Where to Move to Make the Most Money for Doing Your Job

Posted December 16th, 2015 at 6:49 pm (UTC-4)
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Welders in Alaska make 80 percent more than the average welder nationwide. (AP Photo)

Welders in Alaska make 80 percent more than the average welder nationwide. (AP Photo)

Printing press operators in Washington, D.C. make more than double each year than their peers do nationwide. The same is true for judicial law clerks in New York, while tile and marble setters in Massachusetts make 70 percent more on average than people doing similar jobs elsewhere in the United States.

Commercial pilots' wage difference, the gap between the highest and the lowest earners, was more than $100,000. (AP Photo)

Commercial pilots’ wage difference, the gap between the highest and the lowest earners, was more than $100,000 in May 2014. (AP Photo)

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows people in the same occupation often make vastly different wages.

For example, the median annual wage for commercial pilots was $75,620. However, commercial pilots’ wage difference, the gap between the highest and the lowest earners, was more than $100,000.

There are a variety of reasons why wages vary. Geographic location is one of them. Some states or areas pay more than others for jobs in an occupation.

Local demand for those particular skills and cost of living are among the geographic factors that can affect wages.

Other reasons for wage gaps in the same occupation can include differences in credentials, experience and skill, specific job tasks, and success and performance of the individual worker.

Varying education levels is one of the reasons for significant wage differences in certain science, math and engineering occupations. Jobs that require a higher degree are likely to pay more. The wage difference between geoscientists was $140,800, with workers in the 10th percentile earning $46,400 and the highest earners taking home $187,200.

Using the detailed information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider developed the map below showing the most disproportionately well-paid job in each state.

disproportionately-high-paying-job-state-map

More Mexicans Leaving US Than Are Arriving

Posted December 14th, 2015 at 9:25 am (UTC-4)
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 In this Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, people line up to cross into the United States from Mexicali, Mexico, before dawn in Calexico, California.

In this Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, people line up to cross into the United States from Mexicali, Mexico, before dawn in Calexico, California. (AP Photo)

More Mexicans are leaving the United States than are arriving, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center.

Government data from both countries also shows that the flow of Mexican immigrants between the United States and Mexico is at its lowest since the 1990s. Survey data from the Mexican government finds that most of the 1 million Mexicans who left the U.S. to return home, between 2009 and 2015, left because they wanted to.

PH_2015-11-19_mexican-immigration-02The number of Mexican immigrants living in the United States peaked at 12.8 million in 2007. That population has declined since then, dropping to 11.7 million in 2014.

Six in 10 (61 percent) of the returned migrants said the desire to reunite with family was the main reason for going back to Mexico. Only 14 percent said they had no choice in the matter because they were deported.

Pew attributes the recent decline to a variety of factors.

“The slow recovery of the U.S. economy after the Great Recession may have made the U.S. less attractive to potential Mexican migrants and may have pushed out some Mexican immigrants as the U.S. job market deteriorated,” according to the analysis.

Stricter enforcement of U.S. immigration laws along the U.S.-Mexico border could also play a part.

In 2013, 28 percent of the 41.3 million immigrants in the United States were from Mexico. Here, Mexican immigrant Martina Juárez, 40, right, poses with her daughter and grandsons in New York, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)

In 2013, 28 percent of the 41.3 million U.S. immigrants were from Mexico. Here, Mexican immigrant Martina Juárez, 40, right, with her family in New York, Aug. 26, 2015. (AP Photo)

Apprehensions of Mexicans there have fallen to their lowest level since 1971. This increased enforcement means more Mexican immigrants have been deported since 2005.

Mexicans are the largest foreign-born group in the United States. In 2013, 28 percent of the 41.3 million U.S. immigrants were Mexican.

Mexico is also the largest source of America’s illegal immigrants. More than 16 million Mexicans migrated to the United States between 1965 and 2015.

These latest changes could have historic implications, signaling the end of America’s largest wave of immigration from any one country.

No Wonder This Is America’s Healthiest State

Posted December 11th, 2015 at 2:50 pm (UTC-4)
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Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii (Photo by Flickr user Karol Franks via Creative Commons License)

For the fourth year in a row, Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state in the country, according to a new report. Seen here: Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. (Photo by Flickr user Karol Franks via Creative Commons License)

For the fourth year in a row, Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state in the country, according to a new report.

“Somehow, in Hawaii, individuals are certainly more prepared and prone to enhance their health,” said Dr. Reed Tuckson, a senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation, which produced the report. “They have a favorable environment that people care a lot about and that environment supports healthy behaviors.”

On average, people in the Aloha state tend to weigh less and smoke less, while also being more physically active. There are low rates of preventable hospitalizations, and fewer people in the balmy state take poor mental health days.That’s not to say Hawaii doesn’t face challenges. It does, including a high incidence of excessive drinking.

healthy_map_fixedThe other healthiest states include Vermont (2), Massachusetts (3), Minnesota (4) and New Hampshire (5).

North Carolina was the most improved state, having moved up to 31st place from 37th in 2014.

The state’s rise in the health rankings was thanks in part to an improved immunization rate among children and an increase in physical activity.

The unhealthiest state in the nation is Louisiana which, at 50th, came in last place. The state is grappling with high smoking, obesity and infant mortality rates, while many of the state’s children live in poverty.

Mississippi, which was at the bottom last year, moved up one spot to 49th. Arkansas (48), West Virginia (47) and Alabama (46) round out the bottom five.

The states in the bottom five have a number of things in common, including high poverty rates and lower levels of higher education, which suggests there’s a notable socioeconomic component to overall health.

Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Flickr user Wally Gobetz via Creative Commons License)

Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Flickr user Wally Gobetz via Creative Commons License)

“Perhaps individuals who are poor, who have not as much hope for the possibilities of a meaningful future, people who are in despair, may make often inappropriate health decisions,” Tuckson said. “It may mean that in those states there are less resources to help overcome those problems and to create a supportive environment that helps people act in their own best interests.”

The United Health Foundation puts out a report each year, with the purpose of sparking dialogue that will eventually lead to change, initiated by elected and regulatory officials, community members and organizations, the health care system and individuals.

“We certainly cannot have any notion of a mature democratic civilization if we are prepared to let our babies die unnecessarily, if we are prepared to tolerate preventable misery and suffering among our friends and neighbors,” Tuckson said.

Troubling Increase in Drug Deaths Hits US Suburbs

Posted December 10th, 2015 at 12:01 am (UTC-4)
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There are troubling increases in U.S. drug deaths, according to the America's Health Rankings annual report. (Photo by Flickr user Urban Seed Education via Creative Commons License)

There are troubling increases in U.S. drug deaths, according to the America’s Health Rankings annual report. (Photo by Flickr user Urban Seed Education via Creative Commons License)

A new report finds “troubling increases” in the rate of U.S. drug deaths.

Drug deaths are up 4 percent over last year, from 13 to 13.5 deaths per every 100,000 people, according to America’s Health Rankings’ annual report.

“They’re up across the board and that’s worrisome,” said Dr. Reed Tuckson, a senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation, which produced the report. “One of the major reasons drug deaths are up is because people who have been abusing prescription drugs are now starting to move over to illegal drugs when they can’t acquire their prescription drugs.”

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States. In 2013, more than 24 million Americans over the age of 12 used an illicit drug in the past month including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and misused prescription drugs.

America's Health Rankings Annual Report, United Health Foundation

America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, United Health Foundation

After marijuana, prescription drugs are the substance Americans abuse most. The problem is beginning to touch portions of the population that have not been previously impacted.

“Prescription drug and abuse numbers are also becoming intermingled across the population,” Tuckson said. “These are no longer a problem of poor people but, in fact, are now becoming a problem for suburban America and communities that traditionally have not experienced these kinds of problems.”

The five states experiencing the highest rate of drug deaths are West Virginia, New Mexico, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah. States with the lowest rate include North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the United States has nearly quadrupled, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, during that same period, Americans have not reported an overall increase in the amount of pain they experience.

“We do know that physicians are writing for prescription drugs sometimes in inappropriate ways and or not controlling appropriate access and length of time these drugs are used,” Tuckson said.

Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 10 yearly deaths and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and certain cancers. (Photo by Flickr user Rafael Castillo via Creative Commons License)

Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 10 yearly deaths and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and certain cancers. (Photo by Flickr user Rafael Castillo via Creative Commons License)

Obesity and diabetes are two other key heath challenges for Americans. Almost one-third of American adults — 29.6 percent — report being obese. Twenty-five years ago, less that 12 percent of the adult population was obese.

Today, one in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes, compared to 20 years ago, when 4.4 percent of adults suffered from the chronic condition.

There are bright spots in the report. Smoking is down and more Americans are being physically active.

“Those two together may mean that the population is beginning to get the message and that we’ll start to see, in the years to come, some positive movement on the obesity and diabetes numbers,” Tuckson said.

The report calls on community groups and organizations, public officials and the medical system to come together to work on improving America’s overall health. Investing in prevention in public health is one way Tuckson believes America can tackle some of these problems.

Ultimately though, it’s up to each individual.

“This is not a spectator sport,” Tuckson said. “This is about whether you live or whether you die prematurely, and the quality of that survival. Kind of more important than going to a football game.”

More Americans Move to This State Than Anywhere Else

Posted December 7th, 2015 at 12:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Lake Buena Vista in Florida, the state more Americans are moving to than anywhere else. (Photo by Flickr user Joe Penniston via Creative Commons License)

Lake Buena Vista in Florida, the state more Americans are moving to than anywhere else. (Photo by Flickr user Joe Penniston via Creative Commons License)

Florida is the state more Americans are moving to than anywhere else. The sunshine state, located at the southeastern tip of the United States, draws sizable numbers of retirees attracted by its balmy weather and low cost of living, but that’s not what’s drawing the largest group of movers — young people in their twenties and thirties.

“Young people generally move either for education or for a job, and Florida is one of the largest states in the country,” said Stefan Rayer, a population specialist at the University of Florida. “It’s very attractive. It has big metropolitan areas, it has good job opportunities, so that’s why people are moving to Florida.”

Last year, 437,516 residents left the state, but 546,501 moved in, resulting in a net inflow of 108,985 people. Florida is used to outsiders making themselves at home. On average in the United States, 60 percent of people live in the state where they were born. However, in Florida, that number drops to just 36 percent. Twenty percent of Floridians were born in another country and the remainder — 44 percent of the population — moved from another state.

A view of the Charlotte, North Carolina skyline. North Carolina is one of the most popular states for Americans to relocate to. (Photo by Flickr user James Willamor via Creative Commons License)

A view of the Charlotte, North Carolina skyline. North Carolina is one of the most popular states for Americans to relocate to. (Photo by Flickr user James Willamor via Creative Commons License)

The state that sends the most people is New York, followed by New Jersey, according to Rayer. A healthy influx of residents also comes from neighboring states like Georgia and Alabama. In general, that migration is what the experts call “positively selective”.

“You often have people with higher levels of education, higher levels of income, who are moving,” Rayer said. “I looked at some of the retirement communities in Florida, and there it was very pronounced. When you look at the educational attainment of the population by age, it tends to be highest in the oldest age groups.”

In general, the South is a big draw for Americans on the move, according to 24/7 Wall Street, which used the American Community Survey to track the top seven states people are moving to. In addition to Florida, the list includes the southern states of Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina.

“The South has become very appealing for many individuals who have been living in the Northeast,” said Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center, “because you tend to have lower cost of living, lower property taxes, doesn’t snow quite as much, if at all, so you definitely see those factors influencing individuals who move to those regions.”

The other top states where Americans are moving are in the West and include Oregon, Arizona and Colorado.

Somerville, Ohio (Photo by Flickr user Cathy via Creative Commons License)

Somerville in Ohio, one of the U.S. states losing the most residents. (Photo by Flickr user Cathy via Creative Commons License)

The heyday of manufacturing, during the mid 20th century, saw a great deal of migration out of the South, and into the Midwest and Northeast.

Today, people seeking job opportunities and a higher quality of life, are backtracking.

“What we’re seeing now is a reversal of those trends and we’re seeing particularly return migration and retiree migration to the South as well as the rise of the West,” Tippett said. “The Northeast and the Midwest, many states in those regions are losing populations due to net outmigration, and the South and the West are picking up quite a significant amount.”

The South and West’s gain is, in particular, the Midwest’s loss.

Since 2010, the Midwestern states of Illinois, Ohio and Michigan have lost the largest numbers of residents from migration, according to Tippett.

5 Things Stressing Americans Out Most Right Now

Posted December 2nd, 2015 at 1:28 pm (UTC-4)
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(Photo by Flickr user  Keirsten Marie via Creative Commons license)

Money causes the most stress for Americans, followed by self-pressure and lack of sleep. (Photo by Flickr user Keirsten Marie via Creative Commons license)

Money causes the most stress for Americans, followed by self-pressure and lack of sleep. Health and job pressures round out the top five, according to GfK, a market and consumer information company.

Thirty-five percent of Americans say money worries them the most, with finances being a bigger concern for women (42 percent) than for men (28 percent). Six-in-10 Americans say they’d rate their personal financial situation as “fair” or “poor”.

(Photo by Flickr user Tony Alter via Creative Commons license)

On average, Americans sleep 6.8 hours a night. (Photo by Flickr user Tony Alter via Creative Commons license)

Forty percent of Americans get less sleep than the experts recommend, fewer than seven hours nightly. On average, Americans sleep 6.8 hours a night. In 1942, we were getting 7.8 hours of sleep.

Experts recommend seven to nine hours sleep for adults. Lack of sleep can cause health problems and cognitive impairment.

When it comes to their health, worries about the cost of health care and having access to it, concern Americans most. Those two things have been a major concern for Americans since the early 2000s.

Workplace stress can have a serious impact on health. A recent study found people are most worried about losing their jobs, which increases the odds of having poor health by 50 percent. The same study showed that working long hours ups the chances of early death by 20 percent.

The top two stressors — finances and self pressure — can really kick into high gear this time of year. Christmas and other holiday shopping can leave Americans feeling pressed to get everything done on time, while also worrying about finding the money to pay for those gifts for friends and loved ones.

USA - Top 5 Causes of Stress

 

 

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

Posted November 30th, 2015 at 9:10 am (UTC-4)
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The red dots illustrate how manufacturing jobs are still plentiful in the Los Angeles, California, area. (Map created by Robert Manduca)

The red dots illustrate how manufacturing jobs are still plentiful in the Los Angeles, California, area. (Map created by Robert Manduca)

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture.

The interactive graphic, created by Harvard PhD student Robert Manduca, is made up of color-coded dots: red represents manufacturing and logistics, blue is professional services, green is healthcare, education and government, and yellow is retail, hospitality and other services.

“These kinds of maps are great when you’re talking about individuals,” Manduca told CityLab. “Especially when you’re talking about jobs, because jobs are more concentrated than people. It gets across how tightly packed they are in many U.S. cities.”

 

Washington, D.C. area

Washington, D.C. area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Washington, D.C. area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

When you zero in on Washington, D.C., the seat of the U.S. government, it’s no surprise that green dots dominate the landscape. Overall, there are 2,711,000 federal workers — not including non-civilian military — and 521,300 of those jobs are in the Washington area.

New York area

New York area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

New York area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

The map shows lots of green and blue in the New York area, home to Wall Street, which is known as a key financial hub.

Houston, Texas area

Houston, Texas area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Houston, Texas area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Red dots — manufacturing and logistics jobs — are plentiful in the areas of Miami, Florida, and Houston, Texas,

Miami, Florida area

Miami, Florida area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Miami, Florida area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

 

Las Vegas, Nevada area

Las Vegas, Nevada area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Las Vegas, Nevada area (Map created by Robert Manduca)

Yellow dots — representing retail and hospitality — show tourism fuels the economy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To make his map, Manduca used employer-reported data from the U.S. Census. See the full interactive map here.

 

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Posted November 25th, 2015 at 7:58 am (UTC-4)
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thanksgivingMillions of Americans are getting ready for Thanksgiving, but a new Google Maps project shows they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing.

Google Maps looked at the most popular Thanksgiving Day searches over the past few years and found that many Americans are likely to skip cooking up a large feast on the big day. Across the country, “buffet restaurants” was the most-searched term on Thanksgiving.

The first joint Thanksgiving as envisioned by artist  Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1850-1936), "The First Thanksgiving" (1914), oil on canvas, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The first joint Thanksgiving as envisioned by artist Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1850-1936), “The First Thanksgiving” (1914), oil on canvas, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Twitter looked at the most tweeted-about dishes in the days ahead of Thanksgiving and found that turkey, stuffing, potatoes and casseroles lead the list.

According to Google Map’s findings, though, people in different cities had diverse priorities. In Houston, “doughnut shops” trended on Thanksgiving, while bars were tops in Chicago. Folks in Miami were all about looking good since ”beauty salons” were among the trending searches there.

In the United States, Thanksgiving commemorates a 3-day feast held in 1621, when the pilgrims — some of the first English settlers in America — celebrated a bountiful harvest alongside Native Americans — the land’s indigenous people. That event was probably the nation’s first Thanksgiving.

It became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving.

Later, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that Thanksgiving should be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November to encourage earlier holiday shopping.

Speaking of holiday shopping, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, a time when the nation’s retailers offer deep discounts to kick off the Christmas buying season. But not everyone is thinking about getting a jump-start on buying presents.

In New York, people apparently want to mark the day by getting a tattoo, while Los Angeles residents look for the nearest hookah bar.

(Graphic courtesy of Google)

(Graphic courtesy of Google)

Thanksgiving is normally one of the busiest holiday travel periods of the year, a time when most American families make an effort to join together with loved ones. Almost 47 million people are expected travel at least 50 miles away from home for the holiday and the vast majority of them — 42 million — will get there by car.

When they arrive, they’re likely to enjoy a sumptuous feast with family and friends. They might also pause at some point during the day to take a moment and reflect on all they have to be grateful for this year.

This US State Is Prospering Most Right Now

Posted November 23rd, 2015 at 1:23 pm (UTC-4)
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In this Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 photo, a pump jack works beside the site of new home construction, in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo)

In this Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 photo, a pump jack works beside the site of new home construction, in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo)

The GDP in the United States increased 2.3 percent in 2014, but some metropolitan areas flourished more than others, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Midland, Texas, had the highest GDP growth of any metropolitan area in the United States with a 24-percent increase. The city sits atop the Permian Basin, one of North America’s largest oil reserves. However, that oil was contained in deeply embedded rock formations that remained untouched until the city began using hydraulic fracturing — known as “fracking” — to extract it.

Dallas, Texas skyline (Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund via Creative Commons license)

Dallas, Texas skyline (Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund via Creative Commons license)

“When people figured out how to [produce oil] through fracking, that was the game changer,” Midland Mayor Wes Perry said in a 2013 interview.

All in all, the longhorn state is looking particularly prosperous. The highest overall growth in a top 10 U.S. metro market was in the Dallas area, which increased by 8.5 percent. San Angelo, another Texas metropolitan area, came in second in the nation with GDP growth of 11.4 percent.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a nation’s geographic borders.

At 1.5 trillion, the New York area has the highest GDP in the country, but it only grew by 2.4 percent. Los Angeles has the second largest GDP at $866 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2013. Chicago was third with $610 billion and growth of 1.8 percent.

The industry with the highest growth overall was professional and business services.

The cost information website, howmuch.net put together the map below, which shows GDP growth by metropolitan area. The higher the cone rising out of the map, the greater the GDP growth in that area.

Growth_US_2014n-metro-area-5d8e

This Group of Americans Is More Depressed Than Ever

Posted November 20th, 2015 at 3:03 pm (UTC-4)
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(Photo by Flickr user Moyan Brenn via Creative Commons license)

(Photo by Flickr user Moyan Brenn via Creative Commons license)

Americans spend much more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, according to a recent study, which also noted a sharp increase in the use of antidepressants.

The number of people over 40 being treated for depression has almost doubled in the last decade, increasing from 7 to 13 percent.

Overall, nearly 3-in-5 U.S. adults — ages 20 and older — took prescription medication in 2012, up 50 percent from just a decade ago.

Harvard researchers found that 59 percent of U.S. adults used at least one prescription drug over the past 30 days.

Lead author Elizabeth Kantor suggests the rise in prescription drug use may also have to do with the rise in obesity; many of the most-prescribed drugs treat conditions related to obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

prescription drugs

Researchers from Princeton University recently found that working-class middle-aged white people are dying faster than other Americans, and say drug and alcohol overdoses, as well as suicide, are behind the rise in midlife mortality.

“I wonder if those two findings are linked, that they’re not getting the proper help that they deserve,” said Carly Steele Johnson, speaking on behalf of MentalHelp.Net.

MentalHelp.Net’s new report suggests a large number of Americans suffer from both addiction and mental illness and that most of these people are not getting the help they need.

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For example, a person suffering from a mental disorder and addiction usually gets help for one or the other, but not both conditions. MentalHelp.Net found that only 37 percent of people with co-occurring conditions are treated for both.

“If 67 percent of people of aren’t getting the help they need, that’s not good,” said Steele Johnson. “This can lead to more drug addiction, more mental health disorders and those mental health disorders can lead to self-harm [and] suicide.”

“Mental illness and drug abuse are linked either by correlation or causation,” the report authors wrote, “the individual could be self-medicating with drugs to alleviate symptoms of a mental disorder, or the substance use disorder could exacerbate an existing condition or elicit an entirely new mental disorder.”

Kantor, the lead author of the Harvard study, says it’s difficult to zero in on exactly what’s driving Americans’ increased use of prescription drugs.

“There’s policy changes and new recommendations coming out and drugs entering the market and exiting the market,” Kantor told NPR. “And there’s so many things happening at once that I think it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what’s driving each trend.”