Thursday, July 02, 2015

Attitudes toward Science: The Age Effect

Another amazing feat by Pew Research Center, the nonpartisan, data-driven, social science research powerhouse. Pew researchers have analyzed their own data on the public's attitudes toward science and correlated those attitudes with six characteristics: political ideology, age, educational attainment, gender, race and ethnicity, and religious affiliation. In doing so they have revealed how each of those characteristics—independent of the others—influences attitudes. It turns out, age is one of the biggies, influencing views on a number of scientific issues after controlling for the other characteristics. Here are some examples...

Prioritize alternative energy development over oil, coal, and gas
Younger adults: favor
Older adults: oppose

Childhood vaccines should be required
Younger adults: Parents should decide
Older adults: yes

Earth is warming due to human activity
Younger adults: yes
Older adults: no

Humans have evolved due to natural processes
Younger adults: yes
Older adults: no

This report should be required reading for politicians and government policymakers. It's social science at its best, revealing the underlying forces at work in American society.

Source: Pew Research Center, American, Politics, and Science Issues

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Marital Status of Men Aged 30-to-34 Depends on Earnings

For men, the 30-to-34 age group is the age of marrying. That's when the percentage of men who are currently married rises above 50 percent. But that's an average. In fact, the marital status of men in the age group depends on how much they earn, with the married share rising in lock-step with earnings. (The relationship between earnings and marital status is not found for their female counterparts.) Here are the 2014 statistics...

Men aged 30 to 34 who are currently married, by earnings
Total men 30 to 34:   50.4%
Less than $5,000:     26.3%
$5,000 to $14,999:    31.1%
$15,000 to $24,999:  37.8%
$25,000 to $39,999:  53.0%
$40,000 to $74,999:  61.2%
$75,000 to $99,999:  66.4%
$100,000 or more:     72.7%

Source: Census Bureau, Families and Living Arrangements

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Most Nonmetro Counties Are Losing Population

Two-thirds of the nation's nonmetropolitan counties lost population between 2010 and 2014, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service. The number of nonmetro counties with declining populations reached an historic high of 1,310 in the 2010-14 time period.

Population decline is caused by two factors: more people moving out than in, and more deaths than births. The number of nonmetro counties experiencing the "double jeopardy" of net-outmigration and natural decrease climbed from 387 in 2003-07 to 622 in 2010-14.

According to a Demo Memo analysis of population growth by metropolitan status, the nation's largest metropolitan areas, with a population of 1 million or more, grew 4.2 percent between 2010 and 2014. Smaller metropolitan areas grew 2.7 percent. Nonmetropolitan counties as a whole lost 0.2 percent of their population during those years.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Two-Thirds of U.S. Nonmetro Counties Lost Population over 2010-14

Monday, June 29, 2015

Internet Use by Age, 2015

Percentage of Americans who use the Internet in 2015 (and in 2000), by age...

Total adults: 84% (52%)
Aged 18-29: 96% (70%)
Aged 30-49: 93% (61%)
Aged 50-64: 81% (46%)
Aged 65-plus: 58% (14%)

Source: Pew Research Center, Americans Internet Access: 2000-2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Baby Boom in North Dakota

From 2009 to 2014, percent change in number of births in...

United States:  -3.5%
North Dakota: 26.2%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Birth Data

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2014

The U.S. population grew by 9.5 million between 2010 and 2014, according to the Census Bureau. Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for just 5 percent of the gain, and the nation's minorities accounted for the other 95 percent. In 2014, the minority share of the population climbed to 37.9 percent, up from 36.2 percent in 2010. Here are the 2014 estimates by race and Hispanic origin...

Total population: 318,857,056
The U.S. population grew by 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 9.5 million.

Non-Hispanic Whites: 197,870,516 (62.1%)
The non-Hispanic White population grew by a minuscule 0.2 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of less than 500,000. The non-Hispanic White share of the population fell from 63.8 to 62.1 percent during those years.

Hispanics: 55,387,539 (17.4%)
The Hispanic population grew by 9.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 4.6 million. Hispanics accounted for 49 percent of the nation's population growth between 2010 and 2014.

Blacks (alone or in combination): 45,672,250 (14.3%)
The Black population grew by 5.4 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 2.3 million.

Asians (alone or in combination): 20,250,250 (6.4%)
The Asian population grew by 13.7 percent between 2010 and 2014, a gain of 2.4 million.

Source: Census Bureau, Population Estimates 2014

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Largest Share of Households Is Wireless-Only

In the last half of 2014, Americans crossed a threshold. The plurality of households now has only cell phones, surpassing for the first time the percentage with both cell and landline phones. In July-December 2014, fully 45.4 percent of households were wireless-only and 42.7 percent had both landline and cell phones. Only 8.4 percent of households are landline only and another 3.2 percent have no telephone. By age of householder, these are the wireless-only households...

Wireless-only households, July-December 2014
Total households: 45.4%
Aged 18 to 24: 58.0%
Aged 25 to 29: 69.2%
Aged 30 to 34: 67.4%
Aged 35 to 44: 53.7%
Aged 45 to 64: 36.8%
Aged 65-plus: 17.1%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July-December 2014

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ACA Putting a Dent in the Uninsured

The Affordable Care Act is making a difference, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The percentage of Americans without health insurance fell from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 11.5 percent in 2014. That 2.9 percentage point decline shows the ACA is moving the needle. Among people aged 18 to 64, the decline was a larger 4.1 percentage points—from 20.4 percent uninsured in 2013 to 16.3 percent in 2014. Among 19-to-25-year-olds, the percentage without health insurance fell 6.5 percentage points—from 26.5 percent in 2013 to 20.0 percent in 2014. Here is the percentage without health insurance by age in 2014...

Percent without health insurance
Total people:     11.5%
Under age 18:     5.5%
Aged 18 to 24:  18.3%
Aged 25 to 34:  22.6%
Aged 35 to 44:  17.6%
Aged 45 to 64:  11.7%
Aged 65-plus:     0.8%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2014

Monday, June 22, 2015

Money For Children and Grandchildren

Older Americans give a lot of money to their children and grandchildren—enough to "be considered a major expenditure category," according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute study. In the study, EBRI researcher Sudipto Banerjee examines cash transfers made by older householders to children and grandchildren during their lifetime rather than after death.

The data come from the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study, which tracks a representative sample of householders aged 50 or older. Cash transfers are defined as "giving money, helping pay bills, or covering specific types of costs such as those for medical care or insurance, schooling, down payment for a home, rent, etc. The financial help can be considered support, a gift or a loan." The results...
  • Many provide financial help. The 51 percent majority of householders aged 50 to 64 in 2010 had transferred cash to children or grandchildren during the past two years. Although the share of older householders who did so declined with advancing age, even among those aged 85 or older a substantial 28 percent had transferred cash.  
  • Thousands of dollars are provided. The average cash transfer ranged from a low of $4,787 for householders aged 85-plus to a high of $8,350 for 50-to-64-year-olds.
  • The affluent give more. Among 50-to-64-year-olds, the percentage who gave ranged from a low of 31 percent for those in the lowest income quartile (average amount provided = $7,419) to a high of 70 percent for those in the highest income quartile (average amount provided = $27,378).
"Transfers are actually a significant expense when compared with other items in a household budget," concludes Banerjee, "though they are not traditionally thought of as a budget item." The report examines trends in cash transfers from 1998 to 2010 and also looks at the much less common transfer of cash from younger to older family members.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Intra-Family Cash Transfers in Older American Households

Friday, June 19, 2015

How Many Women Are Uninsured when Giving Birth?

Not many, thanks to Medicaid. That's because low-income women become eligible for Medicaid when they become pregnant. With the average hospital delivery costing roughly $10,000, Medicaid is a financial life saver—not to mention the medical benefits. Among women who gave birth in 2009, take a look at how their health insurance status changed from the month before they became pregnant to the day of delivery...

  • The percentage of women with no health insurance fell from 23.4% in the month before they became pregnant to just 1.5% on the day of delivery. 
  • The percentage of women with Medicaid coverage climbed from 16.6% in the month before they became pregnant to 43.9% on the day of delivery.
  • The percentage of women with private health insurance fell slightly, from 59.9% in the month before they became pregnant to 54.6% on the day of delivery.

Source: CDC, Patterns of Health Insurance Coverage Around the Time of Pregnancy among Women with Live-Born Infants—Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 29 States, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Births by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2014

The number of births ticked up in 2014, rising by 1 percent in the past year. This was the first increase since 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Births to Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites all increased by 1 percent. For Asians, the gain was 6 percent. Here are the numbers in 2014 (and percent distribution) by race and Hispanic origin...

Total:      3,985,924 (100.0%)
Asian:        282,724 (   7.1%)
Black:        589,016 ( 14.8%)
Hispanic:   914,116 ( 22.9%)
White:     2,146,482 ( 53.9%)

Note: Blacks and Whites are non-Hispanic.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2014

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Uptick in Births in 2014

The annual number of births in the United States increased in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The 3,985,924 babies born in 2014 exceeded 2013 births by 53,743—a statistically significant 1 percent increase. The increase was the first since 2007, when births reached an all time high of 4,316,233. 

Drilling down into the numbers reveals a dramatically changed pattern of childbearing in the United States. The fertility rate in 2014 inched up to 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a bit higher than last year's record low of 62.5. This was the first increase in the fertility rate since 2007. But for teenagers, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 20 to 24, the birth rate fell to a new historic low. For women aged 25 to 29, the birth rate was essentially unchanged from the record low reached in 2013. 


The action is occurring among women aged 30 or older. Among women in their thirties and forties, birth rates are rising and so are births. Many of these women are having their first child after years of delay. The first-birth rate increased for women aged 30 to 39, the government reports. But the overall first-birth rate hit a new record low in 2014 because younger women are reluctant to have children. Births increased in 2014 only because older women are playing catch up. The baby bust may have hit bottom, but at the bottom is where it remains.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Births: Preliminary Data for 2014

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fewer Jobs Near Average Metro Resident

Residents of the nation's major metropolitan areas live near fewer jobs than they did in 2000, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Using census tract data for the 96 largest metro areas, the Brookings researchers compared the number of jobs within the typical commute for each metro in 2000 and 2012. Of the 96 metro areas analyzed, only 29 gained jobs during those years within the metro's typical commuting distance. The typical commuting distance ranged from a low of 4.7 miles in Stockton, California, to a high of 12.8 miles in Atlanta.

The average city resident was within typical commuting distance of 605,367 jobs in 2012, according to the analysis. This was 3.5 percent fewer jobs than in 2000. The average suburban resident was within typical commuting distance of 207,158 jobs—7.3 percent fewer than in 2000. The Brookings report includes details for each of the 96 metro areas.

The loss in job proximity was worse for some than for others. Hispanics saw the number of jobs within their metro's typical commute decline by 17 percent. The loss was 14 percent for Blacks and 6 percent for Whites.

Source: Brookings Institution, The Growing Distance Between People and Jobs in Metropolitan America

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Cost of Day Care

Among the nation's 20 million preschoolers, 60 percent participate in at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement—that's 13 million children being cared for by day care centers, grandparents, other relatives, or someone not related to them. Among families with out-of-pocket costs for this service, most pay dearly for the care...

Average hourly out-of-pocket cost for primary child care arrangement
Care by a relative: $4.18
Care by a nonrelative: $5.28
Day care center: $6.70

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood Program Participation, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012