2022 has been a year of rising prices, war in Ukraine, landmark Supreme Court decisions, and delayed flights. The nation still averages thousands of new daily COVID-19 infections, but the numbers are closer to summer 2020 levels. However, the US also hit a grim milestone for coronavirus deaths this year.
Here's a numbers-driven, all-angles look back at 2022.
The estimated number of votes cast nationwide in the 2022 midterm election, based on a USAFacts analysis of state election data.
Crime in 2020 was 60% lower than 40 years prior. The crime rate hit a high in the early 1990s and fell annually between 2001 and 2020. There were nearly five times as many property crimes as violent crimes in 2020, so despite violent crime rising by 4.7% from the year prior, the overall crime rate was down 6.2%.
In May, the United States officially surpassed 1 million deaths from COVID-19. That's one in every 331 people in the US. The nation has reached almost 1.08 million coronavirus deaths as of early December.
The price for a barrel of oil in June, a 14-year high. Russia's war in Ukraine did affect prices, though costs have risen steadily since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number of states that had trigger laws on the books when the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Some states designed their bans to activate immediately after the Supreme Court's decision, such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Laws in Texas, Idaho, and Tennessee activated once a state official certified the high court's decision.
The US has committed more than $18.6 billion in security assistance for Ukraine after the Russian invasion on February 24. This is part of $21.4 billion committed to security since 2014.
In 2021, the national year-over-year birth rate increased for the first time since 2014. The number of live births per 1,000 women of childbearing age also grew. For example, last year's general fertility rate was 56.6 births per 1,000 women ages 15-44, up 1% from 2020.
According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, hospitals charged three times more for childbirth procedures in 2019 ($22,876) than in 2000 ($6,340).
The Biden administration canceled up to $10,000 in student loan debt for potentially tens of thousands of federal borrowers this year. Pell Grant recipients could receive an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness. However, the program has suspended the application process while court orders have currently halted the program.
The number of firearms the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) seized last year. Eighty-six percent of those were loaded. From January to June this year, the TSA stopped 3,000 firearms from entering planes, an average of 17 a day.
The amount the Inflation Reduction Act, just passed this summer, allotted for expanding the IRS. More than half of the funds will go toward growing the enforcement division that audits individual and corporate tax returns.
Six states (Texas, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Montana, and North Carolina) gained congressional seats after the 2020 census. Seven states (New York, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, California, and Pennsylvania) lost a seat each. The 2022 midterm was the first congressional election after these gains and losses.
The cost of the James Webb Telescope project through fiscal year 2021 (from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021). Photographs from the telescope seized the nation's attention over the summer. They captured, among other subjects, the formation of a new star and the deepest infrared image of the universe to date.
The percent of hourly paid workers (about 1.1 million) who earned the federal minimum wage or less in 2021. Nearly 75% of these people worked in service occupations.
In June, consumer prices had their highest 12-month increase in 40 years (compared with the same month a year prior), jumping by 9.0%. There are so many items in the Consumer Price Index that no one commodity tends to swing it in either direction, but 2022 has been a year of high inflation rates compared to rates over the past decade.
The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 included $50 billion to increase domestic semiconductor production. More than 80% of semiconductors are currently made overseas, and recent supply chain disruptions have impaired domestic manufacturers' ability to produce items ranging from light switches to cell phones to cars to military equipment.
For a further holistic look at the United States, explore America in Facts.
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