Does the place you live in affect your health?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

In one of our previous posts, we presented you with a map showing how the average health levels (measured using our Health Index) differ between groups of respondents based on several factors, like income level or state of residence.

What we did not take into account (intentionally) was the correlation between these variables (or as a statistician would say, “regressors”). Can the difference in health index between the states be explained solely by looking at income levels (which affect ease of healthcare access as well as food choices)? In other words, are people in California indeed healthier than Texas residents with the same background? Let’s find out.

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Another look at gender equality in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

One of the independent variables included in the Economist’s where-to-be-born index is gender equality. While various methods are available to measure gender equality, the one selected by the Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) is based on the share of seats in government held by women. In theory, this approach won’t work well in cases where women constitute the majority — in reality, however, that’s unfortunately almost never the case.

How well does the United States fare here? Let’s start with the historical perspective.

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Online travel agencies generate most of their revenue in the United States

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Travel agencies providing online services took root in the United States about 25 years ago. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine travel planning and booking without online travel agencies. Expedia held the largest share of the American market in 2013 – about 42 percent (according to Statista.com). Online travel agencies Orbitz and The Priceline Group tied for second place, with each holding nearly 20 percent of the market share. Travelocity held a market share of 14 percent in the United States, while flight booking service Cheapoair held around 5 percent in 2013.

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The most comfortable places to live in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

One of the most famous attempts to measure “quality of life” was made by the Economist in 2005. The journal’s internal Intelligence Unit introduced the eponymous index, which was designed based on surveys linking different objective measures to general life satisfaction. Later, the methodology was revised and the measure itself was renamed to the “Where-to-be-born index”.

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The fast food industry is an enduring American value

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

The first fast food restaurant, hamburger joint White Castle, was opened in Kansas in 1916. Before the opening, many people thought of hamburgers as a low-quality slaughterhouse food, but the founders of White Castle chain sought to change the public’s opinion. In their restaurants, visitors could see how the food was actually prepared. After World War II the McDonald brothers opened their restaurant, and now McDonald’s is the world’s largest food chain.

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A look at the numbers: diabetes in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

The incidence rate for diabetes keeps rising in the U.S. Since 2001 it has increased from 6.8 to 11 percent for men and from 8.8 to 12.2 percent for women. This means that more than one in every nine adults now suffers from this condition.

Today we are going to take a look at the numbers behind this – what are the major factors contributing to the increase?

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What do Americans think of euthanasia?

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Euthanasia is illegal in most of the U.S., excluding a few states (Washington, Oregon, California and Vermont). According to 2015 statistics on Americans’ moral stances regarding doctor-assisted suicide, more than half (56 percent, to be precise) believe it is morally acceptable. In comparison, 37 percent of people stated that doctor-assisted suicide is morally wrong. About 4 percent of respondents said that their opinion depends on the specific situation, and 2 percent have no opinion at all.

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Data suggests a way to prevent depression

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 percent of American men and 21 percent of American women suffer from different depressive disorders.

While the condition itself in many cases warrants seeking medical assistance, it is also strongly correlated with general health levels. Unfortunately, it seems impossible for us to know whether depression caused by other health problems is a significant factor in the relationship. The fact is, 14 percent of people suffering from depression rated their health as “poor”, compared to only 4 percent of other survey participants. The numbers of respondents who said that they have excellent health were 8 and 20 percent correspondingly.

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E-book market in the United States

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

The Internet era elevated the process of reading books to a whole new level. Since text was adapted into an electronic document for the first time, many people have abandoned physical books. The forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that the revenue of the e-book market in the United States will grow by $8.68 million in 2018. By the end of this year, e-book sales will generate about $7.5 million. The forecast projects $8.23 million in revenue for e-books in 2017.

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