Interactive: The Least Affordable Housing in the United States
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Interactive: Least Affordable Housing in the U.S.

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Interactive: Least Affordable Housing in the U.S.

It doesn’t always make sense to measure affordability by a price in absolute dollars.

With real estate in particular, every county is different and value may be relative depending on the area in question. A ranch that seems expensive to a farmer in Nebraska may be a drop in the bucket for a lawyer from Manhattan.

Today’s interactive chart from Overflow Data shows median home values plotted against median household income, which helps give you a feel for where the least affordable housing in the U.S. is located. It’s also worth noting that in this visualization, that data comes from the ACS 2011-2015 5 year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Expensive by any Measure

The least affordable housing in the U.S. falls into two categories: places that you would expect (San Francisco, New York City) and counties that may be off your radar, such as a few in Massachusetts, Washington, or Wyoming.

The Bay Area, not surprisingly, has some of the least affordable housing in the country – both in absolute terms, and in terms relative to income. There is no shortage of anecdotes for the madness occurring in San Francisco and the surrounding area, and the data reflects that.

In San Francisco proper, the median home value is $800,000 with a median income of $81,000, giving a price-to-income ratio of 9.8. Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, housing is nearly as pricey, but many people are able to make up for it with higher incomes: San Mateo County has a ratio of 8.3, and Santa Clara County has a ratio of 7.3.

New York City, with its five boroughs, is also interesting to look at. Here they are ranked by price-to-income:

  1. Kings County (Brooklyn): 11.8 (House value: $570,000, Income: $48,000)
  2. New York County (Manhattan): 11.7 (House value: $849,000, Income: $73,000)
  3. Bronx County (The Bronx): 10.6 (House value: $363,000, Income: $34,000)
  4. Queens County (Queens): 7.8 (House value: $450,000, Income: $58,000)
  5. Richmond County (Staten Island): 6.0 (House value: $440,000, Income: $73,000)

Brooklyn is the most expensive borough based on price-to-income, just nudging out Manhattan. The Bronx also has some of the least affordable housing in the country, mainly due to lower income levels than the rest of the city.

Pricey Enclaves

As mentioned before, states like Wyoming, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Washington also have counties that are quite expensive in terms of price-to-income.

  • Teton County, Wyoming: 9.1 (House value: $689,000, Income: $75,000)
  • Pitkin County, Colorado: 8.7 (House value: $621,000, Income: $71,000)
  • San Miguel County, Colorado: 9.1 (House value: $513,000, Income: $56,000)
  • Nantucket County, Massachusetts: 10.7 (House value: $903,000, Income: $84,000)
  • Dukes County, Massachusetts: 10.3 (House value: $661,000, Income: $64,000)
  • San Juan County, Washington: 8.3 (House value: $466,000, Income: $56,000)

Many of these, such as Teton County or Pitkin County, are located in the mountains.

Others, like the San Juans or Nantucket are made up of beautiful islands that are relatively close to major cities – in this case, Seattle and Providence/Boston respectively.

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Visualizing Global Income Distribution Over 200 Years

How has global income distribution changed over history? Below, we show three distinct periods since the Industrial Revolution.

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Global Income Distribution

Visualizing Global Income Distribution Over 200 Years

Has the world become more unequal?

With COVID-19 disrupting societies and lower-income countries in particular, social and economic progress made over the last decade is in danger of being reversed. And with rising living costs and inflation across much of the world, experts warn that global income inequality has been exacerbated.

But the good news is that absolute incomes across many poorer countries have significantly risen over the last century of time. And though work remains, poverty levels have fallen dramatically in spite of stark inequality.

To analyze historical trends in global income distribution, this infographic from Our World in Data looks at three periods over the last two centuries. It uses economic data from 1800, 1975, and 2015 compiled by Hans and Ola Rosling.

Methodology

For global income estimates, data was gathered by country across three key variables:

  • Population
  • GDP per capita
  • Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality by statistical distribution

Daily incomes were measured in a hypothetical “international-$” currency, equal to what a U.S. dollar would buy in America in 2011, to allow for comparable incomes across time periods and countries.

Historical Patterns in Global Income Distribution

In 1800, over 80% of the world lived in what we consider extreme poverty today.

At the time, only a small number of countries—predominantly Western European countries, Australia, Canada and the U.S.—saw meaningful economic growth. In fact, research suggests that between 1 CE and 1800 CE the majority of places around the world saw miniscule economic growth (only 0.04% annually).

By 1975, global income distribution became bimodal. Most citizens in developing countries lived below the poverty line, while most in developed countries lived above it, with incomes nearly 10 times higher on average. Post-WWII growth was unusually rapid across developed countries.

Fast forward just 40 years to 2015 and world income distribution changed again. As incomes rose faster in poorer countries than developed ones, many people were lifted out of poverty. Between 1975 and 2015, poverty declined faster than at any other time. Still, steep inequality persisted.

A Tale of Different Economic Outputs

Even as global income distribution has started to even out, economic output has trended in the opposite direction.

As the above interactive chart shows, GDP per capita was much more equal across regions in the 19th century, when it sat around $1,100 per capita on a global basis. Despite many people living below the poverty line during these times, the world also had less wealth to go around.

Today, the global average GDP per capita sits at close to $15,212 or about 14 times higher, but it is not as equally distributed.

At the highest end of the spectrum are Western and European countries. Strong economic growth, greater industrial output, and sufficient legal institutions have helped underpin higher GDP per capita numbers. Meanwhile, countries with the lowest average incomes have not seen the same levels of growth.

This highlights that poverty, and economic prosperity, is heavily influenced by where one lives.

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Mapped: The 10 Largest Gold Mines in the World, by Production

Gold mining companies produced over 3,500 tonnes of gold in 2021. Where in the world are the largest gold mines?

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The 10 Largest Gold Mines in the World, by Production

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

Gold mining is a global business, with hundreds of mining companies digging for the precious metal in dozens of countries.

But where exactly are the largest gold mines in the world?

The above infographic uses data compiled from S&P Global Market Intelligence and company reports to map the top 10 gold-producing mines in 2021.

Editor’s Note: The article uses publicly available global production data from the World Gold Council to calculate the production share of each mine. The percentages slightly differ from those calculated by S&P.

The Top Gold Mines in 2021

The 10 largest gold mines are located across nine different countries in North America, Oceania, Africa, and Asia.

Together, they accounted for around 13 million ounces or 12% of global gold production in 2021.

RankMineLocationProduction (ounces)% of global production
#1Nevada Gold Mines🇺🇸 U.S. 3,311,0002.9%
#2Muruntau🇺🇿 Uzbekistan 2,990,0202.6%
#3Grasberg🇮🇩 Indonesia 1,370,0001.2%
#4Olimpiada🇷🇺 Russia 1,184,0681.0%
#5Pueblo Viejo🇩🇴 Dominican Republic 814,0000.7%
#6Kibali🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo 812,0000.7%
#7Cadia🇦🇺 Australia 764,8950.7%
#8Lihir🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea 737,0820.6%
#9Canadian Malartic🇨🇦 Canada 714,7840.6%
#10Boddington🇦🇺 Australia 696,0000.6%
N/ATotalN/A13,393,84911.7%

Share of global gold production is based on 3,561 tonnes (114.5 million troy ounces) of 2021 production as per the World Gold Council.

In 2019, the world’s two largest gold miners—Barrick Gold and Newmont Corporation—announced a historic joint venture combining their operations in Nevada. The resulting joint corporation, Nevada Gold Mines, is now the world’s largest gold mining complex with six mines churning out over 3.3 million ounces annually.

Uzbekistan’s state-owned Muruntau mine, one of the world’s deepest open-pit operations, produced just under 3 million ounces, making it the second-largest gold mine. Muruntau represents over 80% of Uzbekistan’s overall gold production.

Only two other mines—Grasberg and Olimpiada—produced more than 1 million ounces of gold in 2021. Grasberg is not only the third-largest gold mine but also one of the largest copper mines in the world. Olimpiada, owned by Russian gold mining giant Polyus, holds around 26 million ounces of gold reserves.

Polyus was also recently crowned the biggest miner in terms of gold reserves globally, holding over 104 million ounces of proven and probable gold between all deposits.

How Profitable is Gold Mining?

The price of gold is up by around 50% since 2016, and it’s hovering near the all-time high of $2,000/oz.

That’s good news for gold miners, who achieved record-high profit margins in 2020. For every ounce of gold produced in 2020, gold miners pocketed $828 on average, significantly higher than the previous high of $666/oz set in 2011.

With inflation rates hitting decade-highs in several countries, gold mining could be a sector to watch, especially given gold’s status as a traditional inflation hedge.

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