Friday, December 06, 2019

Median Household Income Stable in October 2019

Median household income did not change significantly between September and October 2019, after adjusting for inflation. The $66,465 October median was almost identical to the September 2019 median, according to Sentier Research. Sentier's estimates are derived from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and track the economic wellbeing of households on a monthly basis.

"Real median household income has continued to display an upward trend over the past 12 months (up 3.3 percent)," says Sentier's Gordon Green, "and especially since the low point reached in June 2011 (up 18.6 percent)." At the June 2011 low point—two years after the official end of the Great Recession— median household income was just $56,036.  

Sentier's Household Income Index for October 2019 was 107.2 (January 2000 = 100.0). In other words, the October 2019 median, after adjusting for inflation, was just 7.2 percent higher than the median of January 2000—almost two decades ago. To stay on top of these trends, look for the next monthly update from Sentier.

Source: Sentier ResearchHousehold Income Trends: October 2019

Thursday, December 05, 2019

This Year, Just Say No to Dessert

Why now, Gallup? Just as the holiday season commences, Gallup again releases the results of a survey that reminds us to watch our weight—as it does every year at this time. The percentage of Americans aged 18 or older who weigh 200 or more pounds is climbing, Gallup notes in this year's release, rising from 24 percent in the 2001–09 time period to 28 percent in 2010–19. Evidently, no one is paying attention to Gallup's annual reminder to watch our weight. Among men, 42 percent weigh at least 200 pounds, up from 38 percent a decade ago. Among women, the share rose from 12 to 14 percent.

Weight distribution of American men in 2010–19
1%: 124 pounds or less
7%: 125 to 149 pounds
23%: 150 to 174 pounds
25%: 175 to 199 pounds
42%: 200 pounds or more

Weight distribution of American women in 2010–19
14%: 124 pounds or less
28%: 125 to 149 pounds
24%: 150 to 174 pounds
13%: 175 to 199 pounds
14%: 200 pounds or more

Despite the fact that we are getting fatter, Americans are less likely to think they are overweight in the 2010–19 time period than in the 2001–09 decade. The percentage who think they are somewhat or very overweight fell from 41 to 38 percent during those years. The percentage who say their weight is about right increased from 53 to 56 percent. This is fantasy. Here are the facts, according to actual measurements of height and weight taken by the National Center for Health Statistics: 71 percent of adults are overweight and just 28 percent are "about right," or what NCHS calls normal weight.

As we normalize our expanding girth, it's not surprising that our ideal weight is also rising. Among women, ideal weight climbed from 137 to 140 pounds between 2001–09 and 2010–19, Gallup reports. Among men, the ideal rose from 158 to 160 pounds. Perhaps consequently, fewer say they want to lose weight. Among women, 60 percent said they wanted to lose weight in 2010–19, down from 65 percent in 2001–09. Among men, the percentage who want to lose weight fell from 59 to 54 percent.

Source: Gallup, More Americans Say They Weigh 200 Lbs. or More This Decade

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Number of Births in 2018 Lowest Since 1986

The final numbers are in. There were only 3,791,712 births in 2018, according to the National Center for Health Statistics report, Births Final Data for 2018. While this is a tad more than the number reported provisionally back in May (3,788,235), the additional 3,477 births included in the final number did not reverse the trend. The number of births in 2018 was the smallest since 1986. It was 63,788 less than the number of births in 2017, and it was more than 500,000 below the all-time high of 4.3 million in 2007. The 2018 fertility rate—the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44—dropped to a record low of 59.1.

Have we hit bottom? Hard to tell. According to the NCHS vital statistics rapid release program, the fertility rate was significantly higher (58.6) in the second quarter of 2019 than it was in the second quarter of 2018 (58.3). While not much of an increase, it could indicate an end to the decline. But the first quarter number suggested the opposite. The fertility rate in the first quarter of 2019 was significantly lower (55.9) than in the first-quarter of 2018 (57.2). Stay tuned.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Birth Data, Births: Final Data for 2018

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

40% of Hispanic Households Include Children

Households headed by Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics are more likely to include children under age 18 than are households headed by non-Hispanic Whites, according to the Census Bureau's 2019 Current Population Survey. Behind the difference is the fact that non-Hispanic Whites, on average, are considerably older than Asians, Blacks, or Hispanics and less likely to be in their childrearing years.

Households with children under age 18 by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2019
Asian: 35%
Black: 26%
Hispanic: 40%
Non-Hispanic White: 23%

Among the nation's 34 million households with children under age 18, non-Hispanic Whites head the 57 percent majority. Hispanics head 21 percent of households with children, Blacks (alone) head 13 percent, and Asians (alone) 7 percent.

Source: Census Bureau, America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2019

Monday, December 02, 2019

Renter Mobility Rate Slips below 20%

The nation's mobility rate hit an all-time low of 9.8 percent in 2018–19, primarily because fewer renters are moving. The mobility rate of renters fell to 19.7 percent, a record low and the first time the figure has been below 20 percent. The mobility rate of renters exceeded 30 percent before 2006. Because renters account for two-thirds of movers, the falling mobility rate of renters is the biggest factor behind the nation's record low overall mobility rate. Here is the trend in mobility by housing tenure...

Percentage of renters who moved
2018–19: 19.7%
2010–11: 26.1%
2000–01: 30.5%
1990–01: 33.6%

Percentage of homeowners who moved
2018–19: 4.9%
2010–11: 4.7%
2000–01: 7.4%
1990–01: 8.8%

Between 2018–19, only 20.9 million renters moved. This is the smallest number since the Census Bureau began to collect data on mobility rates by housing tenure in the 1980s. Among homeowners, 10.4 million moved in 2018–19, down from about 15 million a year prior to the Great Recession. 

Source: Census Bureau, Migration/Geographic Mobility