Home / Articles / Weekly US Government Data Roundup: April 24, 2023

Where are home prices outpacing wages?

Home costs in the United States have outpaced wage growth over the past decade. In particular, prices in nearly every county nationwide outpaced wages during the pandemic. This new visual from USAFacts provides the historical numbers to help you compare 28 years of home prices against wages. Here are some things you’ll find in the viz:  

  • Home prices rose 74% from 2010 to 2022, while the average wage rose 54%.
Map of the US comparing wages to home prices where prices are going up faster than wages in nearly every location in the US.
  • West Virginia had the nation’s lowest median home price in 2022, about $160,000. The state also had some of the nation’s lowest average wages: $54,000. In Massachusetts, the median home cost $540,000, while the average earner made $86,000.
  • Lenders usually require mortgage payments to be less than 28% of gross income. In most of the western US and almost every predominantly urban county, a single average earner couldn’t afford to buy a median-priced home in their county.
Map of US tracking how much of a share of two-earner household wages were spent on a median home’s mortgage in 2022
  • The top five states where median home prices outpaced wages since 2010 were mainly out west: Utah (with prices up 260% faster), Oregon (213% faster), Colorado (210% faster), Montana (also 210%), and Idaho (206%).  

Find your location to track how wages and home prices have changed over time. Have wages overtaken prices or vice versa? Jump into the data to find out.  

Mapping the availability of mifepristone 

A US district judge in Texas suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s nationwide approval of mifepristone, a medication for abortion prescribed in a two-drug regimen, usually to end a pregnancy or treat miscarriages. Last Friday, the US Supreme Court temporarily blocked the lower court ruling. Here is an overview of where abortion medication is available or banned.

Status of medication abortion by state

US map tracking where medication abortion is available, restricted, or banned.

  • Mifepristone is widely available in 22 states and can be prescribed by a clinician, meaning medical assistants, doctors, counselors, and other healthcare providers who treat patients more generally.
  • The medication is restricted in another 15 states. It must be prescribed by a doctor or physician, meaning people who work in specific treatment areas, including family doctors, pediatricians, and other professionals.
  • Of the 46 states and cities that reported abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020, 51% of reported abortions were early medical abortions — meaning they occurred when a fetus was at a gestational age of nine weeks or earlier.
  • The court’s ruling means that the ban could not yet go into effect, and the Fifth Circuit Court will hear the appeal. Meanwhile, there is also a competing ruling from a judge in Washington State, ordering authorities not to make any changes that would restrict mifepristone.  

See more here. Then, read about various abortion legislation, including states that passed laws limiting or widening access and how the 2022 midterm elections affected access to the procedure.

Data behind the news

Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unveiled his plan to raise the debt ceiling while also calling for spending cuts. Here's a refresher on the debt ceiling and why it matters. 

Last Saturday was Earth Day. Be sure to explore government data on climate and the American environment.  

Take the weekly fact quiz here. Can you ace it?

One last fact

Immigration Removals in 2022

Line chart of the number of criminal and non-criminal removals of people from the US dating back past 1900. Numbers started spiking just before 2000.

Immigration officials removed 89,000 people from the US in 2021, the lowest number since 1996. This decline was partly related to COVID-19 restrictions and fewer people coming to the US in 2020. 

About 71% of removals in fiscal year 2021 were for criminal offenses, the top three being drugs, immigration violations, or assault.