Dec 19, 2019

Mapping credit inequality in the U.S.

Data: New York Fed; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

This map is a vivid depiction of credit inequality in the United States. The dark areas show counties where a large proportion of the population has no access to credit, while the lighter areas are considered "credit-assured" or "credit-likely."

Why it matters: Communities with good access to credit can grow faster and prove more resilient to shocks than their less creditworthy counterparts.

Details: The source is an ambitious new report from the New York Fed, which is designed to measure access to credit not at the individual level but rather at that of the community as a whole.

The report creates a credit insecurity index, which is a proxy for the percentage of the population with no access to credit. Mouse over individual counties to see their scores.

  • "Credit-assured" communities have an index of less than 19%, while "credit-at-risk" communities fall between 29% and 35%. Anything above 36% is considered "credit-insecure."
  • For guidance: San Francisco gets a score of 19.4%, Manhattan is 23.2%, and Washington, D.C., is 30.8%.

Race plays an enormous factor in this map.

  • 58% of the population in the credit-insecure counties is non-white, compared with 27% of the population in the credit-assured counties.
  • One of the best scores in the country, 11.5%, is boasted by Fall River County in South Dakota, which is 89% white. Neighboring Oglala Lakota County, by contrast, has a truly gruesome score of 66.1%; it is 94% Native American.
  • The highest score of all is found at the tip of the Alaskan panhandle, in the Aleutians West census area. That population, which is served by just one bank branch, has a credit insecurity score of 74.4%.

Go deeper

Rural America set to lose political power after 2020 census

Ottawa, Illinois, 2019. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

In most of the 10 states that will likely lose a House seat due to reapportionment beginning in 2022, current demographic trends are poised to shift political power from rural counties to metropolitan counties, according to an analysis by The Hill's Reid Wilson.

Why it matters: Census counts are crucial for determining political representation in the House, and minor changes in population can alter a state's power in Congress for a decade.

Go deeperArrowJan 5, 2020

The 2010s saw a fall in the number of American kids

Data: William H. Frey analysis of U.S. Census estimates released Dec 30, 2019; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

There are 1.1 million fewer children living in the U.S. today than there were at the start of the decade, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

The big picture: The adult population grew by 8.8% in the 2010s. in the three previous decades, the child population increased. The past decade marks a pivotal moment as the U.S. ages and, as a result, family life is transformed — especially because Americans are waiting longer to have children and having fewer of them.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020

Wawa data breach may have exposed thousands

Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain, said thousands of its customers' debit and credit card information may have been collected from its payment processing servers during a data breach, CNBC reports.

The state of play: The breach was first discovered on Dec. 10 and contained on Dec. 12, but the malware could have been scooping up data as early as March 4, per CNBC.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019