Who would benefit if $10,000 of student loans were canceled?

President Joe Biden proposed canceling up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. And while that campaign proposal hasn’t become policy yet, government data can show who would benefit if it did. As of 2022, 43 million people owe federal student loans,...

How common is it for released prisoners to re-offend?

Seventy percent of prisoners released in 2012 were arrested again within five years, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The recidivism rate is over 80% for prisoners with juvenile records. BJS defines recidivism as a re-offense by those previously in the criminal justice system. The bureau...

How do SNAP benefits account for inflation and a global pandemic?

In May 2022, consumer prices were about 8.6% higher than last year. Food and beverage prices increased by a larger amount, 9.7%, for the same time period. This was the highest monthly increase in food and beverage prices since March 1981. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) attempts to address...

How has household spending changed in the US?

Households are spending a higher percentage of their budgets on housing, healthcare, and education than almost 30 years ago, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. US households are also spending less on clothing, food, and transportation. In 2020, the average American household spent about $61,000...

Spending by the dollar: how government and consumer budgets differ

In 2019, government spending across federal, state, and local governments reached almost $6.7 trillion. And spending rose even higher during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the government tried to keep the economy running. Spending by federal, state, and local governments has more than doubled since 1980....

The birth rate increased for the first time since 2014

For the first time in the last seven years, the year-over-year birth rate in the US increased. Although the increase was minimal (1% from 2020 to 2021), it’s still a move away from years of declining numbers. The Centers for Health Statistics does not report on specifics of why the rate increased.

Why is the US labor force growing more slowly?

The US labor force — that is, the number of Americans working or actively seeking work — has grown at a slower rate every decade since the 1970s. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US labor force was facing population and immigration growth declines, lower rates of women and younger people going into the labor force, and more Americans reaching retirement age.

How many people travel outside their home states for an abortion?

Since the beginning of 2021, at least 25 states have passed new laws restricting access to abortion. Oklahoma passed a law that completely bans abortion in the state, with minimal exceptions. Idaho, South Carolina, and Texas have laws that ban abortion as early as a “fetal heartbeat”[1] is detected, which could be six or seven weeks into pregnancy. For people living in these states looking to get an abortion, many will have to travel out-of-state to end their pregnancies. And if the Supreme Court rules that access to abortion can be banned by states, it could lead to even more people seeking an out-of-state abortion.

A pandemic expansion of the National School Lunch Program ends this summer.

Waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic made school lunches free for all K-12 students. About a third of those meals will need to be paid for by families next school year. As a part of the government’s effort to feed children during the pandemic, the US Department of Agriculture allowed all K-12 students, rather than only those eligible for free or reduced-price meals, to get free school breakfast and lunch no matter their family’s income. The waivers were extended to all students attending schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. But the extended program will come to a halt at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

The latest government data on school shootings

In the wake of the massacre in Uvalde, Texas that’s left 19 students and two teachers dead and more injured — plus last November’s shooting in Oxford, Michigan that killed four and injured seven — USAFacts has collected recent data about school shootings in the United States. Here’s what current data has to say about these incidents.

What happens to employment when the minimum wage is increased?

Inflation is at 40-year highs, and wages are not rising fast enough to keep up. One way the government can impact worker pay is by raising the minimum wage. The federal government sets a national minimum wage, but state governments can raise theirs higher. But there is a decadeslong debate...

What are the best and worst airlines for on-time performance?

As of late May 2022, an average of 2.2 million people were clearing security in American airports every day. That figure is eight times higher than the number of passengers during the same time in 2020. Airport traffic isn’t quite at the pre-pandemic level of 2.5 million flyers in 2019.

Which states passed new abortion laws in 2022?

Fifteen states passed new laws regulating access to abortion in 2022. At least nine states restricted access to abortion in some way. Six states expanded access to the procedure. Laws regulating access to abortion are more relevant now due to a likely shift in the Supreme Court’s position on the...

One million Americans have died of COVID-19

More than 1 million people, or 1 in every 331 Americans, have died of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has not been equally fatal for all Americans. Black people, Native Americans and white people hold a higher percentage of COVID-19 deaths than their share of the US population. Americans 65 and older were more than 80% of all deaths from the virus in the first year of the pandemic. And while the Northeast and Midwest were hit hard by COVID-19 in 2020, deaths from the virus were more evenly distributed around the country since then.

How do free trade agreements affect trade with the US?

On May 9, 2022, the Department of Commerce announced that the US will be lifting some tariffs on steel imported from Ukraine for one year. By reducing tariffs, or taxes on imported goods, that Ukrainian businesses must pay, they are able to sell more of their product in the US.

Are fewer students taking the SAT?

The COVID-19 pandemic altered how high school students receive education, including how students prove college readiness through standardized tests. The two primary standardized tests used by colleges in the admissions process are the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing test, or ACT. As SAT and ACT tests...

Thirteen states have "trigger laws" banning abortion if Roe V. Wade is overruled

This week, a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court revealed a majority of justices privately voted to overturn the right to an abortion in the US. The leaked draft opinion, confirmed as authentic by Chief Justice John Roberts, showed that the Supreme Court would consider Mississippi's Gestational Age Act constitutional. Such a ruling would reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, giving states the right to pass laws banning abortion.