Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Most Nonmetro Counties Are Losing Population

Two-thirds of the nation's nonmetropolitan counties lost population between 2010 and 2014, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service. The number of nonmetro counties with declining populations reached an historic high of 1,310 in the 2010-14 time period.

Population decline is caused by two factors: more people moving out than in, and more deaths than births. The number of nonmetro counties experiencing the "double jeopardy" of net-outmigration and natural decrease climbed from 387 in 2003-07 to 622 in 2010-14.

According to a Demo Memo analysis of population growth by metropolitan status, the nation's largest metropolitan areas, with a population of 1 million or more, grew 4.2 percent between 2010 and 2014. Smaller metropolitan areas grew 2.7 percent. Nonmetropolitan counties as a whole lost 0.2 percent of their population during those years.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Two-Thirds of U.S. Nonmetro Counties Lost Population over 2010-14

Monday, June 29, 2015

Internet Use by Age, 2015

Percentage of Americans who use the Internet in 2015 (and in 2000), by age...

Total adults: 84% (52%)
Aged 18-29: 96% (70%)
Aged 30-49: 93% (61%)
Aged 50-64: 81% (46%)
Aged 65-plus: 58% (14%)

Source: Pew Research Center, Americans Internet Access: 2000-2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Baby Boom in North Dakota

From 2009 to 2014, percent change in number of births in...

United States:  -3.5%
North Dakota: 26.2%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Birth Data

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2014

The U.S. population grew by 9.5 million between 2010 and 2014, according to the Census Bureau. Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for just 5 percent of the gain, and the nation's minorities accounted for the other 95 percent. In 2014, the minority share of the population climbed to 37.9 percent, up from 36.2 percent in 2010. Here are the 2014 estimates by race and Hispanic origin...

Total population: 318,857,056
The U.S. population grew by 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 9.5 million.

Non-Hispanic Whites: 197,870,516 (62.1%)
The non-Hispanic White population grew by a minuscule 0.2 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of less than 500,000. The non-Hispanic White share of the population fell from 63.8 to 62.1 percent during those years.

Hispanics: 55,387,539 (17.4%)
The Hispanic population grew by 9.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 4.6 million. Hispanics accounted for 49 percent of the nation's population growth between 2010 and 2014.

Blacks (alone or in combination): 45,672,250 (14.3%)
The Black population grew by 5.4 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 2.3 million.

Asians (alone or in combination): 20,250,250 (6.4%)
The Asian population grew by 13.7 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 2.4 million.

Source: Census Bureau, Population Estimates 2014

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Largest Share of Households Is Wireless-Only

In the last half of 2014, Americans crossed a threshold. The plurality of households now has only cell phones, surpassing for the first time the percentage with both cell and landline phones. In July-December 2014, fully 45.4 percent of households were wireless-only and 42.7 percent had both landline and cell phones. Only 8.4 percent of households are landline only and another 3.2 percent have no telephone. By age of householder, these are the wireless-only households...

Wireless-only households, July-December 2014
Total households: 45.4%
Aged 18 to 24: 58.0%
Aged 25 to 29: 69.2%
Aged 30 to 34: 67.4%
Aged 35 to 44: 53.7%
Aged 45 to 64: 36.8%
Aged 65-plus: 17.1%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2014

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ACA Putting a Dent in the Uninsured

The Affordable Care Act is making a difference, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The percentage of Americans without health insurance fell from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 11.5 percent in 2014. That 2.9 percentage point decline shows the ACA is moving the needle. Among people aged 18 to 64, the decline was a larger 4.1 percentage points—from 20.4 percent uninsured in 2013 to 16.3 percent in 2014. Among 19-to-25-year-olds, the percentage without health insurance fell 6.5 percentage points—from 26.5 percent in 2013 to 20.0 percent in 2014. Here is the percentage without health insurance by age in 2014...

Percent without health insurance
Total people:     11.5%
Under age 18:     5.5%
Aged 18 to 24:  18.3%
Aged 25 to 34:  22.6%
Aged 35 to 44:  17.6%
Aged 45 to 64:  11.7%
Aged 65-plus:     0.8%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2014

Monday, June 22, 2015

Money For Children and Grandchildren

Older Americans give a lot of money to their children and grandchildren—enough to "be considered a major expenditure category," according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute study. In the study, EBRI researcher Sudipto Banerjee examines cash transfers made by older householders to children and grandchildren during their lifetime rather than after death.

The data come from the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study, which tracks a representative sample of householders aged 50 or older. Cash transfers are defined as "giving money, helping pay bills, or covering specific types of costs such as those for medical care or insurance, schooling, down payment for a home, rent, etc. The financial help can be considered support, a gift or a loan." The results...
  • Many provide financial help. The 51 percent majority of householders aged 50 to 64 in 2010 had transferred cash to children or grandchildren during the past two years. Although the share of older householders who did so declined with advancing age, even among those aged 85 or older a substantial 28 percent had transferred cash.  
  • Thousands of dollars are provided. The average cash transfer ranged from a low of $4,787 for householders aged 85-plus to a high of $8,350 for 50-to-64-year-olds.
  • The affluent give more. Among 50-to-64-year-olds, the percentage who gave ranged from a low of 31 percent for those in the lowest income quartile (average amount provided = $7,419) to a high of 70 percent for those in the highest income quartile (average amount provided = $27,378).
"Transfers are actually a significant expense when compared with other items in a household budget," concludes Banerjee, "though they are not traditionally thought of as a budget item." The report examines trends in cash transfers from 1998 to 2010 and also looks at the much less common transfer of cash from younger to older family members.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Intra-Family Cash Transfers in Older American Households

Friday, June 19, 2015

How Many Women Are Uninsured when Giving Birth?

Not many, thanks to Medicaid. That's because low-income women become eligible for Medicaid when they become pregnant. With the average hospital delivery costing roughly $10,000, Medicaid is a financial life saver—not to mention the medical benefits. Among women who gave birth in 2009, take a look at how their health insurance status changed from the month before they became pregnant to the day of delivery...

  • The percentage of women with no health insurance fell from 23.4% in the month before they became pregnant to just 1.5% on the day of delivery. 
  • The percentage of women with Medicaid coverage climbed from 16.6% in the month before they became pregnant to 43.9% on the day of delivery.
  • The percentage of women with private health insurance fell slightly, from 59.9% in the month before they became pregnant to 54.6% on the day of delivery.

Source: CDC, Patterns of Health Insurance Coverage Around the Time of Pregnancy among Women with Live-Born Infants—Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 29 States, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Births by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2014

The number of births ticked up in 2014, rising by 1 percent in the past year. This was the first increase since 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Births to Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites all increased by 1 percent. For Asians, the gain was 6 percent. Here are the numbers in 2014 (and percent distribution) by race and Hispanic origin...

Total:      3,985,924 (100.0%)
Asian:        282,724 (   7.1%)
Black:        589,016 ( 14.8%)
Hispanic:   914,116 ( 22.9%)
White:     2,146,482 ( 53.9%)

Note: Blacks and Whites are non-Hispanic.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2014

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Uptick in Births in 2014

The annual number of births in the United States increased in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The 3,985,924 babies born in 2014 exceeded 2013 births by 53,743—a statistically significant 1 percent increase. The increase was the first since 2007, when births reached an all time high of 4,316,233. 

Drilling down into the numbers reveals a dramatically changed pattern of childbearing in the United States. The fertility rate in 2014 inched up to 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a bit higher than last year's record low of 62.5. This was the first increase in the fertility rate since 2007. But for teenagers, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 20 to 24, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 25 to 29, the birth rate was essentially unchanged from the record low reached in 2013. 

The action is occurring among women aged 30 or older. Among women in their thirties and forties, birth rates are rising and so are births. Many of these women are having their first child after years of delay. The first-birth rate increased for women aged 30 to 39, the government reports. But the overall first-birth rate hit a new record low in 2014 because younger women are reluctant to have children. Births increased in 2014 only because older women are playing catch up. The baby bust may have hit bottom, but at the bottom is where it remains.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2014

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fewer Jobs Near Average Metro Resident

Residents of the nation's major metropolitan areas live near fewer jobs than they did in 2000, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Using census tract data for the 96 largest metro areas, the Brookings researchers compared the number of jobs within the typical commute for each metro in 2000 and 2012. Of the 96 metro areas analyzed, only 29 gained jobs during those years within the metro's typical commuting distance. The typical commuting distance ranged from a low of 4.7 miles in Stockton, California, to a high of 12.8 miles in Atlanta.

The average city resident was within typical commuting distance of 605,367 jobs in 2012, according to the analysis. This was 3.5 percent fewer jobs than in 2000. The average suburban resident was within typical commuting distance of 207,158 jobs—7.3 percent fewer than in 2000. The Brookings report includes details for each of the 96 metro areas.

The loss in job proximity was worse for some than for others. Hispanics saw the number of jobs within their metro's typical commute decline by 17 percent. The loss was 14 percent for Blacks and 6 percent for Whites.

Source: Brookings Institution, The Growing Distance Between People and Jobs in Metropolitan America

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Cost of Day Care

Among the nation's 20 million preschoolers, 60 percent participate in at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement—that's 13 million children being cared for by day care centers, grandparents, other relatives, or someone not related to them. Among families with out-of-pocket costs for this service, most pay dearly for the care...

Average hourly out-of-pocket cost for primary child care arrangement
Care by a relative: $4.18
Care by a nonrelative: $5.28
Day care center: $6.70

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood Program Participation, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012

Friday, June 12, 2015

Occupations with a Median Age of 50-Plus

The median age of the nation's employed was 42.3 in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some occupations have much older workers than others. In a handful of occupations, the median age of the employed exceeds 50...

  • Chief executives
  • Farmers and ranchers
  • Architectural/engineering managers
  • Tax preparers
  • Clergy
  • Judges
  • Crossing guards
  • Travel agents
  • Real estate brokers
  • Postal service clerks and mail carriers
  • Construction and building inspectors
  • Sewing machine operators
  • Tailors
  • Water treatment plant operators
  • Bus drivers
  • Train engineers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation and Age

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Homeownership Projected to Decline

The nation's homeownership rate will fall from 65.1 percent in 2010 to to 61.3 percent in 2030, according to a study by the Urban Institute. Behind the decline are the financial struggles of young adults and the growing minority share of the population. The homeownership rate is projected to decline in all but the oldest age group, with the biggest losses occurring among householders ranging in age from 35 to 64.

Homeownership rate by age of householder in 2030 (and percentage point change, 2010-30)
Aged 15 to 24: 13.4% (-2.7)
Aged 25 to 34: 37.8% (-4.2)
Aged 35 to 44: 55.2% (-7.1)
Aged 45 to 54: 64.6% (-6.9)
Aged 55 to 64: 69.6% (-7.7)
Aged 65 to 74: 73.9% (-6.3)
Aged 75 to 84: 74.4% (-3.5)
Aged 85-plus: 68.5% (2.3)

Source: Urban Institute, A Lower Homeownership Rate is the New Normal

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Only 12 Percent Do Not Know Any Gays or Lesbians

Eighty-eight percent of Americans know people who are gay or lesbian, according to a Pew Research Center survey, with about the same percentage of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers saying they know gays and lesbians. Among Americans aged 70 or older, a smaller 79 percent say they know people who are gay or lesbian.

When asked whether any close friends or family members are gay or lesbian, the 52 percent majority of the public says yes. Here are the percentages by generation...

Percent with close friends or family members who are gay or lesbian
Millennials: 58%
Gen Xers: 57%
Boomers: 50%
Older: 35%

Source: Pew Research Center, Support for Same-Sex Marriage at Record High, but Key Segments Remain Opposed

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Why Some People Return to Small Towns

"How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?" That question, posed in song lyrics nearly a century ago as migration from rural to urban areas picked up steam, is the same one asked by the USDA's Economic Research Service in a study of what brings people back to rural communities they had fled as young adults.

To answer the question, USDA researchers interviewed 300 attendees at high school reunions in remote rural communities. The communities studied were a distinct type: geographically disadvantaged nonmetropolitan counties that are losing population because of net out-migration. Far from urban centers, these counties also lack scenic amenities, and more people are moving out than moving in. You've seen these places when you drive from point A to point B— the ones where you ask yourself, why would anyone in their right mind want to live here?

That's what the researchers wanted to know. To find out, they traveled to high school reunions in 21 remote rural communities and interviewed attendees, identifying those at the reunion who had left their community as young adults and then returned. Why did they come back? Family turned out to be the primary motivation. Most returnees had parents living in the community, and they wanted to raise their children in a small town surrounded by family. Being able to find a job facilitated the return move. For high school reunion attendees who had not moved back, low wages and the lack of jobs were big factors. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic between those who had returned and those who would never return was the value they placed on small-town life. Returnees valued knowing everyone. Those who had no desire to return valued urban amenities and the anonymity of city life.

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Factors Affecting Former Residents' Returning to Rural Communities

Monday, June 08, 2015

Most U.S. Population Growth is in Drought-Stricken Counties

More than half the nation's population growth since 2000 has occurred in drought-stricken areas of the United States, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. From 2000 to 2014, fully 57 percent of the nation's population increase occurred in counties experiencing drought. Among the 10 counties with the biggest population gain over the time period, 7 are experiencing drought.

Source: Brookings Institution, Population Surging in Drought-Stricken Areas

Friday, June 05, 2015

Fewer Nonmarital First Births for Men

The 72 percent majority of Americans believe moral values in the U.S. are getting worse, according to Gallup. But it's not hard to find statistics that suggest otherwise. Case in point: the percentage of fathers age 15 to 44 whose first birth was nonmarital is lower today than it was in the 1980s or 1990s...

Fathers aged 15 to 44 whose first birth was nonmarital
2000-2009: 36%
1990-1999: 40%
1980-1989: 42%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Three Decades of Nonmarital First Births among Fathers Aged 15-44 in the United States

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Most Homeowners Are Aged 55 or Older

The 51 percent majority of the nation's homeowners are aged 55 or older, according to the Census Bureau, up from 43 percent in 2006... 

Homeowners by age in 2014 (and percent change since 2006)
Total owners: 74,427,000 (-2.2%)
Under age 35:  8,943,000 (-16.8%)
Aged 35 to 44: 11,808,000 (-22.9%)
Aged 45 to 54: 15,683,000 (-11.0%)
Aged 55 to 64: 16,383,000 (14.4%)
Aged 65-plus: 21,609,000 (19.2%)

Behind the increase in the number of homeowners aged 55 or older is the aging of the baby-boom generation. Behind the decline in the number of homeowners under age 35 is the plunging homeownership rate among young adults.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

New Data Reveals Missing Income of Older Americans

Older Americans are the only segment of the population that did not lose ground during the Great Recession. The median income of households headed by people aged 65 or older climbed 12 percent between 2007 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation. Every other age group saw its median household income decline, according to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

Now we find out that the 65-plus population has been faring even better than those numbers suggest—9.1 percent better, in fact. That's because the Current Population Survey income statistics do not include withdrawals from IRAs or 401(k)s unless they are taken as annuities. According to an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), when all withdrawals from IRAs and 401(k)s are counted, the aggregate income of the 65-plus population rises by 9.1 percent. The IRA and 401(k) income received by the elderly rises by 250 percent.

The Census Bureau is well aware of this shortcoming in its income statistics and is doing something about it. For this analysis, EBRI used the results of a Census Bureau test of revised income questions included in the 2014 Current Population Survey. In years to come, we may see a rise in the incomes of the elderly because of this methodological change.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Examining the New Income Measure in the Current Population Survey

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

New Houses Are Getting Bigger

Median square feet of floor area in new single-family houses sold, 1980 to 2014...

1980: 1,570
1990: 1,890
2000: 2,077
2010: 2,255
2014: 2,506

Source: Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing

Monday, June 01, 2015

Household Income Rises in April 2015

Median household income stood at $54,578 in April 2015, according to Sentier Research. This was 0.6 percent higher than the March median, a statistically significant increase. The April 2015 median was 3.0 percent higher than the April 2014 median and 6.2 percent above the $51,411 median of August 2011—the low point in Sentier's household income series. 

"Although the economic recovery officially began in June 2009," 
says Sentier's Gordon Green, "the recovery in household income did not begin to emerge until after August 2011." Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey. 

Median household income in April 2015 was 1.1 percent below the median of June 2009, the end of the Great Recession. It was 2.9 percent below the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. It was 4.0 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index for April 2015 stood at 96.0 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: April 2015