High school graduates earned about 60% of the median earnings of college graduates in the second quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And women earned about 25% less than men, according to the same survey. During this time period, the median earnings for workers with only high school degrees was $718. The median earnings for workers with bachelor's degrees reached $1,189. Notably, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that one-third of all American adults have a bachelor's degree or higher, the highest ever percentage. The Census Bureau further determined that the average annual earnings in 2016 for individuals aged 25 and older whose highest educational attainment was high school were $35,615. The average earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree were $65,482.
Across the spectrum, women earned only about 75% of the amount that men earned. The median weekly earnings for men without a high school diploma was $583, while women with high school diplomas only earned a median weekly income of $444. Male high school graduates earned median weekly income of $797, while woman high school graduates earned a median weekly income of $620. Of workers with bachelor degrees, men had median weekly earnings of $1,375, while women earned a median weekly income of $1,030.
Almost 6 million corporations filed tax returns in 2013, the most recent year analyzed by the Internal Revenue Service. Corporations paid approximately $293 billion in taxes in 2013. U.S. corporations reported $30.2 trillion in total receipts in 2013, and held total assets of $88 trillion. Of the almost 6 million corporations filing returns, approximately 4.3 million were passthrough entities. These entities pay little or no Federal income tax at the corporate level. Instead, they are required to pass any profits or losses to their shareholders, where they are taxed at the individual rate. Notably, .06 percent of the corporations filing returns had total assets of $2.5 billion or more, but these few corporations held 81.3 percent of the total assets of all U.S. corporations. In 2016, corporations were taxed at the rates in the accompanying table, taken from the instructions for 2016 Form 1120.
Climate scientists generally agree that the earth actually cooled between 1940 and 1970, before beginning the well-publicized dramatic increase, according to NASA. Similarly, until the last couple of years, Antarctica actually experienced decades of moderate sea ice growth, NASA has further determined.
Now, NASA reports that the average global temperature on Earth has increased about 1.4 degrees since 1880, with two-thirds of the warming occurring since 1975. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years in the last 136 years all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record.
In the United States, temperatures across the U.S. continue rising, except in portions of the Southeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However, portions of the Southeast have seen little increase in surface air temperatures, or even a slight decrease. Globally, every decade since 1960 has been warmer than the last, and the last three decades each have been the warmest on record. The U.S. saw its second warmest January through June in 2017, only slightly behind the record year of 2012. NASA explains that a change in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, or about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, could mean that heat waves will last longer, rainstorm intensity will increase, and coral reefs could be wiped-out.
The nation's population continues to age and become more diverse, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the last 16 years, the nation’s median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half older — rose from 35.3 years in 2000 to 37.9 years in 2016. Individuals age 65 and over grew from 35 million in 2000 to 49 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the nation's total population, respectively. As to race and ethnic groups, all races and groups increased in the year after July 1, 2015. The Hispanic population (including all races) grew by 2.0 percent to 57.5 million, and the Asian population increased by 3.0 percent to 21.4 million. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population grew by 2.1 percent to 1.5 million, while the American Indian and Alaska Native population grew by 1.4 percent to 6.7 million. The black or African-American population increased by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million. The white population grew the least by percentage, increasing half a percent to 256.0 million. Those individuals who identified as being of two or more races grew by 3.0 percent to 8.5 million.
Total spending on arts and cultural activities topped $1 trillion a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to the BEA's recent analysis of 2014 statistics, art and cultural activities also accounted for 4.8 million jobs in 2014, which amounted to 3.3% of all jobs in the United States. The BEA found that economic activity in the arts and cultural sector increased for the third straight year in 2014. When arts and cultural activity was measured for its contribution to gross domestic product, as opposed to total expenditures, the sector still generated almost $730 billion, or 4.2% of GDP. Gross output, as opposed to gross domestic product, is explained here. In core arts and cultural production industries, nationwide employment grew 3.8 percent in 2014 to a total of 1.02 million jobs. Performing arts and design services accounted for about 75 percent of all employment in the core arts and cultural production industries in 2014
Temperatures across the U.S. continue rising, except in portions of the Southeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The map above shows pervasive warming surface air temperatures across the country during the last 100 years. However, portions of the Southeast have seen little increase in surface air temperatures, or even a slight decrease. Globally, every decade since 1960 has been warmer than the last, and the last three decades each have been the warmest on record. The U.S. saw its second warmest January through June in 2017, only slightly behind the record year of 2012. According to NOAA, during this six month period, nine weather events occurred causing a at least a billion dollars of damage each. NASA explains that a change in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, or about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, could mean that heat waves will last longer, rainstorm intensity will increase, and coral reefs could be wiped-out.
The South dominates the nation in terms of people and political clout. The 16 states and the District of Columbia forming the U.S. Census Bureau's South region hold 38% of the nation's population, according to the Census Bureau's 2016 population estimates. The South also has 36% of the total Electoral College votes. Also, ten of the 15 fastest-growing large cities were located across the South in 2016, with four of the top five in Texas. The Census Bureau estimates the total United States population in 2016 at 323,127,513, with the South tallying a population of 122,319,574. The Northeast holds 17 percent of the population, while the Midwest accounts for 21 percent of the population. The broad Western portion of the United States only accounts for 24% of the nation's population. The South has 196 of the 538 Electoral College votes.
Medicaid, an aid program under intense scrutiny now, is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to almost 70 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicaid now accounts for about 10 percent of all federal expenditures, according to an analysis by The Plain Facts.
Medicaid is the single largest source of health coverage in the United States. Medicaid was signed into law in 1965 at the same time as the Medicare program. All states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have Medicaid programs designed to provide health coverage for low-income people. About 12 percent of all Medicaid payments go to physicians, while about 11 percent is used for prescription drugs.
Although the Federal government establishes certain parameters for all states to follow, each state administers their Medicaid program differently, resulting in variations in Medicaid coverage across the country. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act provided states the authority to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals under age 65 in families with incomes below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
After decades of seeming to buck the climate change trend by experiencing moderate increases in sea ice, Antarctica's sea ice recently fell to its lowest extent ever recorded. March 3, 2017 marked the lowest sea ice extent recorded for Antarctica since 1979, when NASA began regularly mapping sea ice at both poles. This year’s record low happened just two years after several monthly record high sea ice extents in Antarctica and decades of moderate sea ice growth. In fact, NASA scientists believe that snow and ice began accumulating on Antarctica 10,000 years ago.
The Antarctic ice sheet, together with the Greenland ice sheet, comprise 99 percent of the world's freshwater sea ice. The Antarctic ice sheet covers roughly 5.4 million square miles, or the about the size of the United States and Mexico combined. This information comes from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, an organization supported by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
Americans spend more than $3 trillion a year on healthcare, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In 2015, Americans spent $3.2 trillion on healthcare, or $9,990 per person. This spending account for 17.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced by the country in a year. Medicare spending accounted for $646.2 billion in 2015, or 20 percent of the total healthcare expenditures. Medicaid spending comprised $545 billion, or 17 percent of the total spending. Private health insurance spending accounted for $1,072 billion, or 33 percent of the total healthcare expenditures. Also, Americans spent $325 billion on prescription drugs in 2015. In 2014, per capita personal health care spending ranged from a high of $11,064 in Alaska and a low of $5,982 in Utah. Per capita spending in Alaska was 38 percent higher than the national average ($8,045) while spending in Utah was about 26 percent lower than the national average.
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