TIME Labor

These 5 Charts Show How Hard it is for Americans to Take a Vacation

Americans have seen nearly a full week of vacation disappear from their lives

Memorial Day weekend is upon. It’s time to hit the road as vacation season officially kicks off–that is unless you’re like the majority of Americans who’ve cut back on their beach time. In the 1980s, employed Americans took up to 21 days of paid vacation each year. By 2013, that number had shrunk to 16, according to research performed by Oxford Economics for Project Time Off.

To read more about America’s vacation problem, see this week’s TIME magazine.

It’s important to note many employees do have access to vacation. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that access to paid time off (PTO) remains above 90 percent among private industry employees, shrinking only 2 percentage points since 1989.

Access to paid vacation 1989-2014

chart1

The chart above includes all full-time employees in private industries–the primary employers in the U.S.–including small and large businesses. “Larger companies traditionally offer relatively good access to benefits, like paid time off”, says Elizabeth Ashack, an economist with BLS. But the availability of paid vacation varies greatly among occupations within the private industry.

Access to paid vacation by sector in 2014

chart2

Only 55 percent of service jobs offer paid time off (compare that to management and financial positions which come in at 96 percent, the highest level among the above occupations). Without a federal mandate for paid time off or paid sick leave, private industries are left to their own discretion, often resulting in unequal access across occupations.

Ashack says that employers may offer better benefits to keep workers from jumping ship in good times, but in bad times those benefits worsen, evidenced by cuts during the economic downturn of 2008 to 2009.

Likewise, the amount someone makes is a good indicator of the quality of paid time off they receive.

Access to paid vacation by income groups 2014

chart3

Those making the lowest wages are the least likely to have paid leave, with a steady increase in access as wages rise.

For those with access, the use of paid time off has declined sharply in the past decade to an average of 16 days taken each year–an all time low within the past four decades.

Annual vacation days used among employed adults 1978 – 2013

chart4

The U.S. Travel Association, a trade group which encourages Americans to travel, funded Project Time Off to measure the economic impact of the decline in vacation time. They found that among employees with access to paid time off, nearly five days went unused in 2013, and 1.6 of those days did not carry over to the next year. That totals to 169 million days of lost vacation time for Americans.

By surveying the hours worked by employees, BLS measures the percent of the American workforce on partial (less than 35 hour work week) or full vacations on any given week. Analysts noticed a decrease in full-week vacations, and a corresponding increase in partial week vacations, yet another measure indicating that Americans need a break.

Percentage of employed adults on full or partial-week vacations 1978 – 2013

chart5

 

TIME

The Surprising Ways Americans Die in All 50 States

See where boating accidents, law enforcement intervention, firearms and other unexpected events caused deaths at abnormally high rates

Click or tap the arrows to see which cause of death is disproportionately high in your state compared to national mortality rates.

Accidental gunfire claimed 348 lives from 2001-2010 in Alabama, and gunshots of undetermined intent killed 147 in Arizona. And while both resulted in far fewer than 1 death per 100,000 people, the rates are unusually high compared to rates nationwide, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By comparing the mortality rate of 136 causes of death at state and national levels, the CDC found the most common atypical ways people died in every state.

In Michigan, for example, coronary artery disease killed 35 out of 100,000 people, while nationwide only 20 of 100,000 people perish from the condition. Because of the way these calculations are done, most of the diseases in the CDC report are obscure, from “unclassified lab findings” (Georgia) or highly associated with certain industries; “black lung disease” is the most disproportionate killer in coal-rich West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Head west and deaths from law-enforcement intervention were atypically high in three states. The CDC refers to law enforcement intervention as “deaths due to injuries inflicted by police or other law enforcement agents, including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and performing other legal actions.” These interventions killed 0.12 people out of 100,000 nationwide from 2001 to 2010, but that rate tripled in Nevada and Oregon, and was nearly four times higher in New Mexico.

The flu mortality rate was abnormally high in colder states like Maine, Wyoming and the Dakotas, but the coldest state–Alaska–had atypically high deaths from boat and motor transportation accidents. In the District of Columbia, HIV killed 35 out of 100,000 people, over eight times the national rate of four. Other sexually transmitted diseases caused relatively high number of deaths in Florida, New York, Connecticut and Louisiana.

Included in the last category are thousands of deaths of unknown cause, listed by the CDC as “unspecified events of undetermined intent.” These were unusually common in six states, like Maryland with 6,588 mystery deaths.

TIME

These Charts Show the Baby Boomers’ Coming Health Crisis

Despite increasing life expectancy, the aging cohort is less healthy than the previous generation

American Baby Boomers are more stressed, less healthy and have slightly less health care coverage than people in the same age group did a decade ago, according to data from a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Exacerbating the potential for a crisis, those aged 55 to 64—the core of the Boomers—are living longer than their predecessors did 10 years ago. The charts below show that though Boomers are living longer, but aren’t necessarily living healthier lives.

 

For every 100,000 adults aged 55-64, there were 77 fewer deaths than the same age group 10 years ago. That’s an 8% decrease—despite increases in chronic conditions and stress.

While heart disease and cancer remain the two leading causes of death, they both claimed far fewer lives among adults aged 55-64 than 10 years ago. Chronic restrictive lung disease (CRLD) and diabetes saw smaller declines. Of the top five causes of death for Boomers, unintentional injury was the only to rise since 2003.

The seeming paradox of a decrease in the number of deaths and the worsening of health is explained in part by Americans’ increased use of prescription drugs. Adults aged 55-64 are taking more drugs than ever before, with a 29% spike in the use of anti-diabetic pills and a 54% increase in cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The trend toward prolonged treatment of chronic conditions signals how health-care workers and policymakers must prepare, in the coming years, for the largest-ever cohort to enroll in Medicare over the next ten years.

Methodology

Data is from the CDC special feature on adults aged 55-64, of the 2014 Health Report.

Read next: 6 Foods That Can Make You Happier

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

These Charts Show Every Genetically Modified Food People Already Eat in the U.S.

See all the GMOs you may already be eating

Chipotle announced Monday that the chain will no longer serve food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO), raising the bar for transparency in the United States, where there’s no requirement to indicate the presence of GMO ingredients on food labels or in restaurants. Likewise, biotechnology companies aren’t required to report which genetically modified seeds are used in production.

Yet the use of GMOs is undoubtedly widespread. Since GMOs were approved for commercial use, and then first planted into U.S. soil in 1996, their production has increased dramatically. More than 90% of all soybean cotton and corn acreage in the U.S. is used to grow genetically engineered crops. Other popular and approved food crops include sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, papaya and summer squash. More recently, apples that don’t brown and bruise-free potatoes were also approved by the FDA.

 

 

Methodology

GM crops produced in the U.S. are listed at the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech. Deregulated crops are tracked at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

TIME

These Maps Show Changing Marijuana Laws Across America

Nearly two decades of major change

With April 20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana upon us, here’s a look at the drastically changing American legal landscape for pot users. Data provided by the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures shows just how much of the country’s laws have altered since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996.

 

 

 

 

TIME Taxes

Is Your Tax Rate Higher Than Walmart’s?

Use this calculator to find out

It’s April 15, Tax Day. And while dubious business expenses and home offices might help you save a few dollars, most people pay something near what the government sets as the tax rate for their income.

The same is not always true of corporations. While the United States has the highest statutory corporate tax among industrialized nations (39.1 percent), corporations have a greater number of ways to bring that tax bill down. Use the calculator below to see how your tax rate compares to the average effective federal rates paid by 10 major corporates between 2008 to 2012, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a non-profit organization that advocates for corporate tax reform. The group’s board of directors includes a number of top labor leaders.

Calculations on how much companies pay in taxes vary considerably. A recent report by Citizens for Tax Justice found that profitable Fortune 500 companies paid an average effective federal tax rate of 19.4 percent from 2008 to 2012. The Tax Foundation, a think tank that studies the effect of taxation on the private sector and advocates for decreasing tax burdens, estimates that the nationwide rate is considerably higher–between 26.7 percent and 39.3 depending on the industry. The organization’s board members include two former Republican House members and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the chief economic adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

While different researchers and organizations typically find different numbers for the exact amount individual companies pay in taxes, Citizens for Tax Justice maintains one of the most comprehensive comparisons of individual businesses.

Multinational corporations leverage tax exemptions to lower their tax bill and return value to shareholders. Tech companies like Apple and Microsoft were criticized after a 2013 Senate investigation into a tax arrangement known as the Double Irish, which allocates profits of intellectual property to tax-haven countries like Ireland.

A new report from the Citizens for Tax Justice highlighted 15 Fortune 500 companies, including JetBlue and General Electric, that the group said either received a rebate or were taxed less than 1 percent of their income in 2014. GE has said that its decision last week to cut loose its financial business GE Capital could lead the company’s effective tax rate to rise to 20 percent in the future, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A February Pew Research survey found that 82 percent of respondents expressed at least some concern that “corporations didn’t pay their fair share,” compared with 53 percent who expressed concern over their own tax burden.

Methodology

The effective federal tax rates are drawn from the Center for Tax Justice’s analysis of top Fortune 500 companies, taken from the research group’s corporate tax explorer.

State and local taxes are not included in these calculations.

Read next: How April 15 Became Tax Day

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME politics

This Map Shows Every State With Religious-Freedom Laws

See when each law was passed

The national outcry over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has turned attention towards the 19 states with their own versions of the law and the others that are considering similar measures. The timeline below shows when each state passed legislation, starting with Connecticut in 1993. Click on a state for links to the laws or pending bills.

The fight over RFRAs dates to 1990, when the Supreme Court ruled against an Oregonian named Al Smith, who was a quarter American Indian. He had argued that his use of peyote in a Native American Church ritual—an act that cost him his job—should be protected by the First Amendment. He lost, and the ruling made it easier for the government to place restrictions on the freedom of religion.

That precedent didn’t sit well with state or federal governments. In the fall of 1993, Bill Clinton signed the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which restored the standard the Court had overruled. “Those whose religion forbids autopsies have been subjected to mandatory autopsies,” Vice President Al Gore said at the signing ceremony outside the White House. This legislation, he said, was something “all Americans” could be behind. And many of them did, including Republicans, Democrats, evangelicals and progressive civil rights advocates.

MORE: The Battle of Indiana

The new law demanded that the government have a “compelling interest” before infringing on religious freedom and that the government must use the “least restrictive” means of doing so. If, for example, a state law required that all vehicles have electric lights, the government might have a compelling interest in making sure Amish buggies were as visible as cars on the highway. But the least restrictive means of compelling them to follow the law could be to make sure they used reflective silver tape, rather than force them to embrace technology.

In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law applied only to the federal government. So more states quickly passed their own RFRAs to restore similar provisions at state levels.

But the political context has changed drastically since then, and many social conservatives are now championing religious freedom bills as a way to protect them from having to provide service to LGBT people. Critics worry that states will use such laws to combat existing non-discrimination measures in court, providing legal cover for stores that refuse to serve gay customers or businesses to fire LGBT employees.

Read next: Arkansas Governor Asks for Changes to Controversial Religious Freedom Bill

TIME

How Popular is Your Fraternity?

Alpha Phi Alpha has more active fraternity chapters than any other, according to a survey of 794 colleges

Fraternities have existed on American college campuses since the nation’s founding. By mapping thousands of chapters across 794 campuses, we determined which fraternities are most common in each state. Alpha Phi Alpha, which was founded at Cornell in 1906, has at least 290 active chapters, more than any other fraternity, according to data available on GreekRank.com.

Kappa Sigma dominates the South and Northwest. It is the most common fraternity in nine states. Tau Kappa Epsilon and Alpha Phi Alpha–a historically African-American fraternity–tie for second place, each taking six states across the eastern U.S. Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s dominance in the West comes into sharper focus when searching for the fraternity’s chapters.

GreekRank–a site that ranks fraternities and sororities–provides active chapter locations for 80 social and professional fraternities across 794 colleges. No other aggregated data is publicly available on fraternities. Chapter locations published on fraternity websites report suspended and inactive chapters inconsistently, and membership numbers are even harder to locate, making anything beyond a geographic comparison difficult.

Methodology
Active chapters are aggregated by state to determine winners. When fraternities tie for chapter numbers, like in Alaska with fewer campuses to extend influence, the most senior fraternity takes first place.

Read next: Before You Pick a College, Decide If You Want to Go Greek

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME

Here’s Who Wins March Madness in the Classroom

A complete ranking of the NCAA basketball tournament field by academic success and graduation rates instead of wins and losses

Davidson’s men’s basketball team has won accolades this year for defying expectations on the court, finishing in first place in their inaugural season in the Atlantic 10 after being picked 12th, out of 14 teams, in the preseason poll. The Wildcats run an efficient, aesthetically pleasing offense, a welcome contrast to an otherwise rough college basketball season, where scoring was near all-time lows.

Basketball success is not new to the 1,850 student liberal arts college in North Carolina: Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is a former Wildcat. Nor is academic achievement: Woodrow Wilson is another prominent alum. Now, the two have come together: Davidson is the academic champion of the 2015 NCAA tournament.

According to new rankings generated by the New America, a non-partisan Washington, D.C. think tank, for all 68 teams in the tournament–and shared exclusively with TIME — Davidson cuts down the proverbial nets. Here’s how: we matched teams up in the classroom, using the tournament brackets to determine the games. If the on-court bracket results mimicked academic performance, the Final Four would look like this: Davidson wins the South, Maryland comes out of the Midwest, Baylor takes the West and Dayton wins the East. Davidson knocks off Baylor in one national semifinal. Maryland knocks off Dayton in the other semi, with Davidson taking the title game.

The full bracket is below.

 

The formula for New America’s March Madness mimics that of its College Football Playoff rankings released in December (TCU won that title). The base measure is a school’s most recent men’s basketball “Graduation Success Rate,” a figure measured by the NCAA that doesn’t dock schools for having players who transfer or go pro before graduating–as long as those players leave in good academic standing. The higher the school’s graduation success rate, the higher they start out in New America’s rankings. New America, however, did subtract points from schools that graduate men’s basketball players at a much different rate than the overall men’s graduation rate at the school. To compare students to athletes, New America used federal graduation rates, which take a cohort of students from 2004-2007, and measured if they graduated within six years. Even if a school graduated basketball players at higher rates than the overall male student population, the difference was counted as a penalty against schools that have low overall male graduation rates.

One important note: Harvard, the Ivy League champion, was excluded from the rankings because the Ivy League does not report federal graduation rates for athletes. So the University of North Carolina, Harvard’s first round opponent, moves on. Harvard was one of 13 schools, including Davidson, Maryland, Notre Dame, Butler and Dayton, that reported a perfect graduation success rate for basketball players.

Indiana was the easiest out, finishing last in New America’s rankings. Hoosier basketball players graduated at an 8% federal rate, according to the most recent numbers, fare below the overall male student graduation rate of 72%. That discrepancy killed their score. Indiana basketball spokesman J.D. Campbell points out that current coach Tom Crean was hired in April 2008, after the 2004-2007 cohort captured by the federal rate enrolled in the school. Indiana’s men’s basketball team does have a perfect Academic Progress Rate, an NCAA metric that measures the academic eligibility of current players, and Campbell says that every Crean recruit that hasn’t transferred or left early for the NBA has graduated (one of Indiana’s three early entries to the NBA, Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic, graduated in three years).

To see how the whole field stacks up, check out these rankings.

Read next: The Simple Free Hack to Watch NCAA March Madness Without a Cable Bill

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME

Here’s How Much the Home of the Next President Is Worth

We don’t know who will replace Barack Obama in the White House, but we do know what kind of home he or she will be leaving behind. We’ve charted them below, using data from real estate sales tracker Zillow. Not surprisingly, the only former Fortune 500 executive on the list, Carly Fiorina, tops it with her $6.7 million mansion in Virginia.

Next up is the presumptive candidate from Chappaqua, N.Y., Hillary Clinton, with her $5.6 million Washington, D.C. home —a long way from Hope but just a hair above the former Arkansas governor turned commentator Mike Huckabee, whose Santa Rosa Beach house in Florida is valued at $5.5 million. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor, lives in the least expensive home among those whose information is available on Zillow.

To compare the homesteads of presidential timber, click a column header in the chart below to sort by category. Scroll right to see them all.

 

The median home of the more than a dozen likeliest presidential candidates is worth $1.5 million. That’s more than eight times the value of the median American home, worth $178,500 today, according to Zillow. (The average candidate home is worth $2.3 million.) But it’s still a long way off from the address many have their eye on: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Zillow estimates the White House would be worth $385 million were it to ever go on the market.

Candidates’ homes have a way of becoming campaign fodder during presidential campaigns. John McCain was lampooned for being unable to say how many homes he owned in 2008. In 2012, Mitt Romney was mocked for building a car elevator in his La Jolla, Calif., residence. And this past June, Hillary Clinton drew guffaws when she said she and President Bill Clinton left the White House in 2000 “dead broke” and had to increase their earnings to “pay off the debts and get us houses.” As the 2016 campaign heats up, you’ll likely be hearing more about one or two of these homes.

This article has been updated to include Clinton’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Methodology

The listings above reflect only the candidates’ residences available in public records. Some own multiple homes. All estimated home values are from Zillow.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com