Friday, May 29, 2015

Americans Overestimate Gay and Lesbian Population

The public is wildly wrong when it comes to estimating the size of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender population in the U.S., according to a Gallup survey. When asked to estimate the percentage of Americans who are gay or lesbian, 23 percent is the average guess. In fact, a much smaller 3.8 percent of adults identify themselves as LGBT.

Source: Gallup, Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Decline in Earnings of Men Aged 25 to 34

Median annual earnings of men aged 25 to 34 who work full-time by educational attainment, 2000 and 2013 (in 2013 dollars), and change in earnings...

Master's degree or more
2013: $66,770
2000: $74,260
Change: -$7,490

Bachelor's degree
2013: $51,940
2000: $60,570
Change: -$8,810

Associate's degree
2013: $41,750
2000: $47,320
Change: -$5,570

Some college, no degree
2013: $38,340
2000: $43,030
Change: -$4,690

High school graduate only
2013: $31,710
2000: $38,980
Change: -$7,270

Not a high school graduate
2013: $24,390
2000: $26,950
Change: -$2,560

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistic 2014

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Uninsured Low-Income Americans by State

State of residence is becoming a matter of life and death for many. Low-income Americans who live in states that refused to expand Medicaid are far less likely to have health insurance than their counterparts in states that expanded Medicaid—and the gap is growing.

Among Americans aged 18 to 64 with incomes below 138% of poverty level, this is the percentage without health insurance as of April-September, 2014, by age and state Medicaid expansion status (and percentage-point change in uninsured from 2013 to September 2014)...

Aged 18 to 34
Medicaid expansion states: 26.1% (-9.1)
Non-expansion states: 44.9% (-0.7%)

Aged 35 to 44
Medicaid expansion states: 30.3% (-8.8)
Non-expansion states: 47.1% (-4.6)

Aged 45 to 64
Medicaid expansion states: 18.8% (-12.1)
Non-expansion states: 35.3% (-6.2)

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Insurance Status by State Medicaid Expansion Status: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2013-September 2014

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

City Growth Still Outpaces Rest of Nation

Between 2010 and 2014, the population of the nation's 749 largest cities (incorporated places with populations of 50,000 or more in 2014) climbed 4.3 percent while the remainder of the United States grew by a smaller 2.4 percent. City growth varies little by city size, with large cities of all sizes growing faster than elsewhere.

City population growth 2010-2014 by city size
1 million or more: 4.2%
500,000 to 999,999: 5.0%
250,000 to 499,999: 4.3%
200,000 to 249,999: 4.2%
150,000 to 199,999: 3.9%
100,000 to 149,999: 4.2%
50,000 to 99,999: 4.0%

A year-over-year analysis of population trends shows a repeating pattern. Between 2010 and 2014, large cities have grown 1.0 to 1.1 percent per year. The remainder of the United States has grown by a smaller 0.6 percent per year in every year since 2010.

Source: Census Bureau, City and Town Totals: Vintage 2014

Monday, May 25, 2015

Homeownership Rate of Married Couples

Married couples are far more likely than other household types to own their home. In 2014, fully 80.3 percent of couples were homeowners versus 64.5 percent of all households. Married couples are more likely to be homeowners because two incomes are often needed to afford a downpayment and other costs of home buying and homeownership.

Even married couples are less likely to be homeowners than they once were. Over the past 10 years, the homeownership rate of married couples fell 3.7 percentage points. In some age groups, the decline was much larger...

Married-couple homeownership rate in 2014 (and percentage-point decline since 2004)
Total couples: 80.3% (-3.7)
Under age 35: 55.6% (-7.5)
Aged 35 to 44: 73.9% (-9.1)
Aged 45 to 54: 84.1% (-5.5)
Aged 55 to 64: 89.6% (-2.4)
Aged 65-plus: 91.5% (-1.2)

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

Friday, May 22, 2015

States with Minority Majority Public School Students

Among the nation's public school students in 2012, nearly half (49 percent) were Asian, Black, Hispanic, or another minority. Only 51 percent were non-Hispanic White. Minorities are the majority of public school students in 14 states and the District of Columbia...

Minority share of public school students
District of Columbia: 91.6%
Hawaii: 86.1%
California: 74.5%
New Mexico: 74.5%
Texas: 70.0%
Nevada: 63.2%
Arizona: 58.4%
Florida: 58.4%
Maryland: 58.2%
Georgia: 56.5%
Mississippi: 54.3%
Louisiana: 53.0%
New York: 52.8%
Delaware: 51.4%
New Jersey: 50.2%

In three states—Maine, West Virginia, and Vermont—minorities account for fewer than 10 percent of public school students.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics: 2014

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Population of Frontier and Remote Areas

How many Americans live in frontier and remote areas of the country? That depends on what the words "frontier" and "remote" mean. According to the USDA's Economic Research Service, there's more than one meaning. The ERS defines four levels of frontier and remote based on travel time to "high order" goods and services (advanced medical procedures, major household appliances, regional airport hubs—all typically found in urban areas of 50,000 or more people) and travel time to "low order" goods and services (the grocery stores, gas stations, and basic health care found in smaller urban areas).

To be defined as living in a Level 1 Frontier and Remote Area (the least remote), residents must have to travel at least 60 minutes to reach an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Levels  2, 3, and 4 (each increasingly remote) must meet that criteria and be a certain travel time away from ever smaller urban areas...

Level 1: At least 60 minutes of travel to reach an urban area of 50,000-plus
Level 2: At least 45 minutes of travel to reach an urban area of 25,000 to 49,999
Level 3: At least 30 minutes of travel to reach an urban area of 10,000 to 24,999
Level 4: At least 15 minutes of travel to reach an urban area of 2,500 to 9,999

Overall, 12.2 million Americans live in Frontier and Remote Areas. Although 52 percent of the land area of the United States is in these areas, only 4 percent of Americans live there. In Wyoming and Montana, the majority of the population lives in remote areas. In five states and the District of Columbia, no one lives in a remote area. At the link below you can access maps and Frontier and Remote Area data by state and zip code.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Frontier and Remote (FAR) Codes Pinpoint Nation's Most Remote Regions

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Big Drop in Uninsured 50-to-64-Year-Olds

What has the Affordable Care Act done for the nation's most vulnerable—50-to-64-year-olds? This is the age when illness often strikes, and when it does those without health insurance can face catastrophic costs and medical bankruptcy. Until the Affordable Care Act, millions of 50-to-64-year-olds could not get coverage because of pre-existing conditions and prohibitive costs.

That was then. This is now: the percentage of 50-to-64-year-olds without health insurance fell from 11.6 to 8.0 percent between December 2013 and December 2014, according to a study by the AARP Public Policy Institute, a decline of nearly one-third. But some 50-to-64-year-olds are luckier than others. The lucky ones live in states that expanded Medicaid. The unlucky ones live in states that did not...

Uninsured rate for 50-to-64-year-olds by state of residence, December 2014
States expanding Medicaid: 5.5%
States not expanding Medicaid: 11.0%

Source: AARP Public Policy Institute, Monitoring the Impact of Health Reform on Americans Ages 50-64

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Still Not Over the Great Recession

The Great Recession still lingers for many Americans, according to a survey by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. When the nation's workers were asked how they would describe their recovery from the Great Recession, this is what they said...

16% have fully recovered
40% have somewhat recovered
21% were not affected by the Great Recession
15% have not yet begun to recover
8% may never recover

Of course these figures vary by age, with workers in their forties and fifties most likely to say they have not yet begun or may never recover (27 percent). Workers in their sixties are most likely to say they have fully recovered (20 percent). The biggest difference is in the percentage of workers who say they were not affected by the Great Recession. The figure is highest among workers in their twenties (30 percent) and lowest among workers in their sixties (11 percent).

More about workers and retirement can be found in the 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers: Retirement Throughout the Ages: Expectations and Preparations of American Workers

Monday, May 18, 2015

Most Hispanics Speak English Proficiently

Although most of the nation's Hispanics speak Spanish at home, a growing share speak English proficiently. Fully 68 percent of Hispanics aged 5 or older speak English very well, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of 2013 Census Bureau data. This figure is up from the 59 percent who spoke English proficiently in 2000. Here is the language status of Hispanics in 2013...

Language status of Hispanics aged 5 or older
26% speak only English at home
41% speak Spanish or another language at home and speak English very well
26% speak Spanish or another language at home and speak English less than very well
7% speak Spanish or another language at home and do not speak English

Source: Pew Research Center, English Proficiency on the Rise Among Latinos

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bad Teeth

What would dentists find if they traveled around the country and examined the dental health of a representative sample of Americans? They would find a lot of cavities.

That's what happened when, at the behest of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a team of dentists in mobile examination centers took a look inside the mouths of Americans aged 20 or older. The finding: 27 percent of adults have untreated tooth decay.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Dental Caries and Tooth Loss in Adults in the United States, 2011-2012

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Boomers Waiting to Claim Social Security Benefits

Boomers are less likely to claim Social Security benefits at age 62 (the earliest possible age) than their counterparts were in 1985, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Here are the percentages of men and women who claimed Social Security at age 62 for those who turned 62 in 2010 (born in 1948) and those who turned 62 in 1985 (born in 1923)...

Born in 1948 and claimed Social Security benefits at age 62 in 2010
Men: 36%
Women: 40%

Born in 1923 and claimed Social Security benefits at age 62 in 1985
Men: 52%
Women: 64%

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Trends in Social Security Claiming

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Earning Enough to Support a Family

Overall, 47 percent of the nation's workers say the income from their job alone is enough to meet their family's usual monthly expenses and bills. Here are the percentages by demographic characteristic...

Men: 58%
Women: 36%

Millennials: 44%
Gen Xers: 43%
Boomers: 52%

Not a college graduate: 43%
Bachelor's degree or more: 55%

Note: Millennials are 20-37; Gen Xers are 38-49, Boomers are 50-68.
Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Demographics Behind the Decline in Homeownership

Remember the boom in the housing market—those heady days when even young adults were eager to embrace home buying? Between 1995 and 2005, the homeownership rate of households headed by people aged 25 to 34 climbed from 45 to 50 percent. It seemed like the good times would never end. Then they did. Between 2005 and 2014, the homeownership rate of 25-to-34-year-olds plunged by 10 percentage points to just 40 percent.

An investigative report by Rachel Bogardus Drew of the Joint Center for Housing Studies explores the reasons for the decline, and her results show the Great Recession is not entirely to blame. Another factor is the changing demographics of the 25-to-34 age group, with two changes most important...

Marriage: The married-couple share of households headed by 25-to-34-year-olds fell from 53 percent in 1995 to just 42 percent in 2014. Because two incomes are often necessary for homeownership, fewer married couples means fewer homeowners among young adults.

Minorities: The minority share of households headed by 25-to-34-year-olds climbed from 28 to 40 percent between 1995 and 2014. With their lower homeownership rate and later age of first-time home buying, more Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics means fewer homeowners among young adults.

Those demographic factors were also at work during the boom times, but their impact was muted by favorable economic conditions. As the economics went south, so too did the homeownership rate of young adults. "The effect of favorable mortgage terms, affordable housing costs, and increases in income can be stronger drivers of tenure outcomes than socio-demographic characteristics, as evidenced during the housing boom," concludes the report. But when both the demographics and the economics put the kibosh on home buying, the report notes, "young adult homeownership rates can fall precipitously, as happened after the collapse of the housing market in 2005."

The demographic-economic double whammy may stifle the housing market for years to come.

Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, Effect of Changing Demographics on Young Adult Homeownership Rates

Monday, May 11, 2015

Who Takes Prescription Drugs?

Nearly half of Americans are currently taking a prescription drug, according to Health, United States, 2014. In the past 30 days, 47 percent of the public has taken at least one prescription drug, 21 percent three or more, and 10 percent five or more. By age, here is the percentage who have taken at least one prescription drug in the past month...

Percent taking at least one prescription drug in past 30 days
Under age 18: 23.5%
Aged 18 to 44: 38.1%
Aged 45 to 64: 67.2%
Aged 65-plus: 89.8%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2014

Friday, May 08, 2015

When Are Babies Born?

The 53 percent majority of American babies are born between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., thanks to induced deliveries, Cesareans, and other miracles of modern medicine. Here are the most and least likely hours of birth for babies born in 2013...

Most likely: 6.3% of babies were born at 8 a.m.
Least likely: 2.7% of babies were born at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, When Are Babies Born: Morning, Noon, or Night? Birth Certificate Data for 2013

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Hispanics Without Health Insurance

Hispanics are less likely to have health insurance than any other segment of the population. The problem is particularly acute among those of working age—18 to 64. According to a CDC study, fully 41.5 percent of Hispanics aged 18 to 64 did not have health insurance in 2011-13. Among non-Hispanic Whites in the age group, a much smaller 15.1 percent were uninsured.

It gets worse. The likelihood that working-age Hispanics have health insurance depends on where they were born. Among those born in the United States, a smaller 25.9 percent are uninsured. Among foreign-born Hispanics, the 54.7 percent majority does not have health insurance. There are also big differences in insurance coverage by Hispanic ethnicity. The percentage of Hispanics aged 18 to 64 who are without health insurance ranges from a low of 15.1 percent among Cuban Hispanics born in the United States to a high of 59.7 percent among foreign-born Mexican Hispanics. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Interest in Politics by Generation

Older Americans are more interested in politics than younger adults. When asked the question, "How interested would you say you personally are in politics?" fewer than half of Millennials and barely half of Gen Xers say they are "very" or "fairly" interested. According to a Demo Memo analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey, here are the numbers...

Percent "very" or "fairly" interested in politics
Millennials: 46%
Generation X: 51%
Baby Boomers: 66%
Older Americans: 73%

Voting rates by age closely matches those percentages. Here are the voting rates in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Census Bureau...

Percent voting in 2012 presidential election
Aged 18 to 24: 41%
Aged 25 to 44: 57%
Aged 45 to 64: 68%
Aged 65-plus: 72%

Note: In 2014, Millennials were 20 to 37, Gen Xers were 38 to 49, Boomers were 50 to 68.
Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

12% Run Out of Money

How many of the oldest Americans run out of money before they die? One in eight, according to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Using data from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study, EBRI researchers examined the assets of households in which a household member aged 50 or older had died between the 2010 and 2012 surveys. By age of the household member who died, here is the percentage of households with zero non-housing assets in 2010—before the death of the household member...

Percentage of households with non-housing assets = zero before death
Aged 50 to 64: 37.2%
Aged 65 to 74: 25.3%
Aged 75 to 84: 18.5%
Aged 85-plus: 20.6%

The researchers also looked at total assets to determine the percentage of households with no assets at all before the death of the household member. Here are those numbers by age of the deceased...

Percentage of households with total assets = zero before death
Aged 50 to 64: 29.8%
Aged 65 to 74: 15.8%
Aged 75 to 84: 10.5%
Aged 85-plus: 12.2%

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, A Look at the End-of-Life Financial Situation in America

Monday, May 04, 2015

Working Parents in 2014

For most families with children under age 18, all parents in the household are employed. Here are the percentages in 2014 by type of family and age of children...

Married couple families, both mother and father employed
Total with children under age 18: 60.2%
With children aged 6 to 17 only: 70.4%
With children under age 6: 55.3%

Female-headed single-parent families, mother employed
Total with children under age 18: 69.4%
With children aged 6 to 17 only: 74.3%
With children under age 6: 62.1%

Male-headed single-parent families, father employed
Total with children under age 18: 81.9%
With children aged 6 to 17 only: 81.3%
With children under age 6: 82.7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Characteristics of Families—2014

Friday, May 01, 2015

Fewer Expect to Buy a Home

Among the millions of Americans who do not own a home, 41 percent say it is unlikely they will buy a home in the foreseeable future. Two years ago, in 2013, only 31 percent felt that way.

Source: Gallup, In U.S., Fewer Non-Homeowners Expect to Buy a Home