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Capital Punishment, 2020 – Statistical Tables

Prisoners in 2020 – Statistical Tables

Jail Inmates in 2020 – Statistical Tables


International Comparisons of Adult Literacy and Numeracy Skills Over Time

Mentoring for Enhancing School Attendance, Academic Performance, and Educational Attainment

Principal Retention Patterns in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah

Long-Term Effects of Enhanced Early Childhood Math Instruction


An Analysis of the 2018 Congressional Election

Gender and Racial Diversity of Federal Government Economists: 2020 Data

State Tax and Economic Review, 2021 Quarter 2


State Declines in Heart Disease Mortality in the United States, 2000–2019

Dental Care Utilization Among Children Aged 1–17 Years: United States, 2019 and 2020

Estimated Savings from International Reference Pricing for Prescription Drugs

December 24, 2021


This report presents statistics on persons who were under sentence of death in 2020, state and federal death penalty laws, historical trends in executions, and which methods of execution are authorized in each jurisdiction. It also presents demographics (including sex, race and ethnicity, age, and education) and criminal history of prisoners under sentence of death. As of December 31, 2020, California (28%), Florida (14%), and Texas (8%) held half of the prisoners under sentence of death in the United States. In Florida in 2020, a total of 337 prisoners were held under sentence of death, however a total of 8 prisoners were removed from death row and zero prisoners were executed in 2020. Additional highlights from the report include that Colorado repealed the death penalty provision of its first-degree murder statute in July 2020, and the governor commuted the death sentences of the three prisoners under previously imposed sentences of death to life without the possibility of parole. Seven states received a total of 14 prisoners under sentence of death in 2020, the smallest annual number reported since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated capital punishment statutes in several states in 1972. Nineteen states removed a total of 91 prisoners from under sentence of death by means other than execution in 2020, which includes those that died of natural causes. During 2020, 17 states and the federal Bureau of Prisons reported a decrease in the number of prisoners held under sentence of death, 16 states reported no change, and no states reported an increase in the number of prisoners held under sentence of death.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

This report is the 95th in a series that began in 1926. It describes demographic and offense characteristics of state and federal prisoners. It also provides data on prisoners held under military jurisdiction. Highlights from the report include that at year-end 2020, the number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction had decreased by 214,300 (down 15%) from 2019 and by 399,700 (down 25%) from 2009, the year the number of prisoners in the United States peaked. Nine states showed decreases in the number of persons in prison of at least 20% from 2019 to 2020. The prison populations of California, Texas, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons each declined by more than 22,500 from 2019 to 2020, accounting for 33% of the total prison population decrease. In 2020, the imprisonment rate was 358 per 100,000 U.S. residents, the lowest since 1992.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

This report is the 34th in a series that began in 1982. It describes the number of inmates held in local jails, jail incarceration rates, inmate demographics, conviction status and most serious offense, the number of admissions to jail, jail capacity, inmate turnover rates, and staff employed in local jails. Highlights from the report include that the number of inmates in local jails across the United States decreased 25% from midyear 2019 (734,500) to midyear 2020 (549,100), after a 10-year period of relative stability. After increasing an average of 2% per year from 2010 to 2019, the number of females confined in local jails decreased 37% from midyear 2019 to midyear 2020. The number of males declined 23% during this same period. At midyear 2020, inmates ages 18 to 34 accounted for 53% of the jail population, while inmates age 55 or older made up 7%. Black U.S. residents (465 per 100,000 persons) were incarcerated at 3.5 times the rate of white U.S. residents (133 per 100,000 persons) at midyear 2020. This marked a decrease from midyear 2010, when the rate for black residents (745 per 100,000) was 4.5 times that of white residents (167 per 100,000).

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice


This report summarizes trends in adult literacy and numeracy skills since the 1990s for the United States and for those countries that participated with the United States in all three international adult literacy studies over the past three decades: Canada, Hungary, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Results in this report are presented as average scores on the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies scale of 0–500 for both literacy and numeracy. For the United States, average literacy scores for adults declined from 273 on (in 1994) to 268 (in 2003) and then increased to 272 (in 2012/14). The U.S. average scores for 1994 and 2012/14 were not statistically different. Looking at the patterns for other countries that participated in all three international studies, a similar pattern to the U.S. (a decline in scores from 1994–98 to 2003–08 and an increase from 2003–08 to 2012–17) was observed in the Netherlands and Italy. Hungary showed the opposite pattern (an increase in literacy scores from 1994–98 to 2003–08 and a decline in scores from 2003–08 to 2012–17). For the United States, the average numeracy score for adults declined from 262 (in 2003) to 257 (in 2012/2014). A similar pattern to the U.S. (a decline in numeracy scores from 2003–08 to 2012-17) was observed in Canada, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Norway.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

This review examines how youth mentoring influences school attendance, academic performance, and educational attainment (APEA) outcomes. In general, empirical studies reveal that mentoring programs tend to have small-to-moderate impact on mentees’ academic outcomes. Importantly, small-to-moderate effects should not necessarily be interpreted as not meaningful. Although individual mentors may produce small, positive changes on APEA outcomes, these small effects can have a large cumulative effect. Because mentoring services are among the most frequently provided prevention program offered in the United States, small positive effects of mentoring program can equate to large, population changes on APEA outcomes. At the same time, some mentoring programs have integrated specific activities to increase the effects mentors have on APEA outcomes for individual youth participating in their programs. This review finds that two broad categories of mentoring activities account for variability in APEA outcomes: (1) activities focused on enhancing relationship closeness between the mentor and mentee, and (2) instrumental mentoring, which targets developing specific school-related skills. Findings indicate that instrumental mentoring tends to have a larger than average impact on mentees’ academic performance, but that mentoring programs generally show larger than average effects when mentors and mentees report having high quality mentoring relationships.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The departure of an effective school leader can influence staff turnover and student achievement for several years. With school systems facing an unprecedented public health crisis due to COVID-19, principal retention is a key area of concern for many local and state education agencies. The Regional Educational Laboratory West undertook this study of principal retention rates to help leaders in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah better understand principal retention patterns in their state, so that their new statewide leadership support initiatives could identify areas where support could be most effective. Findings showed that fewer than half of principals in each of these states remained at the same school from fall 2016 to fall 2020 (four year retention). The study also found that principals who changed jobs (but remained in the principalship) tended to move to a new school in the same local education agency rather than to a new school in another local education agency. Principal retention patterns varied by state according to grade span, school locale type, and student demographic characteristics. In addition, across the three states, proportionally fewer principals remained at schools with lower average proficiency rates on standardized tests in math and English language arts than at schools with higher average proficiency rates from fall 2016 to fall 2019 (three year retention).

Source: Institute of Education Sciences

Studies have shown that math skills in early childhood are uniquely and strongly predictive of later outcomes across a range of domains and well into adulthood, including the likelihood of graduating from high school and college completion. The Making Pre-K Count and High 5s studies were designed to rigorously test the short- and long-term effects of improving children’s math experiences in prekindergarten (pre-K) and kindergarten. Making Pre-K Count provided pre-K teachers in New York City with a high-quality, evidenced-based math curriculum (Building Blocks) and ongoing teacher training and coaching. The Making Pre-K Count study compared students who were exposed to this curriculum with their peers in pre-K as usual in public school and community-based sites. The High 5s math program was developed to offer children who had received Making Pre-K Count in pre-K in public schools hands-on, supplemental math enrichment in small groups, or clubs, outside of regular instructional time in kindergarten. The High 5s study compared students assigned to Making Pre-K Count in pre-K and High 5s in kindergarten with children assigned to Making Pre-K Count in pre-K and kindergarten as usual. The studies also compared two years of math enrichment with no math enrichment. The Making Pre-K Count study showed small, positive, but not statistically significant, longer-term impacts on children’s third-grade math test scores, compared with pre-K as usual in public school and community-based sites. The High 5s program impact was close to zero and not statistically significant. However, together the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s programs had moderate, statistically significant impacts on children’s math test scores, compared with pre-K and kindergarten as usual in public schools.

Source: MDRC

Government Operations

Since 1964, the Voting and Registration Supplement to the Current Population Survey has collected data on the characteristics of voters and non-voters immediately after each national election. As the only federal resource of its kind, data from the supplement have been used to show the effects of landmark changes to voting and registration policies in the United States, including the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter Act. The November 2018 election had the highest voter turnout of any congressional election since 1978. This report summarizes the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of those who voted and registered in this election and in congressional elections since 1978, with 53.4% of the citizen voting-age population voting. This was an 11.5 percentage-point increase in turnout from the 2014 congressional election. Both 18- to 29-year-olds and 30- to 44-year-olds increased their share of the voting population relative to 2014. For the 18- to 29-year-old group, the increase was larger than in any congressional election since 1978. Relative to the 2014 election, among 18- to 29-year-olds, non-Hispanic Black people were less represented in the voting population, while metropolitan residents were more represented. Looking at the overall share of Black, Other Race, and Hispanic voters, non-Hispanic Black voters’ 2018 share was not statistically different from 2014, but greater than their share in any congressional election from 1978 to 2010, while the shares of other non-Hispanic and of Hispanic voters were higher than at any previous congressional election since 1978. In this sense, the election of 2018 was the most diverse election in this series. Additionally, women and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher continued to be overrepresented in the voting population.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The lack of diversity in the economics profession has drawn increasing attention in recent years, but much of the focus has been on academic institutions. This report, which is an update of a 2018 study, looks at the diversity of the more than 2,200 Ph.D. economists employed by the federal government. The authors collected data on Ph.D. economists employed by the Federal Reserve Board and the 12 regional Fed banks, many executive branch agencies, and three arms of Congress: the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service, and the Congressional Budget Office, covering an estimated 95% of all Ph.D. economists employed by the federal government. The findings indicate that in 2020, about 29% of Ph.D. economists employed by all parts of the federal government were women, up about 2 percentage points from 2014 and compared to 27% of economics faculty in academia. Additionally, the share of minority economists at federal agencies and the Federal Reserve System increased 4 percentage points over the most recent six-year period for which data are available (2014-2020).

Source: Brookings Institute

This report provides an overview of state and local revenues in the second quarter of 2021. Across the nation, state and local revenues have been rebounding in recent months, but there are still large variations in fiscal and economic performance across states and localities. State tax revenues saw large swings since the onset of the pandemic, in part because of government actions and behavioral responses to mitigate virus exposure. States reported strong revenue growth in the second quarter of 2021, but that is largely because of the lower base in 2020. Still, growth in state government revenues in the second quarter of 2021 was also strong compared with the same quarter in 2019. Despite a more positive fiscal and economic reality than initially feared, some underlying economic indicators are still troublesome: unemployment rates are still higher than pre-pandemic levels; labor force participation remains subdued, potentially because of health and child care concerns; and overall prices have grown substantially, resulting in a higher-than-usual inflation rate.

Source: Urban Institute

Health and Human Services

Heart disease was the leading cause of death nationally in 2019, consistent with historical patterns since 1921. Age-adjusted death rates for heart disease have shown a steady decline since the mid-1960s, and death rates, as well as changes in rates, vary by state. This report examines changes in heart disease death rates from 2000 through 2019 for the United States and for each state and the District of Columbia (D.C.). Nationally, the overall age-adjusted heart disease death rate decreased from 257.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2000 to 161.5 in 2019. Additionally, the findings indicate that during 2000–2011, the U.S. age-adjusted heart disease death rate declined an average of 3.7% per year, but slowed to a decline of 0.7% per year during 2011–2019. In 2019, heart disease death rates tended to be lower in the West and Northeast, although Florida and Minnesota were also in the lowest quartile of rates.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics

Between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of children aged 1–17 years who had a dental examination or cleaning in the past 12 months decreased by nearly 3 percentage points, from 83.8% to 80.9%. This pattern was especially apparent among children aged 1–4 years, who had a 7.3 percentage point decrease during this period and were already less likely than older children to have had a dental visit. The percentage of children who had an annual dental examination or cleaning decreased from 2019 to 2020 for children living in families with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level. Regional differences in dental care over time were also observed. Annual preventive dental visits were highest in the West and Northeast in 2019 and remained relatively high in the West in 2020, while visits decreased nearly 6 percentage points in the Northeast (85.8% to 79.9%) and 3.4 percentage points in the South (82.8% to 79.4%).

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

High prescription drug prices have important implications for health care spending, patient financial burden, and adherence. Prices for brand-name drugs in particular are higher in the U.S. compared with other high-income countries, most of which regulate drug prices. However, inconsistent availability of data on net prices (i.e, prices after rebates and other discounts) complicates international comparisons of drug prices. A 2021 study found that U.S. prices for brand-name drugs were 344% of those in other high-income countries at manufacturer (list) prices, but the difference was smaller (230%) after an adjustment to approximate lower U.S. net prices. The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, HR 3, would allow the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare and private insurers, up to a cap of 120% of prices in 6 countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K.). Negotiation would apply to all insulins and at least 25 other single-source, brand-name drugs selected by the secretary in the first year and 50 in the second year. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that this application of international reference pricing, a price control tool used by many other countries, would save $456 billion for Medicare alone over 10 years. In this report, the authors estimated what 2020 national U.S. savings would have been at HR 3 maximum international prices rather than U.S. manufacturer and net prices for insulins and 50 top brand-name drugs by sales. The results indicate that international reference pricing would have lowered 2020 U.S. spending on study products by 52.3% or $83.5 billion, from $159.9 billion at U.S. net prices to $76.3 billion.

Source: JAMA Network

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