Understanding spatial variability in longevity

One of the notable findings from analysis of longevity data is extreme spatial heterogeneity. Looking at variations in life expectancy at small scales is startling (see map below). As the linked article notes, there are two census tracts that are less than ten miles apart in Washington DC yet have average life expectancy differing by … Continue reading Understanding spatial variability in longevity

Misleading statistics on unemployment

Unemployment is one of the most cited statistics in gauging the health of the economy. Low unemployment numbers are used to suggest that the economy is thriving. Today, the official unemployment rate is 3.5%. Conclusions drawn from unemployment rate, without considering other statistics, may be highly misleading. There are two key statistics that need to … Continue reading Misleading statistics on unemployment

Is it useful to discuss the ‘average American’?

In discussions of all sorts of public policy, it is common to see references to the average American or the average household. It seems to me that the entire idea of the average American household may be fairly meaningless. About 33% of Americans have a college education. The average incomes of people with college degrees … Continue reading Is it useful to discuss the ‘average American’?