Young mothers fall into cycles of poverty, making it difficult for their children to achieve the American Dream

17 teenagers out of every 1,000 is a teen mom in America. The developed countries with levels most similar to this are Hungary, Russia, Slovakia, and Turkey. Just 10 years ago, this number was twice as high, making the US the worst country among developed nations for teenage pregnancies. While this decline is incredible, the US still has a long way to go before it can catch Korea, Switzerland, Denmark, or the Netherlands.

Fortunately, teen births have been declining in America…

Do you make enough money based on your city’s costs?

In every major city, Americans are facing huge costs of rent, healthcare, childcare, and groceries, which aren’t being matched with higher incomes.

The Bronx is the most expensive place to live in America, relatively speaking. We know New York generally is not a cheap place to live, but we aren’t talking $14 avocado toasts here. When we couple low-wages with high costs of rent, healthcare, childcare, and food we start to see exactly how expensive it can be to survive in different parts of America.

6th graders in the richest counties read at 4-grade levels above their peers in the poorest counties.

Reading is hard. Reading in America is particularly hard if you grow up in a poor county. Reading in America is particularly hard if you grow up in a poor county and you are Black. Reading in America is unequal.

Half of all US adults cannot read a book written at an 8th-grade reading level. 20% of adults cannot read their local newspaper, and the Department of Education estimates that 36 million adults lack the basic reading proficiency to sustain employment.

When Americans can’t read, they die earlier, spend thousands more on healthcare, are more likely to have workplace…

1 in 5 Americans are struggling with mental illnesses, but care isn’t equally accessible to those who need it most, especially in America’s prisons

Mental health providers are not located where people are struggling with mental health. 1 in 5 adults in America is struggling with mental health and 43,000 Americans with an underlying mental illness die from suicide each year. However, mental health clinics and doctors are showing up in cities that have the most funds, rather than positioning themselves in the South and Mid-East where care is most needed.

New data is now available that helps us shed light on which regions in America are suffering the most with mental health challenges so we can focus our efforts here to help…

567,000 people are homeless in America — half of them live in just two states

Karla Garcia’s dad lost his job during the 2008 financial crisis and their family hasn’t recovered. The family first sold everything in the house, including the her mattress and those of her siblings so at night they would all get into the same bed. The Garcias had to make tradeoffs between gas or electric, until one day they returned home from work and school one day to find the doors locked. Karla remembers the day when their whole family moved into a van, as the door opened and she looked at her new reality. …

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is America’s most successful poverty alleviation program, but too few families actually claim this benefit.

Many low-income families refer to tax season as “Second Christmas.” Although tax refunds are certainly not gifts that appear whether you’ve been naughty or nice, these refunds are often the salvation that millions of families look forward to every year.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifted 5.8 million people out of poverty in 2018, 3 million of those were children. The policy has been around since 1975 and has been expanded by both Republicans and Democrats alike…

Poor access to banks and easy access to payday lenders prevent many communities from achieving financial security

For more stories like this, follow my Substack at American Inequality

Americans cannot function without access to banking services. However, 1 in 18 US households (7.1 million families) was unbanked in 2020 according to the FDIC. This inequality persists because the country’s 168,450 bank branches are physically inaccessible in hundreds of US counties. Households lacking banking options often turn to alternative financial services, like payday lending. Families then get caught in endless debt traps, which exacerbate income and wealth inequality.

Trinity Colon grew up thinking that everyone had asthma and that it was normal to wipe the soot off your windows at the start of summer. She now realizes that 100,000 people die every year from preventable pollution related illnesses.

Source: EPA

Pollution is killing Americans in every single state. Our factories cough particles into the air, our cars sputter smog into our communities, and our industries ravage the forests that could reduce the spread of harmful greenhouse gases. …

Mapping inequality & closing the divide

I’m excited to announce that I’m launching a blog series called American Inequality. Every article will dive into inequality topics that don’t get as much coverage — inequality in life expectancy, social services, food access, and more. I’ll present some totally new data visualizations on these topics that show the regional divides that our country is facing.

Inequality is increasing in America and millions of families are getting left behind. We often know exactly the towns, cities, and counties where the divides are the greatest, which is why we need to shed light on these challenges.

America is experiencing the greatest gap in life expectancy across regions in the last 40 years

Follow along here for more stories like this

America is seeing the greatest gap in life expectancy across regions in the last 40 years. While most people will live to 78, some Americans are likely to die a decade earlier if they happen to be born in a handful of other counties in the US. Average lifespan has generally been increasing over this period as advances in medicine, social factors, and quality of life have helped people live longer, however, many Americans have…

Jeremy Ney

MIT Grad Speaker 2020, now writing about inequality || follow along @

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