The Weekly Digest collects the most engaging data points and visuals from recent stories at USAFacts. Dive into each report for more metrics and interactive charts, or skim here for a quick understanding of the numbers behind the news.

What happened in Biden's first 100 days?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to measure the impact of the New Deal's first 100 days during a special session of Congress. Decades later, that's transformed into the tradition of measuring a president’s accomplishments in their first 100 days. It's been a busy few months, and USAFacts has the metrics to take stock of President Joe Biden’s first days in office. This new report presents data on many issues facing the nation from January 20 to April 28.


  • The unemployment rate moved from 6.3% to 6% as employers added 1.4 million jobs to payrolls in the first three months of Biden’s administration.
  • Restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, and other leisure and hospitality businesses added 664,000 jobs to payrolls, the most of any industry. That accounted for 48% of the total jobs added during Biden’s first 100 days. Still, the sector remains hard hit by the pandemic and overall job growth slowed in April.
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  • Biden signed more than half of his first 42 executive orders and 10 presidential memoranda within a week of entering office: nine on Inauguration Day, eight the next day, and five more by January 26. He signed seven of the 10 memoranda within the first week.
  • He signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on March 11. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the plan will cost $1.86 trillion between now and 2030.

Dive deeper into the data retrospective here and see how Congress allocated those American Rescue Plan funds, from stimulus checks to public transit and more. 

Rising college costs 

Average college costs are rising as more Americans are getting degrees. What’s driving up average costs and what are students getting for the investment?

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  • Between 2000 and 2020, the share of Americans with an associate degree increased from 8% to 11%. The share of people with bachelor’s degrees rose from 17% to 23%. 
  • In 2019, the price of attending a year of courses at a two-year school was about 40% of what costs were at a four-year school. More and more students are opting for four-year institutions, which increases the average price of college even if costs at both institutions remain stable.
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  • Wages are up 5% for people with bachelor’s degrees since 2000 and up 5.5% for people with advanced degrees. People with a high school diploma or equivalent saw 3% wage growth in that time.
  • The average college student paid $24,623 for tuition, fees, and room and board for a year of school in 2019. That’s 59% higher than in 2000 when the inflation-adjusted price was $15,485.

What professions now have more workers with degrees? Get the data here

One last fact...

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On average, American air quality is improving, but that depends upon location. Find out where people are breathing a little easier and where quality is declining with the State of the Earth in Numbers.

And finally...

USAFacts just won an Innovation Services Gold Medal at the 2021 Edison Awards for the coronavirus case spread map and data-tracking hub. Fast Company also recently recognized USAFacts with an honorable mention in the Pandemic Response category in its World Changing Ideas competition. As Chief Product Officer Richard Coffin said, "USAFacts believes in making government data and content available to Americans and this initiative demonstrates the lengths we’ll go to to find and share those facts."