Monday, June 14, 2021

60% of Americans Favor the Death Penalty

The 60 percent majority of Americans support the death penalty for people convicted of murder, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Pew documents large partisan differences in support for the death penalty, with 77 percent of Republicans versus 46 percent of Democrats in favor. 

The partisan gap in attitudes towards the death penalty explains why executions are much more likely to occur in red states than blue states. Of the 22 prisoners executed by the states in 2019, Texas executed 9 (41 percent), according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee each executed three prisoners, Florida executed two, and Missouri and South Dakota each executed one. 

Overall, 2,570 prisoners were under sentence of death in the United States at the end of 2019. Nearly all (98 percent) are men. The 56 percent majority are white, 41 percent Black, and 15 percent Hispanic (who may be of any race). Their median age is 51 and median level of education is 12th grade. Most have never been married. They have been on death row for an average of 18.7 years. 

In a preview of 2020 capital punishment statistics included in the 2019 report, the BJS notes a decline in executions to 17. "Sixteen of the executions in 2020 were by lethal injection," says BJS, "while 1 (in Tennessee) was by electrocution. Ten of those executed were white, 5 were black, 1 was Hispanic, and 1 was American Indian. No females were executed during this period."

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment, 2019—Statistical Tables

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Foreign-Born Work Force Declined in 2020

The total number of workers in the U.S. labor force fell by 2.8 million in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Foreign-born workers accounted for a disproportionate 38 percent of the decline—a loss of 1.1 million foreign-born workers. Consequently, the foreign-born share of the U.S. labor force fell from 17.4 percent in 2019 to 17.0 percent in 2020. 

Not surprisingly, Asian and Hispanic workers are mostly likely to be foreign-born. Among Asians in the labor force, 68.5 percent are foreign-born. Among Hispanics, the figure is 45 percent. 

By age, the foreign-born share of the labor force peaks at 21 to 22 percent among 35-to-54-year-olds. It is smallest among the youngest workers. Only 8 percent of workers aged 16 to 24 are foreign-born. 

The foreign-born share of the labor force also varies by educational attainment, with the foreign-born accounting for the majority of workers without a high school diploma...

Foreign-born share of the U.S. labor force by educational attainment, 2020
54.7% of those without a high school diploma
18.1% of those with a high school diploma and no further education
11.4% of those with some college or an associate's degree
17.2% of those with a bachelor's degree or more education

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

822,000 New Single-Family Houses Sold in 2020

822,000: that's the number of new single-family houses sold in 2020—the most since 2006 and more than twice the number sold a decade ago in 2010, in the aftermath of the Great Recession.  

The median sales price of new single-family houses sold climbed to $336,900 in 2020. While this was higher than the median price in 2019, it was less than the 2017 record high of $341,200, after adjusting for inflation...

Median sales price of new single-family houses sold, 2005 to 2020 (in 2020 dollars)
2020: $336,900
2019: $325,500
2018: $336,400
2017: $341,200 (record high)
2016: $331,900
2015: $321,300
2011: $261,400 (post Great Recession low)
2010: $263,300
2005: $319,200 (pre Great Recession high)

Nearly all (96 percent) of new single-family homes sold in 2020 were air conditioned. This figure is up from 63 percent in 1978, the first year of the Census Bureau's data series. 

New single-family houses sold in 2020 had a median of 2,333 square feet, almost identical to the 2,322 median size in 2019. In 2015 and 2016, the median size of new single-family houses sold exceeded 2,500 square feet. 

Source: Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The Unvaccinated Are Least Likely to Wear Face Masks

Americans who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are almost guaranteed to be safe from the potentially fatal illness. Yet, they are also the ones most likely to continue to wear face masks, according to a Gallup survey. Take a look...

Use of face mask in past 7 days by vaccination status, May 2021
90% of those who are fully vaccinated
88% of those who plan to get vaccinated
80% of those who are partially vaccinated
49% of those who do not plan to get vaccinated

This is not the only eyebrow-raising statistic from the Gallup survey. Between April 2021 and May 2021, the share of the unvaccinated who have used a face mask in the past seven days fell by a full 10 percentage points—from 59 to 49 percent. Among the fully vaccinated, the decline in face mask use was a smaller 5 percentage points. 

The anti-vaxers who have thrown away their masks might want to consider a Washington Post analysis of Covid infection rates among the unvaccinated. Case rates are as high as they were near the January peak of Covid infections, the Post reports. "The virus continues to rage among those who haven't received a shot."

Monday, June 07, 2021

YouTube is Most Popular Social Media Platform

The great majority of the American public (72 percent of people aged 18 or older) use social media platforms, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The most popular site is YouTube, followed by Facebook—the only two sites used by the majority of adults...

Percent of people aged 18 or older who say they ever use...
YouTube: 81%
Facebook: 69%
Instagram: 40%
Pinterest: 31%
LinkedIn: 28%
Snapchat: 25%
Twitter: 23%
WhatsApp: 23%
TikTok: 21%
Reddit: 18%
Nextdoor: 13%

Young adults aged 18 to 29 are the ones most likely to use most of the social media platforms, including YouTube (95 percent), Instagram (71 percent), Snapchat (65 percent), TikTok (48 percent), Twitter (42 percent), and Reddit (36 percent). 

People aged 30 to 49 are the ones most likely to use Facebook (77 percent), LinkedIn (36 percent), and WhatsApp (30 percent).

People aged 50 to 64 are the ones most likely to use Pinterest (38 percent).

People aged 30 to 64 are the ones most likely to use Nextdoor (16 to 17 percent).

Source: Pew Research Center, Social Media Use in 2021

Thursday, June 03, 2021

77% Have Received at least One Dose of Vaccine

Seventy-seven percent of adults say they have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. The latest survey was fielded May 12-24. The 77 percent who reported having gotten at least one dose of the vaccine as of May 24 is up slightly from the 75 percent who reported having done so in early May. 

Percent who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine as of May 12-24
Total 18-plus: 77%
Aged 18 to 24: 66%
Aged 25 to 39: 67%
Aged 40 to 54: 76%
Aged 55 to 64: 84%
Aged 65-plus: 90%

There is no change in the number who say they probably/definitely will not get the vaccine. During this round of the survey, 28 million said no. Another 14 million say they are unsure about getting the vaccine.  

There are 17 million adults (7 percent of the population) who say they "definitely will not" get the vaccine, almost the same numbers as in the previous survey. By race and Hispanic origin, 8 percent of non-Hispanic whites say they definitely will not get the vaccine, 7 percent of Blacks, 5 percent of Hispanics, and 2 percent of Asians. 

Source: Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, May 12-24

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

The Decline in Men's Earnings, 1988—2018

The earnings of men are not what they used to be. According to data collected by the Social Security Administration, here is how the earnings of men aged 20 to 59 have changed in the past 30 years, from 1988 to 2018 (in 2018 dollars)...

Median annual earnings of men in 2018 (and percent change since 1988; in 2018 dollars)
Aged 20 to 29: $25,507 (-5.4%)
Aged 30 to 39: $47,895 (-6.4%)
Aged 40 to 49: $57,779 (-10.5%)
Aged 50 to 59: $57,518 (-7.3%)

Note: Earnings are all wages, salaries, and self-employment income in Social Security covered and non-covered employment including earnings that exceed the annual taxable maximum. 

Source: Social Security Administration, Earnings of Men Aged 20-59, 1988—2018

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

QAnon Tenets Believed by 15-20% of Americans

An alarmingly large share of the public believes in each of the three tenets of the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to a PRRI survey...

  1. Fifteen percent of Americans believe "the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation." Among Republicans, 23 percent believe this to be true.
  2. Fifteen percent of Americans agree with the statement, "because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country." Among Republicans, the figure is 28 percent.
  3. Twenty percent of Americans believe "there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders." Among Republicans, 28 percent are believers.

Perhaps most worrisome is the belief that violence may be necessary. Fully 42 of those who watch far-right news sources believe true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country. Among Fox News viewers, the figure is 27 percent. Among white evangelical protestants, 24 percent.