimmerman Verdict Divides Whites

Overall, 39 percent of Americans are satisfied and 42 percent are dissatisfied with the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin (the remainder are uncertain), according to a Pew survey. Among non-Hispanics whites, 49 percent are satisfied by the acquittal, but there are marked differences in the attitudes of non-Hispanic whites by age...

Percent of non-Hispanic whites who are satisfied with the Zimmerman verdict
Aged 18 to 29: 39%
Aged 30 to 49: 43%
Aged 50 to 64: 57%
Aged 65 or older: 56%

Source: Pew Research Center, Big Racial Divide over Zimmerman Verdict

Monday, July 22, 2013

Location Matters

Fascinating article in the New York Times: In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters. The article describes a study that maps intergenerational economic mobility by metropolitan area. The finding: location matters. Economic mobility is low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and other southeastern metros and in midwestern metros such as Indianapolis, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Economic mobility is high  in a number of metros in the Northeast and West such as New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

The differences are not negligible, as the Times' David Leonhardt reports: "Parts of the country with the highest mobility rates—like Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Salt Lake City—have rates roughly as high as those in Denmark and Norway, two countries at the top of the international mobility rankings. In areas like Atlanta and Memphis, by comparison, upward mobility appears to be substantially lower than in any other rich country."

It would be interesting to see these findings overlaid with the Census Bureau's database on metro density moving outward from city hall. The Times article suggests that economic mobility is more difficult in sprawling metros. And what about the geography of metros themselves? Do flat metros encourage sprawl and hilly metros encourage density, boosting opportunity?

Rental Vacancy Rates by Metro

Among the nation's 75 largest metropolitan areas, rental vacancy rates are highest in Orlando, Florida. In 2012, 18.5 percent of rental units in Orlando were vacant—more than twice the 8.6 percent rate for all metro areas. Three other metros had vacancy rates above 15 percent in 2012: Richmond, Virginia; Dayton, Ohio; and New Orleans.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey, Annual Statistics: 2012

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's Wrong with the Rural South, Part 2

In the nation as a whole, 301 nonmetropolitan counties are persistently poor. Persistent poverty means at least 20 percent of a county's population lives in poverty as measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 censuses and the 2007-11 American Community Survey. Almost all the persistently poor nonmetro counties are in the South. Here are the numbers by region...

252 in the South
29 in the Midwest
20 in the West
0 in the Northeast

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Persistent-Poverty Counties Are Mostly Nonmetro, Generally Southern

Friday, July 19, 2013

What's Wrong with the Rural South?

That's what the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is trying to figure out. Of the 164 rural counties under the Atlanta Fed's purview, 136 are in a state of "persistent poverty." With factory work all but gone, any spark that could ignite these economies is promptly smothered by the boots of southern politics. What is needed, says the report, is an investment in infrastructure—including intellectual infrastructure, formal networks of support for entrepreneurs, and innovative financial tools such as microlending.

"Is it worth it?" is the ultimate question asked by the report. To help solve the problems of the rural South, "why not simply give people incentives to move to places where jobs are more plentiful?" One community development leader described the dire situation this way: "You're almost doing triage, trying to stop the bleeding as far as losing companies, and companies downsizing or closing altogether."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Wanted: Jobs 2.0 in the Rural Southeast

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Healthy Life Expectancy by State

With so many baby boomers turning 65, there's a lot of interest in how long boomers can expect to remain healthy. According to a report from the CDC, people aged 65 can expect to live another 19.1 years on average. But they can expect only 13.9 years of healthy life, which the CDC estimates using responses to the question, "Would you say that in general your health is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?" Those who say their health is "excellent," "very good," or "good" are considered to be healthy. Those who say their health is "fair" or "poor" are no longer living the healthy life.

Not only has the CDC made this calculation for the nation as a whole, but for individual states. Overall, for people aged 65, the state with the longest healthy life expectancy is Hawaii (16.2 years) and the state with the shortest healthy life expectancy is Mississippi (10.8 years). Not surprisingly, blacks have a shorter healthy life expectancy than whites in nearly every state, but both blacks and whites have the shortest healthy life expectancy in the South.

Source: CDC, State-Specific Healthy Life Expectancy at Age 65 Years—United States, 2007-2009

What Causes the Black-White Life Expectancy Gap?

Life expectancy at birth was 75.1 years for blacks and 78.9 years for whites in 2010—a gap of 3.8 years. The National Center for Health Statistics has now determined the causes of death that create most of this gap: heart disease (which accounts for 1 full year of the life expectancy gap), cancer (0.6 years), homicide (0.5 years), diabetes (0.3 years), and perinatal conditions (another 0.3 years).

Higher mortality rates from these causes of death reflect not only African Americans' more limited access to medical care, but also a lack of opportunity that leads to more homicide, teen pregnancy, and premature births. But it's getting better. The black-white life expectancy gap has narrowed considerably as the socioeconomic status of blacks has improved. In 1970, the life expectancy gap was 7.6 years.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, How Did Cause of Death Contribute to Racial Differences in Life Expectancy in the United States in 2010?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Expecting the Worst

Percentage of American workers who expect their standard of living in retirement to...

Decline: 41%
Stay the same: 38%
Increase: 12%
Not sure: 10%

Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 14th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers

Social Security's Declining Role

For baby boomers and younger generations of married couples, Social Security will not replace as much household income as it did for older generation. That's because of the rise of working women and the way benefits are calculated for married couples, according to a report by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College.

In the past, when most wives did not work, Social Security benefits replaced a larger portion of total household income because nonworking wives received a benefit check as well. The nonworking wife's benefit was equal to one-half of her husband's benefit. The CRR report provides an example: if the husband's benefit  replaced 40 percent of his earnings (his earnings = total household income), then the nonworking wife's benefit replaced another 20 percent of his earnings for a 60 percent replacement rate. What a deal!

Unfortunately, that deal has gone the way of the dodo bird. When both husband and wife are in the labor force, the wife's earnings boost household income. But if the wife's Social Security benefits replace 40 percent of her earnings and the husband's benefits replace 40 percent of his earnings, then Social Security replaces only 40 percent of the couple's total household income.

"The drop in replacement rates for couples will lead to a declining role for Social Security,"concludes the CRR report, warning that "retirees will have to rely increasingly on other sources of retirement income."

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, How Does Women Working Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Newsrooms Emptying

The number of full-time professional editorial jobs at the nation's newspapers fell by a steep 18,400 between 2000 and 2012—a 33 percent decline, according to the American Society of News Editors. In 2000, there were 56,400 full-time editorial jobs at newspapers. In 2012, the figure was just 38,000.

Source: Pew research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Newspaper Newsrooms Suffer Large Staffing Decreases

Trends in Household Burglary

First, the good news: the number of household burglaries fell sharply between 1994 and 2011—down 56 percent, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Now for the bad news: the median dollar value of the items stolen in completed burglaries grew from $389 to $600 during those years, after adjusting for inflation.

What do burglars want? The same thing the rest of us want: portable electronic devices. In 2011, portable electronics were the most commonly stolen items, taken in 34 percent of completed burglaries. Cash, credit cards, purses, and wallets were stolen in a much smaller 17 percent of completed burglaries. Interestingly, even criminals have turned into couch potatoes. Burglaries in which bicycles or sporting equipment was stolen fell from 13 percent of the total in 1994 to just 9 percent in 2011.

Isolating yourself from your fellow man does little to protect you from burglary. In 2011, the number of completed burglaries per 1,000 households was higher in rural than in urban areas (26.3 in urban areas versus 27.2 in rural areas). Living in a gated community does not offer all that much protection either. The rate of completed burglaries in gated communities was 20.1 versus an only somewhat higher 24.9 outside the gates.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Household Burglary, 1994-2011

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dental Expenditures in 2010

Forty percent of Americans went to the dentist in 2010. Among those who did, the average cost was $666. Just under half the amount ($316) was paid for out-of-pocket.

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Dental Expenditures in the 10 Largest States, 2010

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Artists in Residence

The nation's 2 million artists account for 1.35 percent of the U.S. labor force, according to a National Endowment for the Arts analysis of 2006-10 American Community Survey data. Artists' share of the labor force varies by state, however, ranging from a high of 1.63 percent in New York to a low of 0.51 percent in West Virginia. The top ten states in the art share of the labor force are...

1. New York
2. California
3. Vermont
4. Oregon
5. Hawaii
6. Massachusetts
7. Colorado
8. Connecticut
9. Washington
10. Nevada

Source: National Endowment for the Arts, National Statistics about Working Artists

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Student Debt Gets No Respect

If you wonder why the nation's politicians are slow to come to the aid of young adults with student debt, these numbers explain it. The people most likely to vote (older Americans) have no experience with student debt.

Percentage of people who have never had student debt, by generation
Millennials: 51%
Gen Xers: 58%
Boomers: 69%
Matures: 86%

Thursday, July 11, 2013

High Crime States

Violent crime has plummeted over the past few decades. According to the FBI, the nation's violent crime rate was just 386.3 per 100,000 population in 2011—about half the 1992 rate of 757.2. Some states have much higher violent crime rates than others, however. In 2011, these five states had the highest rates of violent crime...

1. Tennessee, 608.2
2. Alaska, 606.5
3. South Carolina, 571.9
4. New Mexico, 567.5
5. Nevada, 562.1

Maine had the lowest rate of violent crime in 2011, with a rate of 123.2.

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Retirement Savings by Generation

Every generation boosted its retirement savings between 2007 and 2013, according to the 14th Annual Retirement Survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

  • Boomers have saved a median of $104,000 for retirement, up from $75,000
  • Gen Xers have saved a median of $45,000 for retirement, up from $32,000 
  • Millennials have saved a median of $19,000 for retirement, up from $9,000

Who Worries about Hurricanes?

Hurricane Sandy clearly focused the attention of the Northeast on the hurricane threat. When asked which natural disaster would be most likely to directly affect them, fear of hurricanes is greater in the Northeast than in the South. Sixty-three percent of Northeastern residents say a hurricane would directly affect them versus a smaller 57 percent of those in the South who say they would feel the pain.

Despite their newfound fear of hurricanes, snowstorms are the number-one natural disaster concern in the Northeast (cited by 70%). Tornadoes are the biggest worry in the South (66%), and they are an even greater concern in the Midwest (87%). Earthquakes are the biggest natural disaster threat for residents of the West (67%). Overall, 54 percent of Americans say they are prepared for a natural disaster with a three-day supply of food, water, and other necessities.

Source: Harris Interactive, Just Over Half of Americans Say They Are Prepared for a Long Term Power Outage or Disaster

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Who is an Artist?

There are 2 million working artists in the United States, according to an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's 2006-10 American Community Survey. An artist is defined as someone who devotes the most hours in a given week to one of 11 occupations as defined by the federal government's Standard Occupational Classification system...

1. Actors: includes voice-over artists
2. Announcers: includes talk/game show hosts and radio disk jockeys (think Rush Limbaugh)
3. Architects: includes golf course designers
4. Fine artists, art directors, and animators: includes tattoo artists
5. Dancer and choreographers
6. Designers: includes commercial and industrial designers
7. Other entertainers: includes comedians (think Bill Maher)
8. Musicians and singers
9. Photographers: includes medical photographers
10. Producers and directors
11. Writers and authors: includes advertising copywriters

Source: National Endowment for the Arts, National Statistics about Working Artists

Monday, July 08, 2013

Age at First Birth

On average, American women are 25.6 years old when they have their first baby, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. This is up from an average age of 21.4 in 1970.

A woman's age at first birth varies by race and Hispanic origin, ranging from a low of 22.4 for American Indian women to 29.1 for Asian women. Average age at first birth is 23.4 for black women, 23.7 for Hispanic women, and 26.5 for non-Hispanic white women.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Final Data for 2011

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Never-Married Men

Percentage of men aged 25 to 29 who have never married, 1970 and 2012...

1970: 19%
2012: 63%

Source: Census Bureau, America's Families and Living Arrangements

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fewer Kids Drinking Milk

Percentage of children aged 2 to 12 who do not drink milk on an average day...

1977-78: 12%
2007-08: 24%

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Why Are Americans Consuming Less Fluid Milk? A Look at Generational Differences in Intake Frequency

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Who Controls the Nation's Wealth?

American households had an aggregate net worth (assets minus liabilities) of $40 trillion in 2011. By far the largest share of the nation's wealth is controlled by householders aged 65 or older. Here is the distribution of household wealth by age of householder...

Under age 35: 4%
Aged 35 to 44: 9%
Aged 45 to 54: 18%
Aged 55 to 64: 26%
Aged 65-plus: 43%

Source: Census Bureau, Wealth and Asset Ownership

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Kids Count

But not for much. In a society with an age structure as top heavy as ours, children are often neglected—not by parents, but by politicians. That explains why 41 percent of the federal budget is devoted to the elderly and only 10 percent to children, according to an Urban Institute study.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is trying to change that. Each year it examines the socioeconomic status of the nation's children and ranks their status by state—all in the hope that politicians will pay attention. The 2013 Kids Count Data Book finds the status of children improving in some areas and worsening in others. Many more children were in poverty in 2011, for example, than in 2005 (the percentage rising from 19 to 23 percent), and there were more children whose parents lack secure employment (rising from 27 to 32 percent). But fewer children were without health insurance and fewer teens were having babies.

By state, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts rank at the top in the well-being of their children. At the bottom are New Mexico, Mississippi, and Nevada. The Data Book includes details for each state, and the Kids Count Data Center has an interactive graphic. Let's hope someone is paying attention.

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013 Kids Count Data Book

Monday, July 01, 2013

Money Woes, At a Glance

For an interesting series of charts showing how financial worries wax and wane with age, check out Gallup's, Older Baby Boomers More Positive about Their Finances.

Inheriting the House

Among the nation's 76 homeowners, 3 million received their home as an inheritance or gift.

Source: Census Bureau, 2011 American Housing Survey