Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Life Expectancy Gap Grew in 2016

In the United States, women live longer than men. But the female advantage has been shrinking for decades—until now. In 2016 the life expectancy gap between females and males widened for the first time since 1990, according to the National Center for Health Statistics report, Deaths: Final Data for 2016, increasing from 4.8 to 5.0 years between 2015 and 2016. Here is the trend since 1950...

Gap in female-male life expectancy
2016: 5.0 years (first increase since 1989-90)
2015: 4.8 years
2010: 4.8 years
2000: 5.2 years
1990: 7.0 years
1980: 7.4 years
1979: 7.8 years (biggest gap)
1970: 7.6 years
1960: 6.5 years
1950: 5.5 years

Since 1950, the life expectancy of both males and females has increased substantially—rising from 65.6 to 76.1 years (+10.5 years) for males, and from 71.1 to 81.1 years (+10.0 years) for females. During those years, the female-male life expectancy gap grew from 5.5 years in 1950 to a peak of 7.8 years in 1979. The gap then began to shrink, falling to 4.8 years from 2010 through 2015.

Behind the 1950-to-1979 increase in the female-male life expectancy gap were higher rates of smoking and heart disease among men. As smoking rates fell and heart disease was better controlled, the life expectancy gap began to decline. The decline has come to a halt, at least temporarily, as male mortality rates rise faster than female for some causes of death. One of those causes is drug-induced deaths. Between 2015 and 2016, the drug-induced mortality rate of males climbed 26.0 percent. The female rate increased by a smaller 13.6 percent.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Mortality Data

Monday, July 30, 2018

50% of People Aged 75-Plus Have a Disability

Thirty-nine million Americans have a disability—13 percent of the population, according to the 2012–16 American Community Survey. The percentage with a disability rises with age...

Percent with a disability
Under age 5: 0.8%
Aged 5 to 17: 5.4%
Aged 18 to 34: 6.0%
Aged 35 to 64: 12.9%
Aged 65 to 74: 25.4%
Aged 75-plus: 50.0%

Among those aged 75 or older with a disability, 33 percent have difficulty walking, 25 percent have difficulty living independently, 23 percent have hearing problems, 14 percent have a cognitive deficit, 14 percent have trouble with self-care, and 10 percent have vision problems.

Source: Census Bureau, American Factfinder, Disability Characteristics

Friday, July 27, 2018

30% Use Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are used by 30 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup survey. The figure is highest among young adults...

Percent who use ride-sharing services
Aged 18 to 29: 45%
Aged 30 to 49: 36%
Aged 50 to 64: 23%
Aged 65-plus: 13%

Source: Gallup, Who Uses Ride-Sharing Services in the U.S.?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

First-Time Home Buyer Watch: 2nd Quarter 2018

Homeownership rate of householders aged 35 to 39, second quarter 2018: 56.8%

The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds—the nation's first-time home buyers—took a step back in the second quarter of 2018, falling below 57 percent. Their first quarter rate (57.1 percent) had cracked the 57 percent threshold for the first time since 2012—suggesting a trend of rising homeownership in the age group. But it was a short-lived blip. Although these bobbles are not statistically significant, it is clear the age group is treading water. The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds peaked at 65.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007

What about their younger counterparts, aged 30 to 34, who were once the nation's first-time home buyers? Their homeownership rate rose to 47.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018. This is up from 45.2 percent one year earlier, a statistically significant increase. Before the Great Recession, 30-to-34-year-olds were the nation's first-time home buyers (the age at which the homeownership rate surpasses 50 percent). But their rate fell below 50 percent in 2011 and has been stuck there ever since. Perhaps this age group is on its way to reclaiming first-time homebuyer status.

Nationally, the homeownership rate was 64.3 percent in the second quarter of 2018, up from 63.7 percent one year earlier. The difference is not statistically significant.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Median Household Income Rises in June 2018

Median household income in June 2018 climbed to $62,175, reports Sentier Research. This is the highest median recorded by Sentier since the January 2000 start of its monthly household income series. The June 2018 median was 2.6 percent higher than the June 2017 median, after adjusting for inflation. Sentier's estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and track the economic wellbeing of households on a monthly basis. 

"We are at a point now where real median household income is 2.8 percent higher than January 2000, the beginning of this statistical series," reports Sentier's Gordon Green. "Not an impressive performance by any means over a period spanning almost two decades, but the trend line has been positive for about seven years." More impressive is the 13.8 percent rise in median household income since the post-Great Recession low of $54,643 in June 2011—two years after the official end of the Great Recession.

Sentier's Household Income Index in June 2018 was 102.8 (January 2000 = 100.0). To stay on top of these trends, look for the next monthly update from Sentier.

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: June 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Boomer Religious Beliefs Stable Over Decades

Are Boomers becoming more religious with age? Not according to the General Social Survey, which has been tracking the attitudes of Americans since 1972. The religious beliefs of Boomers have changed surprisingly little over the decades.

Religious preference: When Boomers were young in 1976, the oldest among them filling the 18-to-30 age group, the 54 percent majority named Protestant as their religious preference. Only 13 percent said they had no religious preference. Now that Boomers are getting long in the tooth (aged 52 to 70 in 2016), 56 percent name Protestant as their religious preference and 15 percent say "none." The differences between then and now are not statistically significant. 

Religiosity: The percentage of Boomers who identify themselves as "very" or "moderately" religious stood at 64 percent in 2016 (at ages 52 to 70). The figure was 62 percent in 1998 (at ages 34 to 52), the first year the question appeared on the survey. The percentage identifying themselves as "not religious" was 13 percent in 1998 and 17 percent in 2016. The differences between then and now are not statistically significant. 

Belief in God: In 2016, the 62 percent majority of Boomers (at ages 52 to 70) agreed with the statement, "I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it." This figure was as high as 66 percent in 2006 (at ages 42 to 60). It was as low as 59 percent in 1988 (at ages 24 to 42), the first year the question appeared on the survey. Only 2 percent of Boomers in 1988 and 3 percent of Boomers in 2016 said they did not believe in God. The differences between then and now are not statistically significant.

As they aged from young adults to retirees, the religious beliefs of Boomers did not change. What does this mean for Millennials? It means Millennial religious beliefs—as recorded by the 2016 General Social Survey when they were aged 22 to 39—are not likely to change in the decades ahead. Thirty-two percent of Millennials say they have no religious preference, more than twice the share among Boomers. Forty-three percent of Millennials say they are very or moderately religious, well below the Boomer share. Just 50 percent of Millennials say they believe in God without a doubt.  

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the General Social Surveys

Monday, July 23, 2018

31% Engaged in Gig Work in Past Month

Nearly one-third of Americans participate in the gig economy. Thirty-one percent of adults engaged in gig work in the past month, according to the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking. Gig work is highest among younger adults: 43 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds did some type of gig work in the past month. Among people aged 65 or older, the figure was 18 percent.

Online services are the most popular type of gig work, with 16 percent of the public engaged in online gig work in the past month, such as...
11% sold goods online
4% provided services through online platforms such as Task Rabbit
2% drove for a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft
2% rented their place of residence through online services

Offline services were provided by 14 percent of the public, such as...
7% provided housecleaning, yard work, or other property maintenance
6% provided child care, dog walking, or house sitting
2% provided disabled adult or elder care services

Offline sales were made by 9 percent, such as...
6% sold goods at flea markets or garage sales
4% sold goods at consignment shops or thrift stores

Why do gig work? The single biggest reason is to supplement income from regular work (39 percent), followed by hobby/fun (19 percent), and as a primary source of income (16 percent).

Source: Federal Reserve Board, Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017

Friday, July 20, 2018

Delayed Childbearing among College Graduates

Women who go to college delay having children. This is common knowledge, confirmed yet again by the latest findings from the 2011–2015 National Survey of Family Growth. Among women aged 22 to 44, here is the percentage who have not yet had children by educational attainment...

Percent of women aged 22 to 44 who have not yet had children
7% of those who did not graduate from high school
19% of those with a high school diploma only
33% of those with some college, but no bachelor's degree
46% of those with a bachelor's degree or more education

Among the 46 percent of women with a bachelor's degree who have not yet had children, many eventually will become mothers. According to 2016 statistics from the Census Bureau, only 18 percent of women with a bachelor's degree and 25 percent of those with a graduate degree are still childless by ages 45 to 50—considered the age of completed childbearing.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Fertility of Men and Women Aged 15–44 in the United States: National Survey of Family Growth, 2011–2015

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Many Consider Adoption, Few Adopt

More than one-third of women aged 18 to 44 have ever considered adopting a child, according to a National Center for Health Statistics Report. But only 0.7 percent have ever adopted.

Considered adoption: 37.7%
Now seeking to adopt: 1.2%
Ever adopted: 0.7%

The percentage who have ever considered adopting does not vary much by age, race, or Hispanic origin. It is greater among women with fertility problems (53 percent) than those without (35 percent).

The percentage who have ever adopted rises with age to 1.3 percent among women aged 35 to 44. Among women with fertility problems, 1.6 percent have ever adopted a child.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Adoption-Related Behaviors among Women Aged 18–44 in the United States: 2011–15

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Growing Wealth Gap between Young and Old

Americans aged 65 or older are the beneficiaries of a growing share of the nation's resources, studies show, while children must make do with less. A paper published in Demography takes a look at the consequences of this disparity, and the results are troubling. Analyzing Survey of Consumer Finance data from 1989 to 2013, researchers Christina M. Gibson-Davis and Christine Percheski compare the wealth, income, assets, and debt of two types of households—those with children under age 18 (child households), and those with a householder or spouse aged 65 or older and no children under age 18 (elderly households).

Not surprisingly, elderly households have much greater wealth than child households, which is to be expected because older householders have had more time to accumulate wealth. The trouble lies in the growing gap between the two types of households. "In 1989, elderly households had a median net worth that was approximately 3.8 time that of child households ($106,647 vs. $27,889)," say the researchers, "by 2013, their median net worth was 12.5 times as high ($154,998 vs. $12,413)." Other findings:
  • The median net worth of elderly households grew 45 percent between 1989 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation, while the net worth of child households fell 56 percent. 
  • The median income of child households fell 1 percent between 1989 and 2013, while the income of elderly households increased 29 percent.
  • The median assets of child households grew only 13 percent during those years while their median debt climbed 68 percent—from $29,915 to $50,300. The assets of elderly households grew by a much larger 75 percent, and their debt grew from a median of $0 to a modest $900.
  • The homeownership rate of child households fell 2.6 percentage points between 1989 and 2013, and their home equity dropped 28 percent. The homeownership rate of elderly households climbed 10.8 percentage points and their home equity increased 28 percent. 
"The declining absolute and relative wealth holdings of most families with children is likely to impede the human capital development of the next generation of Americans," the researchers conclude. "We posit that such underinvestments in children are likely to have negative long-term societal consequences for the United States."

Source: Demography, Children and the Elderly: Wealth Inequality among America's Dependents ($39.95)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Males Aged 15 to 19 Are Spending More Time Gaming

On an average day in 2017, teenaged boys aged 15 to 19 spent 1.3 hours playing games as a primary activity, according to the American Time Use Survey. The "playing games" category includes computer and video games as well as board and card games. A decade ago, males in the age group spent only about half as much time playing games—0.72 hours per day.

The averages mask the depth of the obsession, however. Males aged 15 to 19 are more likely than any other segment of the population to play games—fully 43 percent (!) played games on an average day in 2017, and those who played spent an average of 3.03 hours (!) doing so. These figures are substantially higher than they were a decade ago. In 2007, a smaller 31 percent of 15-to-19-year-olds males played games on an average day, and those who did spent 2.29 hours doing so.

The growing percentage of 15-to-19-year-olds who game on an average day, coupled with the increasing amount of time spent gaming, means that gaming is likely crowding out other activities. In 2017, 15-to-19-year-old male gamers spent more time with a joystick than they did watching television (2.77 hours on average for 15-to-19-year-old male participants), playing sports (2.34 hours), or doing homework (2.16 hours).

Source: Demo Memo analysis of unpublished tables from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey

Monday, July 16, 2018

Who Has Had a Biological Child?

Yes, the nation's fertility rate is at an all-time low. Yes, the number of births has fallen to levels not seen in 30 years. Nevertheless, most Americans will have children. In fact, most women aged 25 or older and most men aged 30 or older are parents, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Here is the percentage who have had a biological child by age...

Percentage of women who have had a biological child
Aged 15 to 24: 17.1%
Aged 25 to 29: 52.1%
Aged 30 to 34: 76.2%
Aged 35 to 39: 80.0%
Aged 40 to 44: 85.0%

Percentage of men who have had a biological child
Aged 15 to 24: 7.6%
Aged 25 to 29: 37.2%
Aged 30 to 34: 58.6%
Aged 35 to 39: 74.8%
Aged 40 to 44: 80.4%

Overall, 44 percent of men and 55 percent of women aged 15 to 44 have had a biological child.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Fertility of Men and Women Aged 15–44 in the United States: National Survey of Family Growth, 2011–2015

Friday, July 13, 2018

Are You Having Trouble Remembering Things?

"During the past 12 months, have you experienced confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse?" This question was posed to Americans aged 45 or older in the 2015–16 surveys of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

A substantial 11 percent of people aged 45 or older answered "yes" to the question. They are experiencing what is called "subjective cognitive decline," reports the CDC. Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) can be a symptom of early-stage dementia. Among those who said they were experiencing SCD, the 51 percent majority also reported functional limitations due to their cognitive problems.

Interestingly, the percentage who reported SCD does not vary all that much by age, ranging from 10 percent among 45-to-54-year-olds to 14 percent among people aged 75 or older. By race and Hispanic origin, American Indians are most likely to report SCD (20 percent) and Asians least likely (7 percent). Education has a big impact on the prevalence of SCD, with 18 percent of high school dropouts reporting SCD versus 7 percent of people with a bachelor's degree. By state, the percentage with SCD is highest in Nevada (16.3 percent) and lowest in South Dakota (6.0 percent).

Source: CDC, Subjective Cognitive Decline among Adults Aged ≥ 45 Years—United States, 2015–2016

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Nearly Half of Americans Are Trying to Lose Weight

Most Americans are overweight, and many are trying to do something about it. You could almost call it a national obsession.

In the past 12 months, nearly half (49.1%) of adults aged 20 or older tried to lose weight, according to a National Center for Health Statistics report. The attempt to shed pounds is embraced by 52 percent of 40-to-49-year-olds, 50 percent of 20-to-39-year-olds, and 43 percent of those aged 60-plus. The 56 percent majority of women are trying to lose weight, as are 42 percent of men. Even those who don't have a weight problem have gotten caught up in the frenzy. Among adults who are underweight or normal weight, 26.5 percent are trying to lose weight. The figure is 49 percent among those who are overweight and rises to 67 percent among the obese.

Here are the ways Americans are trying to lose weight (multiple responses allowed):

63 percent exercised
63 percent ate less
50 percent ate more fruits, vegetables, or salads
45 percent drank a lot of water
42 percent ate less junk food or fast food
39 percent changed eating habits
39 percent ate less sugar, candy, or sweets
35 percent switched to foods with lower calories
30 percent ate fewer carbohydrates
29 percent ate less fat
16 percent skipped meals

It isn't working. Despite all the frenzied attempts to lose weight, obesity has been rising steadily for years. The latest NCHS report on obesity, based on the measured heights and weights of a nationally representative sample of people aged 20 or older, found 40 percent of Americans to be obese in 2015–2016, up from 36 percent in 2009–2010 and 30.5 percent in 1999–2000.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Attempts to Lose Weight among Adults in the United States, 2013–2016

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wineries Have Quadrupled in U.S.

A few months ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics profiled the nation's breweries and their explosive growth. Breweries are in their heyday, and they are not alone. Wineries are also enjoying good times.

The number of wineries in the United States quadrupled over the past 16 years, rising from just 1,066 in 2001 to 4,308 in 2017, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Winery employment more than doubled, climbing from 25,363 to 64,139 during those years. California accounts for 58 percent of the nation's winery jobs—fully 36,924 in 2017.

Here's a comparison of the nation's brewery (2016) and winery (2017) numbers:

Number of establishments
Wineries: 4,308
Breweries: 2,843

Wineries: 64,139
Breweries: 58,580

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment in Wineries Up 153 Percent from 2001 to 2017

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

14% of Millennials Identify as LGBTQ

A large portion of the Millennial generation identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, according to the latest survey from the GenForward Project at the University of Chicago. Overall, 14 percent of Millennials identify as LGBTQ. By race and Hispanic origin, here are the numbers...

Millennials who identify as LGBTQ
Asians: 9%
Blacks: 14%
Hispanics: 22%
Non-Hispanic Whites: 13%

These figures are higher than those found in other surveys. According to a 2016 Gallup survey, 7.3 percent of Millennials identify as LGBT. According to the 2016 General Social Survey, 6.9 percent of Millennials identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. According to the 2011–13 National Survey of Family Growth, 6.6 percent of women and 3.8 percent of men aged 25 to 34 report their sexual orientation as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Student Loans = Less Retirement Savings

Do student loans prevent young adults from saving for retirement? Yes, finds a study by the Center for Retirement Research. Analyzing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, researchers at CRR examined differences in 401(k) participation and retirement plan assets at age 30 by student loan status at age 25 for the 1980 to 1984 birth cohort.

The findings: 1) Having student loans at age 25 had no impact on 401(k) participation at age 30, the study found. Among college graduates, 61 to 62 percent participated in a 401(k) regardless of student loan status or size of loan. 2) Having student loans at age 25 had a big impact on retirement plan assets at age 30. Those with no education debt had amassed $18,200 in retirement plan assets by age 30, while those with student loans had saved only half as much, regardless of the amount of debt. "The presence of the loan may be more important than the size of the payments," the study concludes.

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Do Young Adults with Student Debt Save Less for Retirement?

Friday, July 06, 2018

Forty Years of Bigger Houses

New single-family houses have been getting bigger. Those built in 2017 had a median of 2,426 square feet of floor area. While this is not the record high, it's close. The record was set in 2015 when new single-family homes had a median of 2,467 square feet...

Median square feet of floor area in new single-family houses completed
2017: 2,426
2016: 2,422
2015: 2,467 (record high)
2007: 2,277
1997: 1,975
1987: 1,755
1977: 1,610

Single-family homes built in 2017 are 51 percent larger than those built in 1977.

Source: Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Extremely Proud to be an American?

Only 47 percent of the U.S. public is "extremely proud" to be American, finds a recent Gallup survey. The year 2018 marks the first time extreme pride has fallen below 50 percent in the 18 years Gallup has been asking the question.

Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to feel extremely proud to be Americans— 74 to 32 percent. Most men (51 percent) but fewer than half of women (44 percent) feel extreme pride. The 54 percent majority of whites feel it versus only 33 percent of nonwhites. Feelings also differ greatly by age...

Extremely proud to be an American
Aged 18 to 29: 33%
Aged 30 to 49: 42%
Aged 50 to 64: 56%
Aged 65-plus: 58%

Source: Gallup, In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Why the Decline in TV Time among 25-to-34-Year-Olds?

Young adults aren't watching as much television as they once did, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey. People aged 25 to 34 watched TV as a primary activity (meaning the main activity) an average of 2.01 hours a day in 2017, down from 2.22 hours a day in 2007. What's behind the decline?

To answer this type of question, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has created a new query tool that lets researchers dig deeper into its time use data. With the tool, you can extract time use data from 2003 to 2017 for more than 100 primary activities by sex, age, employment status, parenting status, and type of day (average, weekday, or weekend). This is what the data reveal about the television time of young adults...
  • The decline in TV time is limited to men. Men aged 25 to 34 watched TV as a primary activity an average of 2.06 hours per day in 2017, down from 2.56 hours in 2007. Women in the age group spent slightly more time watching television in 2017 (1.95 hours) than in 2007 (1.88 hours). 
  • Two factors are behind the decline in men's television viewing. First, on any given day, fewer men watched TV in 2017 (72 percent) than in 2007 (77 percent). Second, those who watched TV spent less time doing so—an average of 2.87 hours in 2017, down from 3.32 hours in 2007. 
  • In contrast, among women in the age group, there has been no significant decline in the percentage who watch TV on an average day (about 75 percent). Not only that, but women who watched TV spent more time doing so in 2017 (2.62 hours) than in 2007 (2.48 hours). 
What could account for the decline in television viewing among young men? Further exploration with the query tool provides a probable answer: gaming. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of men aged 25 to 34 who play games (a category that includes computer games) as a primary activity on an average day grew from 9 to 15 percent. Those who play games are spending more time doing so, the average rising from 2.32 hours per day in 2007 to 2.97 hours per day in 2017. Among women, there has been no increase in the percentage who play games on an average day (7 percent), nor in the time spent gaming among women who play. Gaming, then, is the likely explanation for the decline in television viewing among men aged 25 to 34.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the American Time Use Survey, One-Screen Data Search—American Time Use

Monday, July 02, 2018

True or False: Most Immigrants Are Here Legally

True, but most Americans do not know that. Only 45 percent of the public knows that most immigrants in the United States are here legally, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Nearly as many (42 percent) think most immigrants are here illegally, and 13 percent say they do not know. By age, here is the percentage of Americans who say (correctly) that most immigrants in the U.S. are here legally...

Most immigrants are in the U.S. legally 
Aged 18 to 29: 58%
Aged 30 to 49: 47%
Aged 50 to 64: 39%
Aged 65-plus: 35%

Among people aged 50 or older, the share who think most immigrants in the U.S. are here illegally (45 to 46 percent) surpasses the share who think most are legal.

Source: Pew Research Center, Shifting Public Views on Legal Immigration into the U.S.