The New York Times Upshot examines the rise of college tuition and fees and the restriction of in-state tuition breaks and what it means for the affordability of higher education.
Part of this story is familiar to anyone who has watched public universities raise tuition and fees, in some cases by 50 percent or more. But there’s another, less obvious, part of the story. Many of the most elite public universities are steadily restricting the number of students who are allowed to pay in-state tuition in the first place.
A result is the creeping privatization of elite public universities that have historically provided an accessible route to jobs in academia, business and government. One of the most important paths to upward mobility, open on a meritocratic basis to people from all economic classes, is narrowing.
See also: Readers’ Turn: The ‘Rat Race’ of College Competition.
Emily Oster of FiveThirtyEight examines various claims about the benefits of breastfeeding:
If one takes the claims seriously, it is not difficult to conclude that breastfed babies are all thin, rich geniuses who love their mothers and are never sick a day in their lives while formula-fed babies become overweight, low-IQ adults who hate their parents and spend most of their lives in the hospital.
The truth is complicated.
Drew DeSilver of Pew Research Center analyzed voter data for OECD countries and found that the U.S. voter turnout ranks near the bottom among the voting-age population (53.5% in 2012), but much higher among registered voters (84.3%).
Nathan Yau of Flowing Data created an interactive map showing the concentrations of Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders at the county level.
The map above shows the most prevalent race in each county, based on data from the 2013 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Select and deselect to make various comparisons. Or, select just one race to see distribution. Low, medium, and high saturation indicates whether the prevalent race percentage is below or about the same, higher (greater than the national average plus-minus interval), or much higher than the national average (at least 50% higher), respectively.
The U.S. Census American Housing Survey began gathering data on household public transportation use. A new infographic summarizes the results. Click on the image for a larger view.
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
Both the New York Times Upshot and NPR’s Planet Money have stories this morning about Raj Chetty’s Equality of Opportunity Project (previous posted about here).
Ana Swanson of Wonkblog examines the “shocking number of mentally ill Americans…in prison instead of treatment“:
According to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center…American prisons and jails housed an estimated 356,268 inmates with several mental illness in 2012—on par with the population of Anchorage, Alaska, or Trenton, New Jersey. That figure is more than 10 times the number of mentally ill patients in state psychiatric hospitals in the same year—about 35,000 people.
The Urban Institute has produced 9 interactive charts describing wealth inequality over the last 50 years:
Why hasn’t wealth inequality improved over the past 50 years? And why, in particular, has the racial wealth gap not closed? These nine charts illustrate how income inequality, earnings gaps, homeownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, and lopsided asset-building subsidies have contributed to these growing wealth disparities.