There’s a lot to do this decade, and only a few days to do it. You need to look smart doing it. The best way to look smart is to be smart, and that means ingesting meaningful bits of data and turning them into useful knowledge. When you display data bits at a holiday party, they merge with those from the other people there, to become the common knowledge we need to get things done in the next decade, which we will do.
So here are a few meaningful bits of demographic data, presented with trend lines and easy-to-memorize fact statements. These aren’t the most important or most interesting demographic trends of the decade, but they’re all meaningful and readily interpretable — plus I was able to gather them on short notice between other last-minute decadal deadlines. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
Notes: We don’t have data through the end of the decade for all of these, so I just present the latest data. And I extend them back toward 1999 as far as I can for context. And I scaled them to show the change as clearly as possible, so watch out for y-axes that are compressed to the active range rather than starting at zero (file complaints here). If I don’t specify the time frame in the text, it refers to the last 10 years of data.
So just memorize the facts that interest you, and remember the associated images. Here goes.
Overdose deaths increased more than 80 percent.
Chlamydia cases increased by a third.
One-in-six 25-34 year-olds live with their parents
The share of college graduates majoring in sociology or history fell by more than a third.
The percentage of new mothers who are married has risen back over two-thirds.
For the first time in decades women over 40 may soon be more likely to have a baby than teenagers.
The divorce rate has fallen 20 percent.
People with college degrees are 19 percent more likely to be married than people without.
International adoptions fell by more than two-thirds.
Refugee admissions are at their lowest level since before 1980, and falling fast.
The newspaper industry was cut in half.
Happy New Decade!