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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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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NC in Focus: Hurricane Strength, Timing, & Naming

Since 1851, North Carolina has been struck by 50 hurricanes; 12, or 24% of these, have been major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). This is slightly less than the proportion of major hurricanes experienced by the entire U.S. Atlantic coastline over this time period. Two hundred and ninety hurricanes have made landfall on the Atlantic coast since 1851; of these, 92 or nearly one-third (32%) have been major hurricanes. Although North Carolina is more likely…

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Atlantic Hurricanes

The North Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and lasts through November. Between 1851 and 2014, the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that only 12 hurricanes developed between the months of December and May, and none of them made landfall. On average, nearly two hurricanes make landfall in the U.S. each year. The most likely month of occurrence is September followed by August and October. Since 1851, North…

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What time will my baby be born?

My friend and colleague Christopher Marcum is expecting his first child (congratulations, Chris!) and “wanted to know what the timing of births looked like throughout the day.” So, he pulled 2012 births data from the Centers for Disease Control and produced an eye-catching series of plots. Each dot represents the total number of births that occurred in 2012 at each minute between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. (1,440 total minutes represented). The colors represent different…

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NC in Focus: Accidental Deaths, 2010

Deaths from unintentional injury, or accidents, were the fifth leading cause of death in the United States—and North Carolina—in 2010. Accidents, such as car crashes, poisoning, and drowning, are the primary cause of death for children and young adults. More than 4,100 North Carolina residents died from unintentional injuries in 2010: 33% died from motor vehicle accidents (1,383) 23% died from accidental poisoning (965) 21% died from accidental falls (858) Together, these three causes accounted…

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Mortality and Cause of Death, 1900 v. 2010

The overall mortality rate in the United States declined markedly over the 20th century, resulting in large gains in life expectancy. In 1900, the average U.S. newborn could expect to live to 47.3 years of age. In 2010, they could expect more than 30 additional years of life, with a life expectancy at birth of 78.7. In 1900, the top 3 causes of death were infectious diseases—pneumonia and flu, tuberculosis, and gastrointestinal infections (a fourth…

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NC in Focus: Income & Longevity

“Poverty is a thief,” said Michael Reisch, a professor of social justice at the University of Maryland, testifying before a Senate panel on the issue. “Poverty not only diminishes a person’s life chances, it steals years from one’s life.” –from The New York Times Statewide life expectancy at birth is 78.2 years. Swain County has the lowest life expectancy (72.2) while Watauga has the highest (81.5), with Wake and Chatham close behind (81.3 years). On…

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NC in Focus: Teen Birth Rates

We are excited to announce NC in Focus, a new blog series that will appear on Thursdays. These posts will highlight North Carolina data in relation to current discussions about population trends at the national level. NC in Focus will consist primarily of a graph or chart with one or two sentences of explanation and links to the original articles that inspired our look into NC data. Nationally, teen births have fallen 52% from their…

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Does Population Growth Mean Forest Loss?

Forests are vital to the environmental and economic health of North Carolina. Sixty percent of North Carolina’s land area is forested, representing a total of 18.6 million forest acres. Our state’s four national forests—Croatan, Uwaharrie, Nantahala, and Pisgah—offer visitors and residents alike the opportunity to see an array of wildlife and pursue a variety of outdoor activities. In addition to recreational activities, forests improve overall quality of life through clean air and water and are…

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