Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Generations by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2019

The non-Hispanic white share of the population ranges from a low of just under 50 percent in the Recession generation (defined as children under age 10) to a high of 78 percent among the oldest Americans—those aged 74 or older, born before 1946.

Generation X most closely mirrors the race and Hispanic origin composition of the population as a whole. Generations younger than Gen X are more diverse than the national average, while those older than Gen X are less diverse.

Although Hispanics outnumber Blacks in the population as a whole, Blacks outnumber Hispanics among Boomers and Older Americans. The Asian share of the population is highest in the Millennial generation at 8.4 percent.

Percent Distribution of the Population by Generation, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 2019

Total population100.0% 7.0%14.7%18.5%    60.1%
Recession generation (0-9)100.0 7.418.326.0    49.6
Generation Z (10-24)100.0 7.317.424.0    52.1
Millennials (25-42)100.0 8.415.720.7    55.5
Generation X (43-54)100.0 7.313.918.0    60.8
Boomers (55-73)100.0 5.411.710.8    71.6
Older Americans (74-plus)100.0 4.8  8.9  8.1    77.7

Note: Numbers may not add to 100 percent because Asians and Blacks are those who identify themselves as being of the race alone or in combination with other races, Hispanics may be of any race, and not all races are shown.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's National Population by Characteristics: 2010–2019

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Worst Is Still to Come

The worst is still to come. That's what most Americans think about the coronavirus pandemic. The 59 percent majority of the public says we haven't seen the worst of it yet, according to a Pew Research Center survey fielded on June 16-22. This is 14 percentage points below the 73 percent who felt this way in April. Among Democrats, 76 percent believe the worst is yet to come, down from 87 percent in April. Among Republicans, 38 percent think it will get worse—18 percentage points below the 56 percent who felt that way in April.

Americans may be in denial about the worsening coronavirus pandemic, but businesses are not. A growing share are pessimistic about the future, according to the Census Bureau's Small Business Pulse Survey. In April, only 38 percent of small businesses thought it would take more than 6 months for their operations to return to normal. Now, a larger 50 percent feel that way. In Texas—a coronavirus hot spot—the ranks of the pessimists expanded from 34 percent in April to 52 percent in June.

Source: Pew Research Center, Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns; and Census Bureau, Small Business Pulse Survey

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2019

The non-Hispanic white population declined for the third year in a row in 2019, according to the Census Bureau's population estimates. The number of non-Hispanic whites peaked in 2016, fell by 96,000 in 2017, 213,000 in 2018, and 225,000 in 2019. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 60 percent of the total U.S. population in 2019, down from 64 percent in 2010.

The number of non-Hispanic whites under age 30 declined by 1.7 million between 2016 and 2019, in part because of the ongoing baby bust. The number aged 65 or older climbed by 3.1 million during those years as Boomers filled the age group.

Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2019 (numbers in 000s)
Total: 328,240 (100.0%)
Asian: 22,862 (7.0%)
Black: 48,221 (14.7%)
Hispanic: 60,572 (18.5%)
Non-Hispanic white: 197,310 (60.1%)

Note: Asians and Blacks are those who identify themselves as being of the race alone or in combination with other races. Hispanics may be of any race. Not all races are shown.

Source: Census Bureau, National Population by Characteristics, 2010–2019

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fewer Emergency Department Visits During Pandemic

Emergency department visits fell steeply during the first 10 weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, reports the CDC. Between March 13 (when a national emergency was declared) and May 23, emergency department visits fell 42 percent overall. Visits fell even for the most serious illnesses. The CDC examined the trend in emergency department visits for three serious illnesses—heart attack, stroke, and uncontrolled high blood sugar. The CDC notes that "these conditions represent acute events that always necessitate immediate emergency care, even during a public health emergency."

Apparently, many people did not get the memo. Compared to the 10 weeks prior to March 13, emergency department visits for heart attack were 23 percent lower in the 10 weeks following the emergency declaration. Emergency department visits for stroke fell 20 percent, and visits for hyperglycemic crisis fell 10 percent.

Who was most likely to avoid getting needed care? For uncontrolled high blood sugar, visits declined the most for younger adults. For heart attack, visits fell the most for people aged 65 to 74. For stroke, visits fell the most for men aged 65 to 74 and women aged 75 to 84.

"There have been reports of excess mortality during the Covid-19 pandemic," states the CDC. "The striking decline in ED visits for acute life-threatening conditions might partially explain observed excess mortality not associated with Covid-19."

Source: CDC, Potential Indirect Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Use of Emergency Departments for Acute Life-Threatening Conditions—United States, January—May 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Income Losses Widespread by Metro, State

Americans everywhere have been badly hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. Among all adults aged 18 or older, 48 percent say they or a member of their household has experienced an employment income loss since March 13. By metropolitan area, the figure ranges from a low of 41 percent in Washington, DC, to a high of 60 percent in Los Angeles...

Percent of adults in 15 largest metros with household employment income loss since March 13 
50.3% in Atlanta
48.5% in Boston
48.8% in Chicago
49.9% in Dallas
57.5% in Detroit
52.9% in Houston
59.6% in Los Angeles
57.5% in Miami
55.2% in New York
50.4% in Philadelphia
47.1% in Phoenix
59.2% in Riverside-San Bernardino
54.8% in San Francisco
49.2% in Seattle
40.8% in Washington, DC

By state, the percentage of adults whose household has experienced an employment income loss ranges from lows of 36 to 37 percent in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming to highs of 54 to 56 percent in California, Michigan, Nevada, and New York.

Source: Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey Week 6 (June 4-9)

Monday, June 22, 2020

Majority of 65-Plus Population Still Extremely Proud To Be an American

Among people aged 65 or older, 53 percent say they are extremely proud to be an American, according to a Gallup survey. This is the only demographic segment in which more than 50 percent still feels extreme pride in their nationality.

Extreme pride in being an American has taken a big hit over the past few years, falling from a peak of 69 percent in the years following the 2001 terrorist attacks to just 42 percent in 2020—a record low. Since 2016, the percentage who feel extreme pride in being an American has fallen by 10 percentage points. 

Extremely proud to be an American, 2020 (and percentage point change since 2016)
53% of those aged 65 or older (-2)
50% of men (-3)
49% of whites (-5)
48% of those aged 50 to 64 (-16)
46% of those without a college degree (-8)
42% of those aged 30 to 49 (-9)
34% of women (-16)
34% of college graduates (-13)
24% of nonwhites (-21)
20% of those aged 18 to 29 (-14)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dental Care Makes a Difference

Toothlessness is associated with being old, but maybe not for much longer. The percentage of people aged 65 or older who have lost all their teeth has plunged over the past two decades, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2000, a substantial 30 percent of people aged 65 or older had lost all their teeth. By 2017–18, just 13 percent were toothless. Behind the decline is more and better dental care.

Most Americans aged 18 or older see a dentist at least once a year, and nearly half see a dentist every six months. Because dental care is expensive, however, there are big differences in the frequency of dental visits by socioeconomic status such as educational attainment...

Percent with a dental visit in the past year (and past 6 months) by education
47% (27%) of those who did not graduate from high school
55% (37%) of high school graduates 
65% (48%) of those with some college/associate's degree
79% (64%) of those with a bachelor's degree 

A lack of dental care can have serious consequences. Among people aged 65 or older without a high school diploma, fully 32 percent have lost all their teeth. Among those with more education, only 10 percent are toothless. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Don't Expect a Baby Boom

If you think the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders will lead to a boom in births next year, think again. Rather than a boom, expect a "large, lasting baby bust," according to a Brookings analysis. Researchers Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip Levine estimate that the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus will result in 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in 2021 than would normally have occurred. They come to this conclusion after studying the fertility decline of the Great Recession and the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Birth rates, they point out, are pro-cyclical. They rise when times are good and fall when times are bad. These are very bad times. "An analysis of the Great Recession leads us to predict that women will have many fewer babies in the short term, and for some of them, a lower total number of children over their lifetimes," say the researchers. If the unemployment rate remains high in 2021 and beyond, the Covid baby bust could be even worse than they estimate, the researchers warn. Many more births will be delayed, and some births will never happen. The Covid-19 baby bust will be "yet another cost of this terrible episode," they conclude.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Smartphones are #1 Internet Device

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been tracking the variety of devices used by Americans to go online since 2011. Here are the trends...

Desktop computers were the most popular internet device in 2011, with 45 percent of Americans aged 3 or older going online via a desktop. But desktops have fallen out of favor, and in 2019 only 28 percent used a desktop to go online. 

Laptop computer use has barely changed over the past decade, with 43 percent of the public using a laptop to go online in 2011 and 47 percent doing so in 2019. 

Smartphone use has soared. Only 27 percent of Americans used a smartphone to go online in 2011. In 2019, 68 percent used a smartphone to access the internet, far surpassing the use of any other type of device. 

Tablet computer use has grown since 2011, when only 6 percent of the public used a tablet to go online. But growth leveled off in 2015. In 2019, 30 percent used a tablet computer to go online.

Wearable internet devices such as smartwatches were first tracked by the NTIA in 2015, when just 1 percent of Americans used one. In 2019, the figure had grown to 12 percent.

Smart TVs, connected to the internet, were owned by 14 percent of the public in 2011. By 2019, ownership had grown to 41 percent.

Most Americans use more than one type of device to go online, the NTIA reports. In 2019, nearly two-thirds of the public (64 percent) reported using at least two types of devices to access the internet, and 45 percent used three or more. 

Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NTIA Data Reveal Shifts in Technology Use, Persistent Digital Divide

Monday, June 15, 2020

6% of Adults Have Attended a Protest in the Past Month

It may seem as though just about everyone has been protesting in the streets in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd. Not so, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Only 6 percent of adults say they have attended a protest or rally focused on race or racial equality in the past month. The figure is highest among 18-to-29-year-olds at 13 percent. Among people aged 65 or older, 2 percent say they have participated. 

Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are about equally likely to have participated in a protest. Whites are about half as likely as Blacks to have done so.

Attended a protest or rally focused on race or race relations in past month
Blacks: 10%
Asians: 10%
Hispanics: 9%
Whites: 5%

Among Democrats, 10 percent have taken part in a racial equality protest or rally in the past month. Among Republicans, the figure is 2 percent.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Steep Decline in Satisfaction

Satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has plummeted since February, according to a Gallup survey. "The decline since February came in two waves," Gallup explains. First was a decline due to the spread of coronavirus. This was followed by another decline after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

In February 2020, 45 percent of Americans aged 18 or older said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., a 15-year high. By early June, only 20 percent said they were satisfied with the way things are going. The decline in satisfaction occurred primarily among Republicans.  

Percent satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time...

February 2020
Republicans: 80%
Democrats: 13%

June 2020
Republicans: 39%
Democrats: 6%

Source: Gallup, Satisfaction with U.S. Direction Lowest in Four Years

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

This Time Is Different

Six years ago when Michael Brown was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner was killed by police in New York City, the Washington Post asked Americans whether these deaths were isolated incidents or indicative of broader problems in policing. Only 43 percent of the public said the killings indicated a broader problem, and 51 percent called them isolated incidents.

When the Washington Post asked Americans the question again on June 2-7 in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, fully 69 percent of the public said the killing was a sign of broader problems in policing. Only 29 percent called it an isolated incident.

This time is different. The widespread revulsion over the killing of George Floyd and the multiple incidents of police misconduct revealed by smartphones in the following days appear to be a tipping point. Most Americans, from every walk of life, are fed up with the police.

"Do you think the killing of George Floyd was an isolated incident or a sign of broader problems in treatment of black Americans by police?"

(percent saying the killing is a sign of broader problems)

69% of all adults

64% of men
74% of women

77% of people aged 18 to 29
72% of people aged 30 to 39
75% of people aged 40 to 49
66% of people aged 50 to 64
60% of people aged 65-plus

68% of whites
75% of nonwhites

68% of those without a college degree
73% of those with a college degree

64% of whites without a college degree
74% of whites with a college degree

72% of urban residents
69% of suburban residents
64% of rural residents

Republicans are the only remaining holdouts. Among them, 51 percent call the killing an isolated incident, and 47 percent say it a sign of a broader problem in policing.

Source: Washington Post, Big Majorities Support Protests over Floyd Killing and Say Police Need to Change, Poll Finds and June 2-7 Washington Post-Schar School National Poll results

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

51% Decline in Spending on Food Away from Home

Americans spent 51 percent less on food away from home in March 2020 than in March 2019, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service. Spending on food at home was 19 percent greater than a year earlier.

Food-at-home spending is defined as spending on food at grocery stores, super centers, convenience stores, and other retailers. Food-away-from-home spending is defined as spending on food at restaurants, school cafeterias, sports venues, and other eating-out places.

Total spending on eating out, including tax and tips, was $72 billion in March 2019 and just $36 billion in March 2020. This is the smallest monthly amount spent on eating out in the history of the series, which dates back to 1997. February 2020's spending is the second lowest.

Change in spending February 2019 and February 2020 (in constant dollars)
Groceries: +6.5%
Eating-out: -39.3%

Change in spending, March 2019 and March 2020 (in constant dollars)
Groceries: +18.8%
Eating-out: -51.0%

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Eating-Out Expenditures in March 2020 Were 51 Percent Below March 2019 Expenditures

Monday, June 08, 2020

Feeling Nervous, Anxious, on Edge?

How often have you felt nervous, anxious, or on edge during the past week? Chances are, you've felt that way on at least several days, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey fielded May 21-26. Only 37 percent of Americans aged 18 or older say they did not feel nervous, anxious, or on edge on any day that week. Another 34 percent said they had been bothered by anxiety on several days, and 28 percent had been bothered on most days or every day. The Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey is tracking the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the well-being of the public, including mental health.

Not surprisingly, the demographics of those who are cool as a cucumber differ dramatically from those who are a quivering basket of nerves. One of the biggest differences is by age, with younger adults much more freaked out than their elders—and with good reason since younger adults are the ones being hit harder by job losses. Here are the extremes: the 61 percent majority of people aged 80 or older say they have not suffered from anxiety on even one day in the past week; among people aged 18 to 29, only 28 percent have nerves of steel. Keep in mind, the survey does not include the elderly living in nursing homes, who might be a lot more anxious than their peers in the community.

Days in past week when you felt nervous, anxious, or on edge, May 21-26

none  several   most or every
Total 18-plus  37.3%    34.4%      28.3%
Aged 18 to 29  27.8    33.8      38.4
Aged 30 to 39  29.4    36.9      33.7
Aged 40 to 49  32.7    37.1      30.1
Aged 50 to 59  36.2    35.8      28.0
Aged 60 to 69  45.5    33.3      21.2
Aged 70 to 70  57.6    28.2      14.2
Aged 80-plus  60.9    23.1      16.1

Note that Wave 4 of the Household Pulse Survey was taken before the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests and unrest across the country. 

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Millennials and Covid-19

Millennials are being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. According to an analysis by Ana H. Kent of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, there are three reasons the pandemic may be a devastating setback for the generation.

Still behind: Millennials are still struggling from the economic effects of the Great Recession, the only generation further behind economically in 2016 than in 2010. The median wealth of Millennials (defined as those born from 1981 to 1996) was a paltry $12,100 in 2016, says Kent. Even among those with a bachelor's degree, median wealth was just $37,500.

No buffer: At the end of 2019, Millennials had less wealth than Gen X or Boomers at the same age. "If Millennials as a group were still behind and struggling financially after so many years of overall growth, a large economic shock (like the one caused by Covid-19) could upend many of their lives," warns Kent. One in four Millennial households has negative net worth, she reports, and 16 percent could not pay for a $400 emergency expense by any means.

Big losses: Already economically fragile, the Millennial generation has been especially hurt by job losses during the pandemic. Because workers in many of the hard hit industries such as food service, leisure, and hospitality are younger than average, Millennials are suffering more unemployment than older generations.

"Young adult Americans are facing very serious economic upheaval," Kent concludes. The good news, she says: they still have time to recover.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Three Reasons Why Millennials May Face Devastating Setback from Covid-19

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Only 36% Have Ever Felt the Urge to Protest

Most Americans believe in the right to protest, but a surprisingly small share of the public has ever wanted to do so. According to a 2018 Gallup survey, just 36 percent of adults have "ever felt the urge to organize or join a public demonstration."

Seventy-nine percent of the public thinks the people's right to nonviolent protest is very important to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. Most believe in the importance of nonviolent protest regardless of political persuasion, with 88 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans calling it very important. But only 21 percent of Republicans had ever felt the urge to protest, reports Gallup. Among Democrats, the figure was 51 percent.

The urge to protest has become more widespread over the past half century. When Gallup asked the question in 1965, only 10 percent of Americans said they had ever felt like organizing or joining a protest. Perhaps the growing polarization of our society is behind the rise. If Gallup were to ask Americans in 2020 whether they have ever felt like protesting, it's likely well more than 36 percent would say yes.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Price of New Single-Family Homes Falls Again

Home prices fell again in 2019. The median price of new single-family houses sold fell 3 percent between 2018 and 2019, after adjusting for inflation. This was the second year of decline since the price peaked in 2017.

Median price of new, single-family homes sold (in 2019 dollars)
2019: $321,500
2018: $332,314
2017: $336,989 (all-time high)
2009: $258,235 (post-Great Recession low)
2005: $315,350 (pre-Great Recession high)
2000: $250,906

Home prices fell despite the fact that the number of houses sold climbed to 683,000 in 2019—the largest number since 2007 and 11 percent more than in 2018. One factor that may explain the price decline is the smaller size of houses sold. The median square feet of floor area in new single-family houses sold in 2019 fell to 2,322, which is 113 square feet smaller than the 2018 median. This is the largest square-footage decline in the Census Bureau's series, which dates back to 1978.

Source: Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing

Monday, June 01, 2020

Covid-19 Wreaks Economic Havoc

The enormous economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is laid bare by the Census Bureau's new Household Pulse Survey, which is tracking the impact of the pandemic on the American public week by week. Among adults in households with children under age 18, the 55 percent majority say they or someone else in the household have experienced a loss of employment income since March 13, according to the May 14-19 wave of the survey. Among adults in households without children, 44 percent have experienced such a loss.

The percentage of Americans who report a loss of employment income since March 13 exceeds 50 percent in every age group under age 55...

Percent experiencing a loss of employment income for self or other household member
Total 18-plus: 48%
Aged 18 to 24: 58%
Aged 25 to 39: 54%
Aged 40 to 54: 56%
Aged 55 to 64: 49%
Aged 65-plus: 27%

By race and Hispanic origin, 60 percent of Hispanics have experienced a loss of employment income. The figure is 55 percent for Blacks, 47 percent for Asians, and 44 percent for non-Hispanic Whites.

Most adults with household incomes below $50,000 have experienced a loss of employment income since March 13. The figure falls as household income rises. But even among those in the most affluent households—with incomes of $200,000 or more—a substantial 31 percent have lost employment income during the pandemic.

Source: Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey: May 14—May 19