State of the Nation

* Any statements in this issue of the Watch which are not sourced are mine and identified by “WW”.

42.0% of registered voters say the country is headed in the right direction. 48% of registered voters say the country is on the wrong track.

Right track Wrong track
Democrats 73% 17%
Republicans 17% 80%
Independents 31% 53%

[Econ/Yougov 5/18/21]

How connected are you to your roots?

Do not feel strong connection Feel a strong connection
All adults 50% 46%
White 62% 32%
Black 33% 61%
Hispanic 27% 71%

[PEW 1/13/20]

Among registered voters…

  • 55% believe that the government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people while 41% believe the government is doing too many things better left to business and individuals.
  • 16% think the country is totally or mainly united while 82% believe the country is totally or mainly divided.
  • 48% are very or somewhat satisfied while 52% are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.

[NBC poll 4/20/21]

The number of babies born in America last year was the lowest since 1979.
In 1957, births peaked at 4.3 million. By 2020, the number of births had dropped to 3.6 million births. [WSJ 5/5/21]

40% of US social media users say they never post or share about political or social issues on social media. Another 30% say they rarely post on social media. [PEW 5/4/21]

There is a wealth gap between Black and white Americans. The gap between Black and white Americans at the median was $164,100. The median Black household was worth $24,100; the median white household was $188,200.

At the mean, the average figure for Black households was $142,500 and for white households, $983,400. [NYT 5/2/21]

The UN estimates that there were about 95,000 centenarians in 1990 and
450,000 in 2015. By 2100, there are estimated to be 25 million. [NYT 5/2/21]

50% of Americans say it is a higher priority to enact new laws to try and reduce gun violence while 43% say it is more important to protect the right to own guns. And the percentage of folks for who the priority is to enact new laws has dropped from 57% in 2018. [WP/ABC 4/21/21]

23.2 million Americans watched on 11 networks as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was delivered. The viewership likely grew because the word got that the verdict was coming 90 minutes prior. [Axios pm 4/23/21]

68% of Black Americans say that the police do not look out for people like them well. That is quite different from the perceptions of other groups. 83% of white Americans, 60% of Hispanic Americans, and 61% of Asian Americans say that the police look out for them well. [Axios AM 5/18/21]

Significant majorities think that Black people and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as White people in the criminal justice system.

Receive equal treatment Do not receive equal treatment
Among All people 30% 63%
Among White adults 36 57
Among Black adults 8 88
Among Hispanic adults 25 68

[WP/ABC 4/21/21]

Nearly 200 department stores have disappeared in the past year and another 800, about half of the country’s mall-based locations, are expected to be shuttered by the end of 2025. Some of those who have closed include Lord & Taylor, Nieman Marcus, and J.C. Penny. Overall sales at department stores plunged more than 40% at the beginning of the pandemic. [WP 4/17/21]

Here are the top three causes of deaths in the United States from 2015 to 2020. The top two causes are heart disease and cancer in that order. In third place from 2016–2019 are “unintentional injuries”. However, in 2020 the third-place finisher is Covid-19 which caused 10% of 3,400,000 total deaths. [NYT 4/25/21]

3 in 10 health care workers say they have considered no longer working in health care as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. [WP-Kaiser Family Foundation 2/11-3/7/21]