Ana Swanson of Wonkblog examines a new study by Nolan McCarty, John Voorheis and Boris Shor that shows that the growing ideological gap between Republicans and Democrats may be due in part to the widening gap between rich and poor.
By looking at extensive data on U.S. states over the last few decades, the researchers show that the widening gap between the rich and the poor in recent decades has moved state legislatures toward the right overall, while also increasing the ideological distance between those on the right and those on the left.
The paper is Unequal Incomes, Ideology and Gridlock: How Rising Inequality Increases Political Polarization
The Internal Revenue Service released migration data based on year-to-year address changes based on income tax returns filed with the IRS.
They present migration patterns by State or by county for the entire United States and are available for inflows—the number of new residents who moved to a State or county and where they migrated from, and outflows—the number of residents leaving a State or county and where they went.
H/T Data Detectives
The World Bank Open Data blog examines recent data from the United Nations Refugee Agency about the 60 million people currently forcibly displaced from their homes.
As we continue to see headlines and editorials almost every day about migrants and refugees, it’s not surprising when UNHCR reports that the number of forcibly displaced people has reached 60 million worldwide for the first time since World War II. This figure includes internally displaced people, refugees, and asylum seekers.
While many are on the move as refugees, others migrate willfully at rates that have also reached unprecedented levels. Below, I’ve explored some trends in regional, country- and economic-level migration and refugee data.
Anne Sutherland of the Family Studies blog writes about why women are so scarce in certainly STEM fields. In the article, she examines a 2009 study (PDF) by Vanderbilt scholars Kimberley Ferriman, David Lubinski, and Camilla P. Benbow which looked at the work preferences, lifestyle values, personal views, and life satisfaction of more than 500 young people who, in 1992, were first- and second-year graduate students in the country’s top 15 math and science departments.
Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes about the context and history of Scott Walker’s views and policies on higher education in Wisconsin:
In January, when Governor Walker released his proposed budget for the next two years, he put the finances and mission of Wisconsin’s university system front and center. He recommended granting the system autonomy from several state regulations, but as part of the deal he proposed to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget over two years while freezing tuition. In addition, he pushed to remove protections for tenure and shared governance from state law.
Note: this article is behind a paywall. University of Michigan readers may use this link to access the article.
See also Sarah Brown’s article on Washington States’s plan to cut tuition rates for public colleges.
Emily Badger of Wonkblog examines commuting data from the 2013 American Community Survey and reports that about 86% of Americans arrive to work in a car and 76% ride in that car alone.
America is still a country of lonely commuters. About 86 percent of us generally get to work in an automobile, according to new Census data from the 2013 American Community Survey released this week. And nearly as many — 76 percent — ride in that car all alone, accompanied only by the radio or the sound of mechanically muffled silence.
See also: Where Americans go to work when they don’t work near home and Where ‘speeding’ is legal.
Tariq Khokhar of World Bank uses the United Nation’s updated population figures and projections to create 4 charts which illustrate the future of the world’s population.
But before I dive in, how accurate are these projections? What kind of track record do UN demographers have? The most comprehensive answer I could find was Nico Keilman’s 2001 paper which Hans Rosling refers to in this video. He notes that in 1958, when the UN projected the population in 2000 to be ~6 Billion (it was then 42 years into the future) they ended up being out by less than 5%. The short answer is: these projections are pretty good.
William Frey, writing for the Brookings Institute, examines the increase in persons identifying as “White and Black” in the southern states.
Yet, the South is attracting blacks in large numbers, including multiracial blacks, from all parts of the country. Thus, it is significant that when states are ranked by the growth rates in their “white and black” multiracial populations in the first decade of the 2000s, it is these Southern states that lead all others.