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The COVID-19 crisis has weakened prosperity in the United States, but even before the pandemic, mass shootings, increased obesity and mental health problems had taken their toll on Americans’ quality of life, a report published Thursday by the United States found. Legate Institute.
The US remains one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with 18 out of 167 countries, the conservative-leaning London-based think tank said in its report. United States Prosperity Index 2021.
The index, which Legatum publishes annually, measures American prosperity based on 11 pillars: safety and security, personal freedom, governance, social capital, business climate, infrastructure, economic quality, living conditions, health, education and natural environment.
But while US wealth has been rising for more than a decade, it remains unevenly distributed, the Legatum report says. And “even before the pandemic, other factors held back progress,” wrote Legatum’s policy director Stephen Brien, citing “increases in suicides, drug overdose deaths, and poor self-reported mental health” that have prompted the U.S. in the health ranking of the index.
In addition, “the increase in mass murders and injuries over the past decade has devastated many communities” and led to a worse ranking in the safety and security pillar of the index.
“The United States ranks 122nd globally for mass killings and injuries (including terrorism), just below Eritrea and just above Iran,” the report said, noting that “more than half of the 50 states are victims at least one mass shooting in every year since 2013”.
The report also examined ownership differences related to race, ethnicity and geographic location.
Even before the pandemic, one in two adults in a white family had college education, compared to less than one in four for a black family, according to the report.
And among those without college degrees, a black American was nearly twice (15.4 percent) as likely to be unemployed as a white American (8.4 percent).
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many different aspects of American life, including social wellbeing, mental health and the economy, the report found.
The U.S. poverty rate rose from 15 percent in February 2020 to 16.7 percent in September 2020, the report said, citing data from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University’s School of Social Work.
The homelessness rate increased 2.2 percent between 2019 and 2020, the report found, citing data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2020, 18 in 10,000 Americans were homeless — the equivalent of 550,000 people or roughly the entire population of the state of Wyoming.
The pandemic has brought large swathes of the US economy to a standstill, causing 20 million nonfarm workers to lose their jobs, researchers at the Legatum Institute said, and while things have recovered in many ways, there were still eight million jobs in April 2021 less than in February 2020. Some of the hardest hit states include Nevada, where the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 30 percent, and Michigan, where it hit 24 percent, their report found.
Urban counties were hit harder than rural areas, according to the report. In rural areas, unemployment rose by two percentage points, while the cities increased by 3.4 percentage points.
And while the federal government has injected nearly $6 trillion into the economy to help the country recover and rebuild after the pandemic, “the full impact of COVID-19 on wealth at the state and provincial levels has yet to be fully understood and measured.” ,” the report added.
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