10 things we learned at Brookings in June

The Communications team here at Brookings mined the over 300 new content items published on in June to come up with this vein of 10 very interesting findings. Visit to discover what interests you.

1. China is investing $46 billion to construct the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Bruce Riedel calls it “the largest investment project ever in one country, dwarfing even the US Marshall Plan after World War Two.” Riedel explains the project in the context of close China-Pakistan ties, which ties have featured China using its Security Council veto to protect the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group based in Pakistan.

2. Since 1991 teen pregnancy rates have declined every year except two

The rate has declined in this period more than 50 percent, saving taxpayers billions in the process, yet recently, House Republican appropriators killed the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, while their Senate counterparts cut its funding 80 percent. Ron Haskins calls the program “a prime example of evidence-based policy making” and one that shouldn’t be cut.

3. Five U.S. states have established “green banks” to help finance low-carbon technology

Connecticut, New York, California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island are at the front of a movement that, according to Mark Muro and Reed Hundt, is a “smart, ‘bottom-up’ response to a major national challenge.” They explain how a significant amount of federal dollars could easily be used to expand the green bank movement, “with significant benefits for clean-energy deployment, regional economies, and the climate.”  

4. Girls’ progress in education has stalled in about 80 countries that are not meeting the Millennium Development Goals’ education targets

Elizabeth King and Rebecca Winthrop add that 30 countries, while having enrolled their children in education, “are trapped in low-quality learning.” The authors report on progress in girls’ education and strategies for success. “Educating a girl,” they write, “is one of the best investments her family, community, and country can make.”

5. Today, one-third of dedicated retirement assets are held in traditional pensions, down from twice that in 1978

Scholars from the Hamilton Project note that this trend toward defined contribution plans “points to new challenges” for Americans thinking about retirement. The authors explore 10 economic facts about financial well-being in retirement.

6. The Republic of Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world

Kathy Moon observes that if South Korea’s birthrate remains 1.19 children per woman, the country “could face natural extinction by 2750.” Against this backdrop, Moon explores some of the demographic and identity challenges facing South Korea.

7. The average white American lives in a less diverse neighborhood than other racial groups

William Frey’s analysis of U.S. Census data shows that the average white resident lives in a neighborhood where 77 percent of the other residents are white, 7 percent black, and 9 percent Hispanic. Compare this to the average black resident, who lives in a neighborhood composed of residents who are 45 percent black, 36 percent white, and 14 percent Hispanic.

8. In a recent poll, only two issues appeared at the top of important lists for both Republicans and Democrats

Bill Galston examines the finding that both sides rated job creation and immigration in their top seven issues. Their other priorities, however, were not similar. “Recent history suggests,” Galston writes, “that these issues will be subject to the classic dynamic of polarization when the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees square off in 2016, with the candidates advocating radically different approaches.”

9. The share of young U.S. households with education debt has increased from 14 percent in 1989 to 38 percent in 2013

Beth Akers, testifying to a Senate committee during hearings on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, presents ideas on college affordability.

10. Between 1990 and 2005, while China’s economy boomed and millions of Chinese exited poverty, life satisfaction levels in China dropped

Carol Graham explores this “paradox of unhappy growth” in the case of China.