Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Women have a longer life expectancy than men and as a result among the elderly, women are (on average) older than men. This explains why women’s disability profile is worse than men’s. In the graph below, men are more likely to have no limitations to physical functioning. In contrast women are more likely than men to be limited in their ability to bathe, dress, eat, get out of chairs, walk, go outside, or use the toilet without assistance. These activities are called “Activities of Daily Living”, or ADLs.

IADLS are Instrumental activities of Daily living such as using the telephone, doing housework, preparing meals, shopping, and managing money.

Come back tomorrow for an analysis of Indiana's demographics and the implications for the democratic primaries there.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poverty Profile

Levels of poverty are higher among children than adults and higher among women than men (Source: American Community Survey).

Tune back in tomorrow for information on gender differences in aging.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekly Earnings

Economic news of late has generally not been good, particularly in real estate. A new release by the Bureau of Labor statistics indicates that average weekly earnings in March 2008 was $607.49, up 4.3% from a year ago. Unfortunately inflation ate up much of that gain and the increase in earnings adjusted for the consumer price index was only .3%. A careful look at the report reveals that the increase in earnings was largely located in the Natural Resources and Mining Industry. The gains in those industries were offset by declines in Retail Trade.

Tune back in tomorrow for a profile of the people in poverty.

Friday, April 25, 2008


The New York Times had an article yesterday that explained that the United States has a disproportionate proportion of the world’s prison population. Further, African American men are a disproportionate percentage of the prison population in the United States.

This is the proportion age 18-64 in correctional facilities. It would be better to have this for age 18-24, or the proportion age 30 that have ever spent time in a correctional facility, but that's not what the census is giving me.

Come back Monday for a report on trends in earnings.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Social Trends

According to the General Social Survey, the proportion of Americans (United States Residents) that read the news paper daily is on the decline across all age groups.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Health and Mortality

The 15 leading causes of death in 2005 were:
1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. Stroke
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
5. Accidents
6. Diabetes
7. Alzheimer’s disease
8. Influenza and pneumonia
9. Kidney disease
10. Septicemia
11. Suicide
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13. Hypertension
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Homicide

Monday, April 21, 2008


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate last month was 5.1%,1 up from 4.4 a year ago.
States with highest and lowest unemployment rates:

Large metropolitan areas with highest and lowest unemployment rates:

1 Note that, to be unemployed, a person has to look for a job, so unemployment is not the same as non-employment.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Family Life

In recent years, one of the most impressive trends in family life has been the increase in the proportion of births that are to unmarried women. In 2005, just under 37 percent of births were to a woman who was not married.

Source: for 1970-1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Race-Ethnic Diversity

The Census Bureau divides the United States into 9 regions, listed below with their component states. The West North Central Division is still the “whitest” region, with about 87% of its population white. The West South Central and Pacific Divisions are the most ethnically diverse. In the Pacific Division, only about half (53%) of the population is white.

West North Central Division: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas
New England Division: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
East North Central Division: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin
East South Central Division: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi
Mountain Division: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada
Middle Atlantic Division: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
South Atlantic Division: Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
West South Central Division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
Pacific Division: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii

Source: Census Bureau, 2000 United States Census

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Political Trends

In the early 1980s, for both men and women, the most common party identification switched from Democrat to Republican. The upward trend in the proportion reporting Republican peaked in the early 1990s and has been declining since. Since then, there has been a general upward trend in the proportion of men and women that identify as Independents. From 2004 to 2006 there has been a steep decline in the proportion identifying as Republican, which a matching increase in the proportion identifying as Independents.

Trends in Men’s Party Identification 1972-2006, General Social Survey

Trends in Women’s Party Identification 1972-2006, General Social Survey

Source: General Social Survey

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Health and Aging

Generally speaking, white women enjoy a relatively large life expectancy at birth, almost 81 years. Life expectancy for white men and black women is slightly lower at about 76 years. Black men have a life expectancy of just under 70 years. Race and gender gaps in life expectancy at birth are decreasing over time.

Sources: Kung HC, Hoyert DL, Xu JQ, Murphy SL. Deaths: Final data for 2005. National vital statistics reports; vol 56 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Child Poverty Rates

Today 18.3 % of children in the United States live in poverty. The poverty line in July 2006 was $16,009 for a family of 3 with one child and this threshold does not vary by state, but some states have much lower/higher poverty rates than the average. For example in Washington D.C., Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia more than 1 out of every 4 children is in poverty. In Maryland and New Hampshire fewer than 1 in 10 children is in poverty. Child Poverty rates also vary widely by race-ethnicity.

Child Poverty Rates in 1999 by Race-Ethnicity, according to 2000 Census Data

Overall child poverty in the United States was at 16.6 % in 1999.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey and 2000 Census.

Monday, April 14, 2008


In the United States, the education distribution depends on age. The youngest age group has lower levels of education because they haven’t finished their schooling yet. The oldest age group came of age in an era when finishing high school was not as necessary for employment and going to college was much less common. This table provides some evidence that many people continue to get more education even in middle age. The proportion with a graduate or professional degree is highest among those age 45 to 64.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Family Life

In 2006, the median age at first marriage was for men 27.5, and for women 25.9. 1 In 1998 the General Social Survey asked respondents whether, "If the right person came along, would you like to be married." Eighty percent of those ages 18-24 answered "yes."


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Race-Ethnic Diversity

Race-ethnic Composition of the United States 2000 and 2006.

The United States is becoming more ethnically diverse, as the proportion Non-Hispanic White (Anlgo) is declining and the proportion Latino and Asian increases. In 1990, 76% of the United States population was Anglo.