Check out this compelling data visualization, created by David McCandless for Information is Beautiful. It offers an interesting perspective on costs and money flows ranging from U.S. foreign debt and military spending to health care costs, the "war on drugs," and total charitable donations by the U.S. public. McCandless explains his creative motivation in the following blog post, "With news of $billion-dollar tax evasions joining $billion-dollar bailouts and $trillion dollar deficits in the mind-boggled group mind, we thought it might be a good time to update the Billion Dollar-o-Gram."
Featured Indicators Data
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Flores v. Arizona, the original lawsuit regarding English learners in Arizona, but the task of providing efficient and effective English Language Learner (ELL) programs in Arizona remains unresolved. At stake overall, educators, business leaders and economic experts agree, is no less than the state’s future economic, health, social and education standing. Policies that affect ELL students impact all Arizonans. This brief examines the legal history, changing funding formulas and ELL student achievement.
In his address at the The Arizona Leadership Forum in Phoenix on Feb. 8, Arizona Community Foundation President & CEO Steven G. Seleznow makes the counter-intuitive case that the Arizona we now have essentially is the Arizona that the state’s powerful leadership wanted, even though the end result was many residents, schools, businesses and social agencies suffering. According to Seleznow, “I tried to make the point throughout my ‘confrontation with the data,’ that our decisions and options as a state were not the function of the 2008 recession at all, but the result of a powerful set of choices made by the state’s leadership beginning around 1980 and continuing since to drive down investment in those areas that would have supported economic growth, reduced income inequality, and developed the state’s human capital,” Seleznow recalled.
According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development's (CFED) latest Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, Arizona ranks 42nd among states and earns a "D" in categories like financial assets and income, businesses and jobs, and health care. CFED's research highlights the vulnerability of families, many of whom are living on the edge. Nationally, 44% of households are "liquid asset poor," having virtually no savings to rely on in the event of job loss, a health crisis, or other unforeseen financial challenges. Additionally, 56% of American consumers have subprime credit scores.
Arizona Directions is an annual statewide report card that is designed to make data actionable. This year's report homes in on the economy and education. It examines Arizona's economic development landscape, the competitive potential of the Sun Corridor, the economic consequences if the state fails to close the Latino achievement gap, and the role of career and technical education in adding skilled workers to Arizona's workforce pipeline. By examining our status, trajectories and potential responses in each of these areas, this report seeks to stimulate a candid assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, and of the policy options that will enable Arizona to prosper. The report includes new public opinion data from a statewide Morrison Institute Poll.
The Arizona Department of Transportation reports annual data on the motor fuels tax and a variety of transportation fees, which are deposited into the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). These funds are then distributed to cities, towns, counties, and the State Highway Fund, providing a major source of revenue for highway construction, improvements, and other expenses. According to the 2012 HURF report, even after two years of year-over-year growth, the HURF revenues remain at FY 2004 revenue levels while the annualized growth rate over the last ten fiscal years has fallen to 1.0 percent. Notably, Arizona has a low gasoline tax of $0.18 per gallon and the last rate increase was $0.01 in FY 1991. According to the Tax Foundation, Arizona has the 9th lowest state gasoline tax rate.
AZ Youth Face Tough Odds
According to the 2012 Kids Count Data Book, Arizona still compares unfavorably on key indicators of child well-being, ranking 5th worst overall.
- Children in poverty (24%)
- Children living in households with high housing cost burden (43%)
- Children in single-parent families (37%)
- Teen births per 1,000 (51)
- Children without health insurance (13%)
- High school students not graduating on time (27%)
Brookings Mountain West
Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Brookings Institution are now partners in Brookings Mountain West, a collaboration of Brookings Institution and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that conducts research on economic growth, demographic change, infrastructure improvement, environmental impact, alternative energy, and real estate investment in the Intermountain West. Check out the latest output from Mountain Monitor.
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To join the Morrison Institute e-mail list, send us an email.
Check out Population Basics, an interactive tool that allows you to explore demographic data about Arizona, our 15 counties, and metro Phoenix and Tucson. If you prefer raw data, explore the demographics section of our Google Spreadsheets collection:
More to Explore
Explore even more regional indicator data:
Check out our research archive for Southern Arizona.