How we created a full demographic analysis for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro region

By on 9.18.19 in NC in Focus

Each September, local community leaders gather for a comprehensive overview of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. Hosted by The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, the State of the Community Report details how Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the surrounding area are performing on various social, environmental and economic indicators. How Carolina Demography worked with the Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro For the third year in a row, Carolina Demography will provide social, economic, and demographic…

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What I learned at SRCCON (Source Con) 2019

By on 8.14.19 in Lessons Learned

I visited Minneapolis last month to attend the data journalism conference SRCCON (pronounced “source con”). SRCCON hosts conversations and workshops for people who work on data teams – particularly those in newsrooms. While Carolina Demography does not produce traditional news, we do communicate data findings to the public on a regular basis.I was excited to learn more about how other teams work – and wanted to share a few things I learned at the conference.

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Are more NC grandparents raising grandchildren because of the opioid epidemic?

The opioid epidemic has had devastating impacts in recent years, affecting the lives of those battling addiction as well as their family, friends, and colleagues. Children, too, are deeply affected; they may be separated from parents with substance abuse disorders if their caretaker becomes incarcerated, needs to enter a rehabilitation program, or becomes unable to care for them. First-hand accounts and interviews collected by non-profit groups and the media suggest that nearby family members typically…

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Over the past decade, returns to postsecondary degrees have diminished nationwide and in NC

Key takeaways: A college degree is associated with several positive life outcomes, ranging from greater financial security to better health. However, over the past decade, returns on postsecondary degrees have diminished both nationwide and in North Carolina. We reported recently that the level of educational attainment among North Carolina’s degree-earners continues to rise. This is related, in part, to a shifting job market favoring higher-skilled workers. However, as more individuals seek out greater levels of…

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Rising Attainment Among North Carolina’s Degree-Earners

Forty-three percent of North Carolina’s adults aged 25-64 held some type of postsecondary degree in 2017—just over 2.3 million residents in the state. This share has risen five percentage points since 2010, and ten since 2000. In total, North Carolina gained 932K working-age adults with an Associate degree or higher from 2000 to 2017, and among these adults, the level of degree attainment continues to rise. In 2000, the majority of NC adults aged 25-64…

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Metropolitan Area Economic Output, 2017

By on 2.21.19 in Economic Data

The United States economy is primarily driven by the economic activity within its metropolitan areas. From 2012 to 2017, 90% of the nation’s annual GDP was contributed by the nation’s 383 metros. This is to be expected, as 86% of the US population lives in a metropolitan statistical area. North Carolina follows a similar trend. In 2017, the state’s overall GDP was approximately $540 billion, and the combined metros totaled $476 billion, or 88%, of…

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Teacher Turnover in North Carolina

Public school systems in the United States face an ongoing shortage of highly qualified teachers, largely due to high turnover in the field. In educational reporting, turnover may refer to teachers that leave the state public school system entirely (referred to as “attrition”) as well as those who transfer to another location within the state (referred to as “mobility”). A 2017 report from the Learning Policy Institute found that as much as 90% of open…

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NC in Focus: Sweet Potato Production, 2018

Agriculture and agribusiness - i.e. food, fiber, and forestry - contributed nearly 17 percent (over $87 billion) to North Carolina's total economic output in 2016, and employed 730,000 of North Carolina's workers, according to a recent report from NC State. North Carolina is particularly known for two agricultural exports that will surely appear on many tables this Thanksgiving - turkey and sweet potatoes. #1 North Carolina’s rank in sweet potato production among all 50 states,…

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NC in Focus: County Health Rankings – Quality of Life in North Carolina

By on 10.19.18 in NC in Focus

Note: This is second in a series of posts on county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The first post on Length of Life can be found here. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) releases annual county rankings on different aspects of community wellness across five major categories – Length of Life, Quality of Life, Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, and Social and Economic Factors. This blog focuses on Quality of Life measures in…

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NC in Focus: County Health Rankings – Length of Life in North Carolina

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) releases annual health rankings at the county-level for each state in the nation. These rankings are divided into categories measuring different aspects of community wellness: Length of Life, Quality of Life, Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, and Social and Economic Factors. Each factor is calculated by one or more markers of wellness – each deserving of a separate blog. This blog will focus on Length of Life in North Carolina…

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