It's a Banner Day for Depressing Statistics!
Quick - what do housing prices, SAT scores, earnings, and the percentage of Americans with health insurance all have in common?
Aaaaaugh - they are all dropping! In a perfect storm of really depressing statistical measures, we learn today that:
* United States home prices fell 3.2% in the second quarter, the steepest decline since Standard & Poor's began keeping track in 1987. "The decline in home prices around the nation shows no evidence of a market recovery anytime soon," states the report at CNN.
* Combined math and reading SAT scores for the high school class of 2007 were the lowest in eight years.
* Median earnings for individuals are down, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report issued today. "For men, earnings slipped 1.1 percent to a median of $42,300, while for women, earnings sank 1.2 percent to a median of $32,500." Now, this statistic is tricky, because median income of households actually went up slightly (0.7 percent to $48,200, adjusted for inflation). But that's because more people are working within each household.
* The U.S. Census Bureau also reports that the number of Americans not covered by health insurance rose to 47 million (15.8% of the population) in 2006 from 44.8 million (15.3%) the year before. The percentage of people covered through their employers fell from 60.2% to 59.7%, and the percentage covered by government health programs fell from 27.3% to 27%.