Monday, December 29, 2014

Meaningful Statistics

From Robert Samuelson, who comments on the economy at the Washington Post:

-- In 2013, more than 40% of American births were to unmarried mothers for the sixth consecutive year. (In 1997, the share was 32%.)

-- First-year enrollment in law schools has dropped 30% in four years, falling from 52,488 to 37,924;  the lowest level since 1973.

-- On average, children run a mile 90 seconds slower than their counterparts 30 years ago.

-- The median amount of student borrowing to pay for college -- adjusted for inflation -- has doubled in the past two decades to about $27,000.

-- The suicide rate for Americans 45 to 64 rose 40 percent from 1999 to 2011, making this group more suicide-prone than the young or old.

-- U.S. health spending remained at 17.4% of the economy (GDP) for five years, from 2009 to 2013. (Since 1960, there's been one comparable period. From 1993 to 2000, spending stabilized at 13.4% of GDP.)

Comment: The real impact of Obamacare is just now beginning to be felt--we can't tell much from looking at 2013.   Still, the fact that health spending was holding steady is a positive development.  All the other listed stats encourage negative conclusions, except we probably should welcome less lawyers entering the workforce.

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