TIME

Are You Making as Much Money as Your Friends?

Use this calculator to find out

The latest Census data on American incomes drove home a troubling fact: people aren’t making as much as they once did. The median household income in the United States in 2013 was $51,939, down 8 percent from 2007 when adjusted for inflation. Though the recession technically ended several years ago, large numbers of people continue to suffer from flat wages and rising prices.

But while the middle class continues to suffer, many slices of the population are doing better. Using individual-level Census data for 2008 to 2012—15 million records in total—TIME crunched the numbers for every demographic by gender, age, education and marital status.

The following calculator will tell you how your salary stacks up and how that’s changed over time. (The information you enter is not recorded. In fact, it never leaves your computer.)

These charts show individual personal income—money respondents received from any source—and only include people who worked full-time in a given year. (While unemployment was a tremendous scourge during the recession and its aftermath, including it here would confound an analysis of how income has changed.)

Since 2008, incomes have increased by 5.1 percent among all surveyed, while inflation rate over that time was 6.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic figures. (In other words, if your income increased by less than 6.6 percent, you lost purchasing power over that period.) But not all groups are falling behind. Married women between ages 41-50 with professional degrees saw a 16.6 percent growth in income over the past five years, the largest gain of any subset of the population for which there were at least 1000 respondents in the data. At the opposite end of the spectrum, men between 22 and 25 with some college education but no degree saw their income fall by 16.7 percent.

Gender

Women are recovering from the recession slightly faster than men, though men make considerably more overall.

2008 2012 Change
Women $31,000 $32,500 4.8%
Men $43,000 $46,000 4.7%

Age

Americans in their 20s saw the highest cut to their salaries since 2008.

2008 2012 Change
18-21 $12,200 $12,000 -1.6%
22-25 $23,000 $21,000 -8.7%
26-30 $32,000 $32,000 0%
30-35 $38,000 $39,500 3.9%
36-40 $41,000 $42,100 2.7%
41-50 $43,000 $45,000 4.7%
51-64 $45,000 $46,000 2.2%
65+ $41,400 $46,000 11.1%

Education

Those with less education have recovered the slowest, if at all.

2008 2012 Change
Less than high school $23,000 $22,300 -3%
High school or equivalent $30,000 $30,000 0%
Some college, no degree $33,200 $33,000 -0.6%
Associates $40,000 $40,000 0%
Bachelors $50,000 $53,000 6%
Masters $65,000 $69,000 6.2%
Professional degree $100,000 $102,100 2.1%
Doctorate $88,000 $90,000 2.3%

Marital Status

Single Americans are generally younger than other demographics shown here. This is consistent with median income changes by age.

2008 2012 Change
Single (never Married) $26,400 $26,200 -0.8%
Married $43,000 $45,000 4.7%
Separated or Divorced $37,000 $38,300 3.5%
Widowed $34,000 $36,400 7.1%

Methodology

The inputs for the calculator are determined by Census categories for gender, age, educational attainment, and marital status. The data was extracted from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series project (full citation below). IPUMS aggregates individual-level responses from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, an annual sampling of 1 percent of the population. The complete codebook for the extract, which can be used to recreate the complete dataset, is available here.

The analysis is limited to those who were at least 18 years old and coded as a “5” or a “6” in the WKSWORK2 column, meaning they worked at least 48 weeks of the previous 12 months. To allow for a sufficient sample size, individual years of age were bucketed into the ranges displayed in the interactive. Some similar educational levels and marital statuses were also combined.

Once the data was bucketed and grouped by unique combinations of demographic traits—married women from 51-64 with an associate’s degree, for example—we took the median of all of their incomes. This involved first accounting for the fact that not every person has equal weight in the sample. IPUMS provides a PERWT variable. After adding each person to the pool a number of times equal to his or her statistical weight, we took the median of the pooled values. In almost all cases, this “weighted median” was very similar to a naïve median calculated by considering each respondent to have equal weight.

Figures were then spot checked by replicating this process from the raw data in two different computational platforms, R and Mathematica. Any subpopulation with fewer than 50 respondents is not included.

Citation

Miriam King, Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Sarah Flood, Katie Genadek, Matthew B. Schroeder, Brandon Trampe, and Rebecca Vick. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 3.0. [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010.

TIME

Watch Europe’s Borders Change Over 114 Years

As Scotland votes for independence, a look at the shifting lines that have divided the region's countries since 1900

 

Voting is now underway in Scotland to determine whether to cut ties with the United Kingdom. Should Scots vote to do so, they would become the last country to bedevil cartographers as the national boundaries in Europe continue to shift at a regular pace. The above map displays Europe’s border changes from the past 114 years, stretching back into the Ottoman Empire.

Methodology

The years in the timeline were chosen to reflect each major shift in borders after wars or other geopolitical events. Maps prior to 1946 were provided by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, maps after 1946 provided by The Geography of the International System: The CShapes Dataset.

 

TIME Infectious Disease

Watch How Ebola Has Spread Across West Africa

 

As of September 16, the World Health Organization has reported 4,985 infections of Ebola across six countries, resulting in 2,496 deaths.

This map shows the path of the disease’s outbreak, as recorded by the World Health Organization beginning March 23, 2014. Data from last week shows the disease spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 62 cases and 35 deaths are reported.

With reporting from Becca Staneck.

 

This article was originally published on August 8.

TIME

See the Effects of Climate Change in 3 Birds

Most North American birds head further north for winter as climate warms

Looking for signs of climate change? You can check the temperatures of the oceans or the density of polar ice caps. Or you can see which birds are gathering outside your window.

A Birds & Climate Change report released this week by the Audubon Society predicts that global warming will severely threaten nearly half of U.S. birds by the year 2100. And birds are already on the move, according to the society’s research. By mapping the historical data used in Audubon’s climate study, we see can that birds have migrated further north by an average of 40 miles in the past 48 years as temperatures increase. The map above highlights three species whose center of abundance has moved by over 200 miles.

The winter migration data is the fruit of the longest citizen science project in existence, called the Christmas Bird Count. Thousands of volunteers across North America head out every winter to track bird locations in over 2,300 designated areas. Audubon scientists aggregate data along conservation regions and state lines and then they account for the varying effort of bird watchers (watch out slackers) to produce an “abundance index” for each species.

The maps reflect this index for three birds that highlight how warmer winters are influencing species differently. Sixty one percent of the 305 Christmas Bird Count species are moving north — some by more than 200 miles, like the Pine Siskin and American Black Duck. Fewer species are going south, as their winter ranges are shrinking on the whole, with the remaining suitable climates now left further south. This pattern is observed in the Peregrine Falcon, though its increased abundance is also due to pesticide bans.

The “all birds” map shows the abundance index of all observed species relative to other areas. Light green areas show where fewer than the average number birds was observed, while darker areas exceed the average. Over time, areas further north illustrate increasing abundance relative to other areas.

Methodology

Data was provided by the Aududon Society, with calculations by Candan Soykan, an ecologist for Audubon. The “abundance index” for the three species shown on the map is based on the number of birds observed, by species, for each survey in the Christmas Bird Count, adjusted for variation in bird watching effort, among other factors.

The relative abundance for the map of bird density standardizes each species’ abundance index to a common scale before combining across species to provide an overall estimate. Standardization prevents abundant or more detectable species from dominating patterns in the map. To accommodate some species dramatically changing in abundance over the 48-year interval, median values are used. These median values for each year are averaged by decade (except in the case of 1966 to 1973) to be used on the time slider and map.

Photos: Getty Images (2);mdc

TIME

50 Smartest Celebrities on Twitter

Jimmy Kimmel, Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Bieber's mom are among the sharpest celebrities online, according to an analysis of their tweets.

When it comes to big brains and big followings online, Leonardo DiCaprio appears to best them all: the Wolf of Wall Street actor is the smartest celebrity on Twitter. DiCaprio scores higher than the rest when judged by a commonly used reading comprehension test. Here’s where the tweeting and famous rank, according to analysis of the reading levels of the tweets produced by the 500 most followed celebrities on the popular social network. Or test the reading level of any Twitter username.

RANKING NAME GRADE LEVEL
1
Followers
10,537,477
7.5
2
Followers
3,240,488
7.3
3
Followers
4,105,738
7
4
Followers
9,495,505
6.8
Followers
3,394,539
6.8
Followers
3,876,935
6.8
7
Followers
9,624,350
6.6
Followers
3,618,047
6.6
9
Followers
3,512,750
6.5
Followers
6,547,046
6.5
Followers
3,465,262
6.5
Followers
6,957,631
6.5
Followers
4,313,917
6.5
Followers
4,348,803
6.5
15
Followers
9,330,945
6.4
Followers
5,679,824
6.4
Followers
12,790,629
6.4
Followers
3,916,429
6.4
Followers
5,430,990
6.4
Followers
4,439,241
6.4
21
Followers
7,024,230
6.3
Followers
8,330,339
6.3
Followers
6,679,206
6.3
Followers
3,609,118
6.3
25
Followers
5,224,026
6.2
Followers
3,777,176
6.2
Followers
3,453,774
6.2
Followers
6,667,346
6.2
Followers
3,717,750
6.2
Followers
10,384,608
6.2
Followers
4,243,642
6.2
Followers
3,430,272
6.2
33
Followers
18,374,747
6.1
Followers
4,962,687
6.1
Followers
3,356,790
6.1
Followers
17,130,614
6.1
Followers
3,862,527
6.1
Followers
5,043,670
6.1
Followers
12,014,650
6.1
Followers
3,088,771
6.1
Followers
17,130,615
6.1
42
Followers
24,784,725
6
Followers
28,273,688
6
Followers
3,730,469
6
Followers
3,315,673
6
Followers
3,492,788
6
Followers
4,148,210
6
Followers
13,448,230
6
49
Followers
9,688,482
5.9
Followers
4,157,413
5.9

 

Methodology
The ranking above is based on a reading comprehension test known as Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG). The SMOG test measures the number of three syllable words used in a text to calculate the years of education required to understand it. An environmental activist, DiCaprio often tweets about “conservation” and global warming which may have helped him earn the top spot.

In a recent analysis of more than 1 million tweets, we found that messages on Twitter average a fourth-grade reading level. All of the celebrities above exceed that grade. To find Twitter’s smartest celebrities, we analyzed the last 20 tweets from the 500 highest followed celebrities (stripped of URLs and hashtags), then ran the results through the SMOG test to calculate reading level. SMOG is intended for processing English, so users tweeting in multiple languages were removed. Computer processing of natural language has its limitations. For example, the SMOG test can falsely read slang as multi-syllable words.

You can test your own Twitter grade level or anyone else’s here.

TIME

How Smart Are Your Tweets?

Thirty-three percent of tweets test at a fourth grade reading level. Use the tool to see how yours compare.

Justin Bieber may have celebrated his 20th birthday this spring but on Twitter, he isn’t smarter than a fifth grader. The rebellious Canadian pop star shouldn’t be embarrassed: Lady Gaga is also tweeting at fifth grade level, while President Barack Obama doesn’t score much higher: he tweets like a seventh grader.

According to TIME’s analysis of 1 million public tweets, 33 percent of tweets test at a fourth grade reading level. The test relied upon a commonly used reading comprehension survey known as SMOG, or Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (really), to assess the complexity of messages sent on the social network. “Gobbledygook” is defined as a word of three or more syllables.

Who uses the most gobbledygook? You guessed it: politicians. Search for lawmakers like @NancyPelosi and @SpeakerBoehner to see how they measure up, or use the tool to find the reading level of any public twitter account.

SMOG results show that most tweets require no more than a fourth grade education to comprehend. Of course, a tweet’s limit of 140 characters makes it difficult to compose a message at a higher reading level. But not impossible. This test did pick up a handful of 12th-grade tweets, like this one from a senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art: “Design and violence: Nivedita Menon’s powerful essay on the mini-revolver marketed to women by the Indian government.”

Methodology

Tweets were downloaded with the Twitter API and run through a version of the SMOG test written for JavaScript. A search of a public account returns the 20 most recent tweets from that account. The page considers all of those tweets together as one long paragraph, which leads to higher accuracy than average the score for each tweet.

TIME

A Visual Guide to Every World Cup Match

Methodology Data for market value and performance taken from Transfermarkt. Market values are converted at $1.67 per pound. All flags: Getty Images.

TIME

U.S.A. vs. Ghana: How Do the World Cup Teams Stack Up?

See the many ways the squads competing at this year's tournament compare

The U.S. soccer team plays its first match of the World Cup against Ghana Monday evening in Natal, Brazil. According to FIFA, Ghana ranks 37th in the world and the U.S. 13th. But there’s more than a ranking when it comes to comparing teams.

Click the filters to see how the players match up in market value and performance during the 2013-2014 club season. Or compare the market value of all World Cup teams.

Methodology

Data for market value and performance taken from Transfermarkt. Market values are converted at $1.67 per pound. All flags: Getty Images.

TIME

Which World Cup Team Is the Most Valuable?

The Spanish team is worth more than $900 million—9.5% of the market value on all World Cup players

On Thursday, FIFA announced the 23 players for each of the 32 World Cup teams. All put together, these 786 players have a total market value of $9.69 billion, according to the trading site Transfermarkt. The priciest squad taking the field in Brazil this month? Spain. The scrappiest? Honduras. The Spanish squad’s players have a market value of $916 million, representing 9.5% of the total market. That’s nearly 34 times the Honduran team’s $31.1 million value, which accounts for 0.32% of the market.

Use the interactive below to compare values between teams and their players. Click on club teams to see which professional teams have sent players to the global tournament.

Player market value is determined by many factors like individual and club team performance, international experience, contract history and age, which in part explains why Lionel Messi (26) is worth $177 million while Cristiano Ronaldo (29) is worth $147 million.

Methodology

Market values are from Transfermarkt and converted at $1.67 per pound. All flags: Getty Images.

TIME

How Often Does Your College Report Sexual Assaults?

High numbers of reported assaults are often a sign a college is doing a better job addressing the issue. See the interactive below to compare schools' reporting

The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses is often masked by low levels of reporting, as Eliza Gray reported in a recent TIME cover story. Despite the troubles with reporting, comparing the number of incidents that are recorded on campuses can be instructive. In the interactive below, you can search for your school to see how many sexual assaults it reported between 2006 and 2012.

Counterintuitive though it may seem, a higher number of reports from an institution is often a good sign, because it means the school is doing a better job than others at addressing the issue. According to research from the Department of Health and Human Services [pdf], nearly one in five women is the victim of sexual assault or an attempted assault while attending college. Reporting levels for all schools are well below that number.

All schools that receive federal funding must submit annual security reports to the Department of Education, and the White House recently pressured universities to address the problem more proactively.

In 2012, the most recent full year on record, 4-year non-for-profit and public institutions averaged 1.8 reported assaults. The 55 schools currently facing Title IX sexual assault investigations averaged 12 reported assaults in 2012. The ten schools with the highest number of reported assaults average 27.9 in 2012. As the chart shows, the number of reported assaults is on the rise at many institutions.

Here are the top-ten schools with the highest cumulative reports of sexual assault from 2006 to 2012. Again, high reports don’t necessarily mean the highest levels of the crime.

  • Ohio State University-Main Campus, 248
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 208
  • University of California-Davis, 206
  • University of California-Los Angeles, 168
  • Harvard University, 152
  • Indiana University-Bloomington, 149
  • University of California-Berkeley, 143
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus, 136
  • Dartmouth College, 125
  • Princeton University, 122

Numbers show on-campus and off-campus forcible and non-forcible sexual assaults.

Methodology

Forcible and non forcible sexual assaults are available from 2006 to 2012 from the Department of Education’s annual security reports. This includes on-campus security reports, such as dormitories and school buildings, and non-campus security reports like Greek housing. Schools are filtered by four-year private not-for-profit schools and public schools.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser