Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Who Is Urban?

How many Americans live in an urban, suburban, or rural area? There are two ways to answer that question—analyze Census Bureau data using government definitions, or simply ask people to describe where they live. Zillow asked, with these results...

How Americans describe where they live
Urban: 26%
Suburban: 53%
Rural: 21%

Even in the most urban areas—the principal cities of metropolitan areas—only 47 percent of respondents describe their area as urban, 46 percent say suburban, and 7 percent say rural. "That means close to half of people who live within city limits describe where they live as suburban," says Zillow's chief economist Jed Kolko.

By matching its survey results to the zip code demographics of respondents, Zillow shows how population density determines the feel of an area. Those who live in zip codes with more than 2,213 households per square mile tend to describe their area as urban. With 102 to 2,213 households per square mile, residents tend to describe their area as suburban. If there are fewer than 102 households per square mile, residents tend to describe their area as rural.

Kolko measures the size of "urban" and "suburban" populations in the nation's large cities based on Zillow's density definitions. Many of the cities now growing the fastest, he finds, are more "suburban" than "urban."

Source: FiveThirtyEight, How Suburban Are Big American Cities?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Family Income of American Children

Distribution of the nation's 74 million children by family income
21.2% are in a family with an income below $25,000
20.9% are in a family with an income between $25,000 and $49,999
28.3% are in a family with an income between $50,000 and $99,999
29.6% are in a family with an income of $100,000 or more

Source: Census Bureau, America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2015

Friday, May 27, 2016

Household Income Stable in April 2016

Median household income in April 2016 stood at $57,243, according to Sentier Research, which was not significantly different from the March 2016 median, after adjusting for inflation. The April 2016 median was 3.2 percent higher than the April 2015 median, however, and 9.8 percent above the $52,115 median of August 2011, which was the low point in Sentier's household income series. 

"We continue to see an upward trend in income that has been evident since the low point in August 2011," reports Sentier's Gordon Green. "Relatively low energy prices have contributed significantly to increases in real median household income." Sentier's median household income estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's monthly Current Population Survey.

Median household income in April 2016 was 2.5 percent higher than the median of June 2009, which marked the end of the Great Recession. It was 0.6 percent higher than the median of December 2007, the start of the Great Recession. The April 2016 median was still 0.6 percent below the median of January 2000. The Household Income Index for April 2016 was 99.4 (January 2000 = 100.0).

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: April 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Prison Population Is Aging

The number of prisoners sentenced to at least one year in a state correctional institution climbed 55 percent between 1993 and 2013—from 858,000 to 1.3 million, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That sounds like a big increase, but it pales in comparison to the 400 percent increase in the number of state prisoners aged 55 or older during those years. Prisoners aged 55-plus now account for 10 percent of the state prison population, up from 3 percent two decades ago.

"The changing age structure in the U.S. state prison population has implications for the future management and care of inmates," notes the Bureau of Justice Statistics report. The BJS analysis examines the reasons for the increase, such as longer prison sentences resulting in more prisoners aging into the 55-plus demographic.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Aging of the State Prison Population, 1993–2013

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's Behind the Rise in Living with Parents?

Young adults are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner, according to a Pew Research Center study—the first time in 130 years that living with Mom and Dad has been more popular than living with a partner. In 2014, 32.1 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds were living in a parent's household, while a smaller 31.6 percent were living with a partner (married or cohabiting).

What's behind this trend? The author of the report, Pew's Richard Fry, disputes the assumption that the rise is due to the growing share of Blacks and Hispanics in the young adult population because the trend is also pronounced among non-Hispanic Whites. Instead, Fry finds the postponement of marriage a more likely factor. "The shift away from marriage can account for the entire increase in living with parents since 1960," he notes.

Fry adds this important caveat: "This does not imply, however, that the shift away from marriage has 'caused' the increase in living with parents, because other social and economic factors may have reduced the attractiveness of marriage for young adults and, at the same time, made living independently of parents more difficult."

Source: Pew Research Center, For First Time in Modern Era, Living with Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18-to-34-Year Olds

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Startup Firms Account for Most Job Gains

New research data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the importance of startup firms to employment growth. Startup firms (less than 1 year old) accounted for fully 60 percent of the 2.7 million net gain in employment between March 2014 and March 2015, according to the data. "More than half of these jobs were from firms with fewer than 10 employees," reports the BLS. Older firms (10 years or older) accounted for 29 percent of the gain.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Entrepreneurship facts: Announcing New Research Data on Job Creation and Destruction by Firm Age and Size

Monday, May 23, 2016

Most Americans Do Not Have A Will

Only 44 percent of Americans have a will, according to a Gallup survey, down from 51 percent in 2005. The percentage with a will has declined in every age group since 2005. Here is the percentage with a will by age in 2016...

Percent with a will
Aged 18 to 29: 14%
Aged 30 to 49: 35%
Aged 50 to 64: 56%
Aged 65-plus: 68%

Source: Gallup, Majority in U.S. Do Not Have A Will

Friday, May 20, 2016

Eating Habits in 2014

64 minutes: that's how much time Americans aged 15 or older spend eating and drinking as a primary activity on an average day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014 American Time Use Survey. We spend another 16 minutes eating and drinking as a secondary activity—meaning eating and drinking while doing something else such as watching TV. These are the ways we eat...

  • Top three places for primary eating and drinking: own home or yard (71%), workplace (11%), restaurant or bar (9%).
  • Top three places for secondary eating and drinking: own home or yard (54%), workplace (22%), driving a vehicle (7%).
  • Top five activities while secondary eating and drinking: watching television (24%), paid work (23%), food and drink preparation (6%), socializing with others (5%), reading for personal interest (3%). 

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Eating and Health Module from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey

Thursday, May 19, 2016

City Growth, 2010 to 2015

Between 2010 and 2015, the population of the nation's 754 largest cities (incorporated places with populations of 50,000 or more in 2015) grew by an average of 5.4 percent. The remainder of the United States grew by a smaller 3.0 percent. City growth varies little by city size, with large cities of all sizes growing faster than elsewhere...

City population growth 2010-2015 by city size
1 million or more: 5.2%
500,000 to 999,999: 6.4%
250,000 to 499,999: 5.6%
200,000 to 249,999: 4.8%
150,000 to 199,999: 5.3%
100,000 to 149,999: 5.2%
50,000 to 99,999: 5.1%

Among the 10 cities with 1 million or more residents, none lost population between 2010 and 2015. Among the 24 cities with 500,000 to 999,999 residents, only Detroit lost population.  

Source: Census Bureau, City and Town Totals: Vintage 2015

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Boomers: 35% of Voters in 2016

The Baby-Boom generation will account for more than one-third of voters in the 2016 presidential election, outnumbering voters in the other generations. Millennials will account for 26 percent of the total. Gen Xers will rank third, casting 20 percent of votes—more than the Silent and World War II generations combined. The oldest members of the iGeneration (aged 18 to 21) will cast their first vote for president in 2016, and they will account for just 4 percent of the total. Demo Memo calculated these figures by applying single-year-of-age citizenship and voting rates from the 2012 presidential election to the Census Bureau's 2016 population projections.

Boomers will outnumber Millennials at the polls because they will be much more likely to vote. Expect 71 percent of citizens in the Baby Boom generation to vote in 2016, equal to the voting rate of Americans in the Silent and World War II generations. A smaller 63 percent of Gen X citizens can be expected to vote. Among Millennial citizens, the voting rate should be about 54 percent. Only 38 percent of citizens in the iGeneration are expected to vote.

Percent distribution of voters in 2016 by generation
iGeneration (18 to 21): 4.3%
Millennials (22 to 39): 26.0%
Generation Xers (40 to 51): 19.8%
Baby Boomers (52 to 70): 35.3%
Older Americans (71-plus): 14.6%

Source: Demo Memo analysis based on the Census Bureau's Population Projections and Voting and Registration

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Are You In the Top 10 Percent?

How much do you earn relative to your peers? For you to be among the highest-paid 10 percent of your peer group (defined by sex and educational attainment), then your usual weekly earnings must be at least this high...

Usual weekly earnings of men in top 10%
$1,031 for those who did not graduate from high school
$1,544 for high school graduates, no college
$1,858 for those with some college or an associate's degree
$2,896 for those with a bachelor's degree only
$3,871 for those with an advanced degree

Usual weekly earnings of women in top 10%
$696 for those who did not graduate from high school
$1,111 for high school graduates, no college
$1,327 for those with some college or an associate's degree
$2,016 for those with a bachelor's degree only
$2,409 for those with an advanced degree

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Weekly Earnings by Educational Attainment in First Quarter 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Trends in Economic Status by Metropolitan Area

Are you in the upper, middle, or lower class in your metropolitan area? You can find out with this nifty calculator created by Pew Research Center. Choose your metropolitan area, input your household income and size, and determine your economic status—in your city.

If you find yourself in the middle class, you're part of a shrinking majority. Nationally, the percentage of Americans living in middle-income households fell from 55 to 51 percent between 2000 and 2014, according to Pew. Middle income is defined as having a household income ranging from two-thirds to twice the overall median after adjusting for household size. In its analysis of 229 individual metropolitan areas, Pew documents a decline in the middle-income share of households in 203 metro areas (89 percent). As the middle class shrinks, the upper or lower classes (or both) have to grow. In 160 metro areas, the lower class increased as a share of the total. In 172 metro areas, the upper class share grew.

Nationally, the percentage of adults in the upper class climbed from 17 to 20 percent between 2000 and 2014, and the percentage in the lower class climbed from 28 to 29 percent.

Source: Pew Research Center, America's Shrinking Middle Class: A Closer Look at Changes within Metropolitan Areas

Friday, May 13, 2016

What Are Young Men Doing?

Among the nation's 19 million men aged 16 to 24, more than 1 million were not doing much of anything when the Bureau of Labor Statistics took a look at their activities in October 2015...

Status of men aged 16 to 24 in October 2015
4.9 million (25 percent) were in high school
5.8 million (30 percent) were in college
7.3 million (38 percent) were not in school, but had a job or were looking for work
1.4 million (7 percent) were not in school, did not have a job, and were not looking for work

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2015 High School Graduates

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Telephone Status of Americans, 2015

The latest update on the telephone status of Americans shows a growing plurality of adults living in households with cell phones (wireless-only) and no landline phone...

Telephone status of Americans aged 18 or older in 2015 (and in 2012)
47.7% are in a wireless-only household (36.5%)
43.7% are in a landline and wireless household (54.4%)
5.8% are in a landline-only household (7.0%)
2.7% are in a household with no telephone (1.9%)

These are the demographic segments most likely to live in wireless-only households: Hispanics (60.5%); in poverty (64.3%); aged 25 to 29 (72.6%); living with nonrelatives (78.8%); and renters (68.8%).

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2015

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Attitudes Toward the Federal Government

Only 44 percent of Americans have a positive image of the federal government, according to a Gallup survey. The percentage varies by political party: 30 percent of Republicans have a positive image of the federal government versus 59 percent of Democrats. Here are the positive percentages by age...

Positive image of the federal government
Aged 18 to 29: 58%
Aged 30 to 49: 43%
Aged 50 to 64: 38%
Aged 65-plus: 40%

Source: Gallup, Americans' Views of Socialism, Capitalism Are Little Changed

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Homeownership by Generation, 2015

The Baby-Boom generation is no longer the largest, having been surpassed by Millennials in 2011. But Boomers still dominate homeownership. According to a Demo Memo analysis of Census Bureau data, here are the homeownership rates (and share of homeowners) by generation in 2015...

Homeownership rate by generation (and share of total)
Total households: 63.7 percent are homeowners (100%)
Millennial: 39.8 percent are homeowners (18%)
Generation X: 64.8 percent are homeowners (22%)
Baby Boom: 75.5 percent are homeowners (41%)
Older Americans: 78.7 percent are homeowners (20%)

Note: In 2015 Millennials were under age 39; Gen Xers were 39 to 50; Boomers were 51 to 69.
Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

Monday, May 09, 2016

Fertility of Baby Boom Women

The baby-boom generation was the first to make working mothers the norm. They succeeded, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite juggling work and family, fully 83 percent of boomer women had children. The BLS analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which has been tracking a nationally representative sample of people born between 1957 and 1964 (younger boomers) since they were aged 14 to 22. To analyze the completed fertility of boomer women, the BLS examined data from the 2010 interview, when respondents were aged 46 to 53. These are some of the findings...
  • Educated boomers had fewer children: Boomer women had an average of 1.97 children, but the number varied by educational attainment. Women without a high school diploma had the most children—an average of 2.47. Fertility declined with increasing educational attainment. Women with a bachelor's degree had an average of only 1.68 children.
  • Hispanic boomers had more children: The average Hispanic boomer had 2.29 children, Blacks had 2.15, and non-Hispanic Whites had 1.92. But the ranking changed after controlling for educational attainment. Among women with a bachelor's degree, non-Hispanic Whites had the most children (1.71), and Blacks had the least (1.47). Hispanic women with a bachelor's degree had 1.52 children.
  • Boomer women with full-time jobs had fewer children: Women who spent less than a quarter of the years since they were aged 25 in full-time jobs had the most children, an average of 2.54. The number of children declined with increasing full-time work. Women who worked full-time in more than three-quarters of the years since they were 25 had an average of only 1.36 children. 
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fertility of Women in the NLSY79

Friday, May 06, 2016

Thursday, May 05, 2016

In Three States More than 25% of 18-to-64-Year-Olds Do Not Have A Usual Place of Medical Care

Among Americans aged 18 to 64, a substantial 17 percent do not have a usual place of medical care. The figure ranges from a low of just 2.8 percent in Vermont to a high of 26.7 percent in Nevada. These are the states with the largest and smallest percentages of 18-to-64-year-olds without a usual place of medical care...

States with the largest percentage of 18-to-64-year-olds without a usual place of medical care
Nevada: 26.7%
Idaho: 26.6%
Texas: 25.4%
Oregon: 23.7%
Wyoming: 23.6%

States with the smallest percentage of 18-to-64-year-olds without a usual place of medical care
Vermont: 2.8%
Delaware: 6.8%
Massachusetts: 7.5%
Wisconsin: 9.5%
Hawaii: 10.0%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, State Variation in Health Care Service Utilization: United States, 2014

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

401(k) Balances Have Grown Since Great Recession

Among workers who participate in 401(k) retirement plans, these are the median and average 401(k) balances held in plans sponsored by their current employer...

Median balance
2014: $18,127
2010: $17,686
2008: $12,655

Average balance
2014: $76,293
2010: $60,329
2008: $45,519

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 401(k) Plan Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2014

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Decline in Retirement Satisfaction

The percentage of retirees who say their retirement is "very satisfying" fell from 60.5 percent in 1998 to 48.6 percent in 2012, reports the Employee Benefit Research Institute in an analysis of data from the Health and Retirement Study. The decline in retirement satisfaction has occurred across the board: men and women, wealthy and poor, healthy and sick—all were less likely to report their retirement as "very satisfying" in 2012 than in 1998.

Could the decline in satisfaction simply be due to disgruntled Boomers entering the retiree segment and skewing the results? Not according to EBRI's analysis. When EBRI examined the retirement satisfaction of retirees who had been in the HRS sample since 1998, they found a similar decline in satisfaction as they aged over the years.

Percent of retirees who say their retirement is "very satisfying"
2012: 48.6%
2010: 50.6%
2008: 53.2%
2006: 53.1%
2004: 54.5%
2002: 60.8%
2000: 60.8%
1998: 60.5%

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time

Monday, May 02, 2016

Percent Who Need Help Doing Errands

Percentage of adults who say they have difficulty doing errands by themselves, by age...

Aged 18 to 64: 3.1%
Aged 65 to 74: 6.4%
Aged 75 to 84: 12.9%
Aged 85-plus: 26.2%

Aged 18 to 64: 3.9%
Aged 65 to 74: 9.4%
Aged 75 to 84: 20.7%
Aged 85-plus: 45.0%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015