Trending News

Medicare Reimbursements

Medicare Reimbursements

Tracking Health Care Spending

It is commonly known that health care spending is on rise, but does that necessarily translate to better patient outcomes? The Dartmouth Atlas Project helps provide insight into whether health care spending is utilized wisely by using data provided by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare is the federally provided health insurance program offered to special population groups that include people 65 years of age...
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Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Tracking the diversity index

What is the diversity index? It’s a set of numbers that measures the probability that two people chosen at random will be from different race or ethnicity groups. Values for the diversity index range from zero to one. The visualization seen here, published by United States Census Bureau, shows the diversity index converted into percentages. An index value of one, for example, would mean that two randomly chosen people would have a...
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The Worldview Upgrader

The Worldview Upgrader

Fighting misconceptions though data

The Worldview Upgrader is fun educational tool that wants to tell you what you are probably wrong about. It was created by Gapminder, a well-known Swedish organization with no political, religious, or economic affiliation. Their mission is to fight global misconceptions through the use of reliable data. They accomplish this by asking questions to people all over the world and compare their answers to trusted data sources like...
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Trends in Action

Home Ownership Rates

Walla Walla Metro Area is Higher than Most

A couple presidential administrations ago, the notion of an “ownership society” grabbed headlines. The “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush was fond of promoting individual responsibility and government assistance, especially in the arena of home ownership. But home ownership has never been an issue that cleaved along party lines. The Clinton administration also promoted...
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Road Maintenance

Walla Walla Residents Value their Roads

Spring is upon us and it is pothole repair time in the Valley. This is the season that brings brightly colored and large machines to our roadways, creating detours, blocking traffic, perhaps raising our blood pressure, but engaging in needed repairs both major and minor. It turns out that Walla Walla spends quite a bit of its public purse on these activities, an aspect of life that Trends indicator...
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Poverty Rate

Pandemic Assistance Helps Buoy Poverty Rate in the Short Run

As economists and policymakers continue to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the concerns is the possible disparate outcomes for lower income households. Fortunately, because of quick and dramatic policy actions in the form of fiscal stimulus and expanded unemployment insurance benefits, many individuals were spared from falling into poverty. This can be seen...
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Welcome Our New Student Intern!


Laura Velazquez

Hometown: Duluth, GA

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Post-graduation plans:

I plan on joining the workforce right away, ideally working in the private sector. I am interested in renewable energy and other topics in engineering which serve the greater good.

After some time working on the Trends project, my favorite thing so far:

It is interesting to see how much important data it is out there and how it offers a better understanding of the community it came from. This is truly important work.