Data Connection: Diversity, Spelling, Book Bans, Legacy Admissions … and Other Indicators

By John O. Harney

Ranks of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine as the least diverse states in America based on measures of socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household, religious and political diversity: 47th, 48th, 49th WalletHub

Ranks of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire among the most expensive U.S. states to retire in: 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 14th Bankrate

Increase in lifetime earning associated with lifetime labor union membership: $1,300,000 Parolin, Z., & VanHeuvelen, T., The Cumulative Advantage of a Unionized Career for Lifetime Earnings, ILR Review

Support for labor unions among Gen Zers (defined as being 23 years old or younger in 2020): 64% Center for American Progress

World rank of California’s economy if it were a country: 5th (soon to be 4th) Bloomberg News

Percentage of Americans who rely on autocorrect to correct misspellings: 79% Unscrambled Words

Percentage who say they judge someone who often misspells: 61% Unscrambled Words

Share of New Bedford (Mass.) High School students who were “chronically absent” in 2022, meaning they missed at least 18 days, or 10% of school: 70% The New Bedford Light on NAEP Data

Number of reports of book bans received by the nonprofit PEN America during a nine-month period from July 2021 through March 2022: 1,586 PEN America (PEN American reports 671 additional book bans during that period have come to light. A further 275 more bans followed from April through June, bringing the total for the 2021-22 school year to 2,532 bans.)

Percentage of those banned books that had a protagonist or main character of color: 41% PEN America

Percentage of those banned books that had LGBTQ themes: 33% PEN America

Number of America’s approximately 90,000 school board members who are known to be LGBTQ: 90 Victory Institute

Number of additional LGBTQ school board members who would have to be elected to match the 7% of the adult U.S. population that identifies as LGBTQ: 6,300 Victory Institute

From 2010 to 2015, Harvard University’s admission rate for “legacy” applicants with at least one Harvard-educated parent: 34%  Jennifer Lee, sociology professor at Columbia University, op-ed in Los Angeles Times

Admission rate for “non-legacy” applicants who do not have a Harvard-educated parent: 6% Jennifer Lee, sociology professor at Columbia University, op-ed in Los Angeles Times

John O. Harney is executive editor of The New England Journal of Higher Education.

Painting of “Still Life with Kitaj’s Death mask” by Montserrat College professor Timothy Harney.



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