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GRAPHIC: Social indicators in America

Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 11:05 a.m. CDT; updated 11:15 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race, education, health insurance coverage and poverty can all play a part in determining a person's quality of life and ability to achieve the American Dream.

Missouri population on the rise

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Missouri's population in 2030 is predicted to be about 6.8 million. The projected growth rate of 6 percent per decade is lower than most other states, which have a projected growth rate of 10 percent. The population estimate for 2011 is 6,010,688.

Hispanics are not specified in data about race because Hispanic is an ethnicity and can identify by any race. In 2010, there were about 200,000 Hispanics living in Missouri, making up 3.5 percent of the population.

 
 
 

This graphic is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

More students getting an elementary and secondary education

Massachusetts was the first state to pass a compulsory education law, in 1852. Mississippi was the last, in 1918. Missouri's was passed in 1905. Missouri requires that all children between ages 7 and 16 attend school or be homeschooled.

In the early 1900s, many people were opposed to the working conditions in factories, agriculture and most industries. Wages were so low that children were working, in addition to both parents, to help support their families. Several laws limiting child labor were passed over the years, then struck down by the Supreme Court. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, propose a bill that would create a federal minimum wage, a maximum number of hours employees could work per week and restrictions on child labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938. With its passage, more children started attending school because they weren't allowed to work.

The chart below shows that the number of Missouri high school seniors graduating with diplomas in four years has remained steady since 2007.

This number includes people with high school diplomas and equivalents, bachelor's degrees and other advanced degrees.

 
 

This graphic is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

More Americans getting degrees

The GI Bill was passed during World War II to avoid the repercussions of soldiers' troubled assimilation after World War I. Between 1944 and 1956, more than 2 million veterans pursued higher education. Almost 6 million took advantage of the bill to get vocational training. It forever changed the U.S. higher education system.

The chart below shows people with master's, doctoral and other advanced degrees.

 

This graphic is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

Health insurance coverage steady in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 18 percent of people under the age of 65 in the U.S. are without health insurance.

Almost 8 percent of children are uninsured, and almost 40 percent of children have health insurance through Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance programs or other state-specific plans.

The chart below shows people who receive health insurance through social safety nets, such as Medicaid, and through private insurance companies. This does not include people over the age of 65 because they are eligible for Medicare.

 

This graphic is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

Number of Americans in poverty on the rise

The poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, and it has increased every year since 2007 because of the Great Recession.

The dramatic drop in the poverty rate from 1960 to 1970 is generally attributed to the growing economy. In addition, President Lyndon Johnson began the "War on Poverty" during that decade and began several social programs, including the creation of Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Headstart.

The 2011 poverty line for a family of four is $26,170.

 

This graphic is part of the American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

 


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Comments

Bob Hill April 12, 2012 | 11:25 a.m.

I'm thinking that personal responsibility and commitment are WAY more important than any of the factors cited at the beginning of this article. Get a high school diploma, get a job, keep that job until you get a better one, and don't have children before you're married & stable -- those are the real keys to success in America.

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