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Charts of the week: Teacher pay, commuting trends, and the racial composition of the upper middle class

Click on the links or on the charts to go to the full research.

 

METROPOLITAN AREAS ARE SHIFTING AWAY FROM DRIVING

In a new report from the Metropolitan Policy Program, Adie Tomer analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data on how Americans are commuting to work. Tomer finds that “21 of the country’s 50 most-populated cities saw a significant drop in driving” over the last decade, and 22 of those 50 cities saw significant increases in people commuting by bike.

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WHITE AND ASIAN AMERICANS ARE OVEREPRESENTED IN THE UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS

Richard Reeves, senior fellow in the Brookings Economic Studies program, and Nathan Joo analyzed the racial makeup of the top quintile of households and how those demographics have changed over time. Reeves and Joo write that “the American upper middle class remains largely white: while 62 percent of Americans aged between 40 and 50 are white, 72 percent of those in the top fifth of the income distribution (for this age group) are white.” Asians, they add, are “now more likely than whites” to be part of the upper middle class.

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HOW AMERICAN TEACHER SALARIES COMPARE TO OTHER COUNTRIES

In an article from the Brown Center on Education Policy, UC Santa Barbara professor Dick Startz analyzed how much the United States would have to raise salaries for upper secondary school teachers to match the salaries of teachers in other countries. The chart below shows that the U.S. would have raise salaries by about 28 percent to match Israel, 52 percent to match Switzerland, and 75 percent to match Luxembourg.

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