This brief is part of an Urban Institute study of the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 1995, exploring its diversity, demographics, and policy implications. Between 2007 and 2012, birth rates among twenty-something women declined more than 15 percent. A dramatic decline in birth rates among unmarried women is the most important factor in the overall reduction in childbearing among African Americans and Hispanics. It remains to be seen whether the Millennial women who eschewed childbearing from 2007–12 will compensate by exhibiting higher birth rates later or if this generation will have fewer children than its older counterparts.

Appendix A

April 28, 2015
Brief
 

This month’s edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated figures describing the latest GSE risk-sharing transactions, modification and liquidation volume, and non-agency securitization activity.

April 21, 2015
Research Report
 

The economy has steadily improved since the Great Recession peaked in 2010, but recovery in employment and household income has lagged behind GDP growth. The recession accelerated the long-standing decline in employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) for most groups, and through 2013 most of the recovery in the uninsured rate was due to increased public insurance enrollment, primarily Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The declines in ESI coverage are partly attributable to changes in population characteristics among the nonelderly, including an increase in the number of low-income families, population growth in low-ESI regions, and workforce growth in low-ESI industries.

Read the full publication here (leaving the UI web site)

April 21, 2015
Research Report
 

This report describes the levels of cumulative education debt among students with different levels of educational attainment and examines factors associated with high borrowing levels. Those with the most debt tend to be among those who have pursued graduate study. Among undergraduate borrowers, students enrolled in for-profit institutions, those who are independent of their parents, and those who stay in school longer are more likely than others to accumulate large debts. Students from low-income families are not more likely than others to borrow large amounts, at least in part because they tend to stay in school for fewer years.

April 20, 2015
Research Report
 

On behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Urban Institute conducts a continuous survey to measure the driving behavior of the American public. The American Driving Survey is a national survey of persons 16 and over who drive of light vehicles (autos, SUVs, trucks) and reside in households with landline telephone service and/or cellular telephones. The survey commenced in May 2013 and is ongoing. The results of the first year’s data collection are presented in this report.

April 17, 2015
Research Report
 

This author presents a brief analysis of the April 20, 2015 announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to recalibrate government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) pricing. After describing the modest changes, the author concludes that with these moves and their contemporaneously announced changes to the eligibility requirements for mortgage insurers, the FHFA has managed to both better price their risk and pave the way for a more stable mortgage insurance industry, all without significantly impacting either the GSEs’ bottom line or the cost to the consumer.

April 17, 2015
Brief
 

States increasingly use managed care for Medicaid enrollees, yet evidence of its impact on health care outcomes is mixed. This research studies county-level Medicaid managed care (MMC) penetration and health care outcomes among nonelderly disabled and nondisabled enrollees. Results for nondisabled adults show that increased penetration is associated with increased probability of an emergency department visit, difficulty seeing a specialist, and unmet need for prescription drugs, and is not associated with reduced expenditures. We find no association between penetration and health care outcomes for disabled adults. This suggests that the primary gains from MMC may be administrative simplicity and budget predictability for states rather than reduced expenditures or improved access for individuals.

April 16, 2015
Journal Article
 

Graduating from high school is vital to young people’s life chances. Much of the current policy conversation around helping youth stay the course focuses on disconnected youth who are not in school or employed, but there is another group: youth who drop out and work. This brief uses data from the American Community Survey on 16- to 18-year-old youth to describe trends in early employment. The analyses show that young workers contribute substantially to their households, raising important questions about the economic role of youth and future approaches to dropout prevention.

Read a blog post and watch a video on this issue.

April 15, 2015
Brief
 

In the United States as in other countries, the higher one’s income, the better one’s health. Researchers are trying to disentangle the complex causal pathways that connect income, health, education, and family and community conditions across an individual’s life course and even from one generation to the next, but there is no question that income matters greatly to health. Just as there are many pathways linking income and health, there are many policies and programs that influence and shape these pathways. In this brief we focus on the emerging evidence and prospects for income-related policies to improve population health.

April 13, 2015
Research Report
 

The greater one’s income, the lower one’s likelihood of disease and premature death. Americans at all income levels are less healthy than those with higher incomes. Not only is income associated with better health, but wealth affects health as well. Though it is easy to imagine how health is tied to income for the very poor or the very rich, the relationship between income and health is a gradient: discrepancies exist at every level of the economic ladder. Middle-class Americans are healthier than those living in or near poverty, but they are less healthy than the upper class.

April 13, 2015
Research Report
 

Washington, DC, has gained much from its unique position as the capital of the United States, but it has not fully harnessed its opportunities for equitable and resilient economic growth. To build a vibrant economy, the new mayor must encourage development that supports both new and established businesses, encourages entrepreneurship, and includes all of the District’s neighborhoods and residents.

April 13, 2015
Brief
 

As Mayor Bowser settles into her office, she leads a city that is growing more prosperous. Yet too many DC residents are not sharing in that prosperity. Since the last recession began in 2007, median income in DC has grown by three times the national average, reaching nearly $61,000 in 2013. Yet DC’s unemployment rate persistently remains about 1 percentage point higher than in the nation as a whole. Removing barriers to mobility and creating meaningful opportunities for all DC residents to prosper require various strategies. DC’s new mayor should adopt strategies and policies that can help city residents who struggle the most with becoming and staying connected to the labor market.

April 13, 2015
Brief
 

Public safety in the District of Columbia has improved significantly over the past 10 years. The new mayoral administration should build on the progress of the past decade with a holistic approach to public safety that incorporates social service delivery into existing law enforcement responses and emphasizes prevention over reaction.

April 13, 2015
Brief
 

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides substantial assistance to low-income working families with children. The credit encourages work for many, though may reduce work or wages for some. Counted in the poverty measure, the EITC would have been credited with lifting 6.5 million people out of poverty in 2012. The credit fails to provide substantial benefits to workers without children, is complicated, has a high erroneous payment rate, and creates substantial marriage penalties for some low- and moderate-income couples. Extending the credit to workers without children or replacing it with an individual worker credit could solve some or all of these criticisms.

April 9, 2015
Journal Article
 

Moving Beyond a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Continuous Improvement is a resource guide to help leadership, management, supervisory, and data-focused staff in Head Start/Early Head Start programs (1) understand how data, including data they already collect, can help them achieve their program goals; (2) learn techniques for fostering a culture of learning in their organization; and (3) increase their ability to identify and address gaps and continuously improve their programs. This guide draws from Data Use for Continuous Quality Improvement: What the Head Start Field Can Learn from Other Disciplines. A Literature Review and Conceptual Framework

April 9, 2015
Research Report
 

Housing authorities are in a unique position to support educators, low-income students, and their caregivers outside the school day. This study describes the partnership between the housing authority and school district in Vancouver, Washington. The core elements of Vancouver Housing Authority’s partnership with Vancouver Public Schools are: the pilot Stable Housing Voucher Program, a data-sharing agreement, and the shared hiring of an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) member. In addition, VHA operates several of its own education-related initiatives as part of the Skyline Campus of Learners at the Skyline Crest housing development.

April 9, 2015
Research Report
 

Housing authorities are in a unique position to support educators, low-income students, and their caregivers outside the school day. This study describes the partnership between the housing authority and school district in New Haven, Connecticut. The initiative, HANH Believes, provides case management and other educational supports to children and youth who attend New Haven Public Schools, early childhood programs, magnet and charter schools, and GED programs.

April 9, 2015
Research Report
 

Housing authorities are in a unique position to support educators, low-income students, and their caregivers outside the school day. This study describes the partnership between the housing authority and school district in Akron, Ohio. Akron’s housing and education partnership has been developing along two tracks: the Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) is a set of programs and supports offered to young children living in AMHA developments and their families; and the Reach Opportunity Center at Summit Lake is a community-based education resource center that is owned and operated by AMHA and APS.

April 9, 2015
Research Report
 

Assisted-housing providers are in a unique position to support educators, low-income students, and their caregivers outside the school day. By partnering with schools and school districts, housing providers can help address challenges outside school that can become barriers to learning—such as housing instability, truancy, and health problems. Their roles as developers and landlords create opportunities to connect housing and education. This report summarizes key elements that shape and strengthen the partnerships in three diverse settings: Akron, Ohio, New Haven, Connecticut, and Vancouver Washington.

April 9, 2015
Research Report
 

This brief examines the GSEs’ historical and current role in financing multifamily housing and finds that their post-crisis role has declined to more normalized levels. It also finds that even as the GSEs have continued to meet or exceed their multifamily housing goals in recent years, financing for certain underserved segments of the market has fallen steeply. Given these declines, policymakers and regulators should consider maintaining or increasing the GSEs’ footprint in the multifamily market, especially in underserved segments. Though the recent tools employed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to slow the declines in GSE volume have been somewhat effective, they alone likely won’t prevent the GSEs’ role from shrinking further.

April 8, 2015
Research Report
 

Despite considerable attention to the recent slowdown in health spending growth, there has been little focus on how this slowdown has changed future spending projections.This paper examines the national health spending projections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and explores how those projections have changed over time. Current projections suggest that national health expenditures will be $2.5 trillion less over the 2014-2019 period than under the original Affordable Care Act (ACA) forecast from September 2010. We describe some of the factors that have contributed to the declining projections and consider the extent to which the ACA has played a role.

April 8, 2015
Research Report
 

Mentally ill offenders possess a unique set of circumstances and needs. However, all too often, they cycle through the criminal justice system without appropriate care to address their mental health. Their recurring involvement in the criminal justice system is a pressing concern. This report provides a national landscape on the processing and treatment of mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system. It also highlights challenges involved in the reintegration of mentally ill offenders into society, the diversity of policies and protocols in state statutes to address such challenges, and promising criminal justice interventions for mentally ill offenders.

April 7, 2015
Research Report