Andrew Witherspoon

Opioid-related deaths have increased for all racial groups

Opioid-related deaths in the United States have increased across the board between 1999-2015, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. This chart shows how the number of deaths per 100,000 has not risen equally across race and age groups.

Data: Centers for Disease Control; Note: Statistically insignificant values for some years and age buckets are presented as zero. White does not include Hispanic or Latino.

Some takeaways:

  • In 2015, white people among the 15 to 64 age group accounted for 80.2% of all opioid-related deaths, higher than their 61.9% share of the population. Native American people were the only other racial group with a higher share of deaths (1.1%) than their share of the population (0.9%).
  • Black people were the only racial group whose death rate trended upwards with age, with the oldest age groups (45 to 54 and 55 to 64) with the highest death rates (26.1 and 26.5 per 100,000 people).
  • The demos with the greatest increases in death rates from 1999-2015 were white people aged 55 to 64 (488%), Native American people aged 45 to 54 (380%), and white people aged 25 to 34 (339%).

Methodology: We used the CDC's WONDER system to pull data for each group over time. We used the CDC's criteria for deaths involving all opioid poisonings, from both illicit and prescription drugs. You can take a look at the data we collected here.

Go deeper: Using the same data we looked at the death rates by age and sex.


America's opioid death rate has soared since 1999

Opioid-related deaths in the United States have increased across the board between 1999-2015, according to data from the Centers for Disease control. This chart shows how the number of deaths per 100,000 has ballooned across all age and sex groups.

Data: Centers for Disease Control

Some takeaways:

  • The 55-64 age group had the largest percent increase in deaths per 100,000. For women, it rose from 3.5 to 17.7 (406%), and for men, it rose from 5.0 to 26.4 (428%).
  • The death rate is higher at different ages depending on the sex group. For men, the most affected group are those ages 25 to 34, there the death rate is 38.1 per 100,000. For women, it is ages 45 to 54, with 25.1 deaths per 100,000.
  • Men die more often than women across all age groups, although the death rate for women increased more between 1999 and 2015 for those between ages 15-54.
How we got the data: We used the CDC's WONDER system to pull data for each group over time. We used the CDC's criteria for deaths involving all opioid poisonings, from both illicit and prescription drugs. You can take a look at the data we collected here.

Gun-related ER visits by type of gun

From 2006 to 2014, handgun-related injuries sent 190,396 people to emergency rooms in the U.S. — and that number excludes those who died before they could go to the hospital, and incidents involving people who never sought medical help.

Data: Health Affairs, authors' analysis of Nationwide Emergency Department Sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Key takeaways:

  • The most ER visits from 2006 to 2014 — 457,492 — were caused by guns classified as "other," but handguns were the single most deadly gun type.
  • Assaults typically involved handguns and shotguns, compared to hunting rifles and military rifles which caused higher shares of accidental injuries or deaths.
  • Of the 190,396 people who visited the ER in handgun-related incidents, 55% were victims of assault.
  • Shotguns caused 41,500 ER visits, of which 47% were related to assaults.

Where Americans agree and disagree on gun control

While rigid partisanship seems to rule the gun control debate, both Republicans and Democrats tend to agree that those with mental disabilities and those on no-fly or watch lists should be barred from legally owning guns, according to a Pew Research Center poll from this spring.

But... Some of the widest partisan divides over gun control policies involve allowing teachers to carry guns and permitting concealed carry in more places. Republicans and Democrats also differ greatly when it comes to the role legal gun access has in gun violence, with 43% of Democrats believing it contributes a great deal, compared to only 15% of Republicans.

Data: Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted March 13-27 and April 4-18, 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon


The U.S. cities with the worst traffic jams for their size

INRIX Roadway Analytics, a cloud-based traffic analysis tool, identified and ranked 108,000 traffic hotspots in the 25 most congested cities in the U.S.

Data: INRIX; Note: Impact measured by number of jams, average duration in min, and average length in miles; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

More from the study:

  • New York had more traffic hotspots (an area which has the most traffic jams) than any other city, costing drivers an estimated $64 billion by 2026 due to wasted time, fuel and emissions.
  • Los Angeles, which tops the overall INRIX ranking, has 10 of the 25 worst traffic hotspots in America, costing L.A. drivers an estimated $91 billion over the next 10 years.
  • I-95 in Washington, D.C., was the worst overall traffic hotspot, which caused 1,384 traffic jams over the research period, stretching 6.47 miles and lasting 33 minutes on average.
Methodology: To understand the impact of traffic congestion at the street level instead of the household level, INRIX Research used the "bottleneck tool," which identified and evaluated every traffic jam within a customizable study area and time period. Additionally, as traffic jams frequently form at the same location, the bottleneck tool aggregated and summarized these locations.

How 74 economies have performed this century

China has had an unsurprising economic century, churning out billionaires, slashing poverty and seeking to dominate ever-more industries of the future. But how about Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Ethiopia, all of which have had their own unsung, dynamic spurts since 2000?

At a time of serious challenge to globalization and open trade, the leading economic policies of the last quarter century, we took a look at how all the global economies are performing. In the chart below, we highlight some notable cases, with an eye toward the future of the global economy.

How to read it: Each line represents the change in a country's GDP since 2000. The thickness of the line depicts the size of the economy. We used a log scale in the vertical axis to help compare countries that merely doubled their GDP versus those that grew by nearly 13 times (looking at you, Angola).

Data: World Bank; Note: Includes 74 countries, excluding those with a 2016 GDP below $50b and those with missing data.
  • Japan: Powered by booming automotive and electronics industries, Japan has been nonetheless hampered by stagnation, and now population decline. The Japanese population has dropped every year since 2010, and is on track to shrink by a third within the next 50 years.
  • Sudan: An upward economic trend belies a turbulent century, notably the breakup of the country and civil war in Darfur. In 2011, South Sudan made off with enough oil to wipe out more than half of the Khartoum government's revenue and almost all its exports. With much of Sudan's oil capacity now beyond its borders, it must adapt to a future focused on agriculture and livestock.
  • Russia: The 'Recent Slumps' group includes 3 of the 5 BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia and South Africa), the group that, in the 2000s, was thought to represent the dynamic forefront of the global economy.
    • Russia especially fell out of the group in all but name. A combination of tax reform and high oil and natural gas prices helped its economy soar through most of the 2000s. But the 2008 financial crisis hit Russia hard, and it has yet to truly recover. President Vladimir Putin has held the economy in place by allowing the ruble to float, but Russia continues to be dogged by low oil prices and economic sanctions following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
  • Argentina opened the millennium in the middle of a depression that saw its economy shrink faster than any other country on the chart. It contracted more than a quarter between 1998 and 2002. Argentina pulled itself out of the funk in the mid-2000s, thanks to investments in health, social programs and education. But in recent years, it has been plagued with corruption scandals, a lag in productivity, and stagflation.

Dreamers, by the numbers

There are roughly 800,000 people participating in DACA — the Obama-era program ended by the Trump administration that shielded undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. The bulk of the people in the program are presently in their 20s, and about 80% arrived when they were 10 or younger, according to an August 2017 survey of 3,036 DACA recipients by the left-leaning Center for American progress.

Data: Center for American Progress, National DACA Study, 2017


2.2 billion worldwide are obese or overweight

2.2 billion people — one-third of the world's population — are obese or overweight, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which used data from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, spanned 35 years and 195 countries, providing a new level of granularity concerning the world's biggest public health crisis:

Data: The New England Journal of Medicine

Key takeaways:

  • Look up: Our visualization of the study's data shows the change in obesity rates for adults from 1980 to 2015, broken down by sociodemographics, and the takeaway is clear: except for a few outliers, the proportion of populations that are obese or overweight is increasing — especially in more developed countries.
  • The visible trend: As the level of a country's development increased so did the prevalence of obesity in men but for women, there was a larger increase in countries with a lower sociodemographic index.
  • Another big thing: The study showed that while fewer children are obese as a percentage of the population (5%) compared to adults (12%), the rates of childhood obesity are increasing much more rapidly in many places, presenting a health risk for the future.
  • Possible causes: Increased accessibility to energy-dense foods and a marked global increase in urbanization that can reduce chances for physical activity, though the authors note a shift to urban-living happened before the global increase in obesity.
  • The impact: The study looked at the effects of high body mass index and its myriad physical impacts over 25 years, finding that 7.1% of deaths worldwide in 2015 could be directly attributed to excess weight. That rate jumped 28.3% from 1990 to 2015. Unsurprisingly, it also contributed to a massive spike in years of life lost to disability and related diseases.
  • Worth considering: Nearly 40% of the 4 million deaths in 2015 linked to excess body weight occurred among people who weren't yet classified as obese, showing that simply being overweight can be a serious health risk.


What the U.S. trades with other world powers

Today is the last day of the G20 Summit, where President Trump is discussing trade with leaders of the world's economic powers. Trump, who has often claimed the U.S. is getting "ripped off" when it comes to trade with other countries, is seeking an overhaul of the international trade order, but what exactly does that entail?

Below we take a look at the top 3 products that the U.S. imports and exports with 5 key trade partners: China, Japan, Canada, Germany and Russia. Here's what we found:

Data: Census Bureau 2016; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios


Trump administration goes on a nomination spree

Nominations sent to the Senate by the Trump administration have picked up, with 44% of the total nominations so far coming in June, according to data from Partnership for Public Service.

Why it matters: Although the administration is making progress, Trump's nominations have been delayed from the start and there are around 1,200 federal positions total to fill, per the 2016 Plumb Book, which tracks presidentially appointed positions.

Data: Partnership for Public Service; Note: Count as of July 2, includes executive branch positions, judicial branch positions (like the Sentencing Commission), legislative branch positions (like the Architect of the Capitol), and ex officio or positions that require their own hearings and/or votes (like the IMF Governor, etc.)