Charts of the Week: Afghanistan data; the hospitality industry during COVID-19; younger generations

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In this edition of Charts of the Week: new data on Afghanistan; COVID-19’s impact on the hospitality industry; and America’s younger generations.

New variables track reconstruction and security in Afghanistan

In a new edition of the Brookings Afghanistan Index, Sam Gollob and Michael O’Hanlon present new statistics on a range of security, economic, and political indicators. “As the data show,” they write, “Afghanistan remains a violent, impoverished, and unsettled place—but nonetheless a country considerably better off by most measures than it was in 2001, and hosting a far smaller U.S. and NATO troop presence than was present at most times over the past two decades.”

COVID-19’s large impact on the hospitality sector

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Of all sectors in the U.S. economy, that of leisure and hospitality has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Tracy Hadden Loh, Annelies Goger, and Sifan Liu review research on the scope of the economic damage and also a set of policy recommendations to address the crisis. “Given the protracted nature of the pandemic,” these authors write, “we need a set of policies to carry us through the next two years, designed to counteract the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on workers, businesses, and communities.”

Half of all Americans are millennials or younger


In his recent analysis of Census Bureau data, William Frey notes that the combined populations of millennials, Gen Z, and younger generations constitute just over 50% of the nation’s total population. “Now,” Frey writes, “the oldest millennial is 39, and with their numbers exceeding those of baby boomers, the millennial generation is poised to take over influential roles in business and government.”