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The numbers that defined 2020
How do you feel about 2020?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
- With 2020 nearly in the rearview mirror, here’s a look at some of the key data points that defined the year in terms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the economy, and U.S. politics.
COVID-19 and the Economy
- As of December 14th, over 16 million Americans are known to have contracted COVID-19 and over 296,000 have died amid the ongoing pandemic. This chart from USAFacts shows the seven-day moving average of newly reported COVID-19 cases and deaths:
- Physical distancing and quarantine protocols put in place by governments to slow the spread of COVID-19 had a major impact on the economy, with many businesses forced to make cutbacks or shut their doors altogether. That caused the unemployment rate to skyrocket from near 50-year lows (roughly 3.5%) prior to the pandemic to 14.3% in April during the peak of the lockdown measures. The USAFacts chart below shows the spike in unemployment and the gradual recovery of the labor market in the months since April:
- The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) experienced a similarly rapid decline followed by a bounceback as economic lockdown measures were eased. The inflation-adjusted, quarter-over-quarter change in GDP showed a decline of 8.99% in the second quarter of 2020, which was followed by a gain of 7.41% in the third quarter as this USAFacts chart shows:
Government and Politics
- Federal spending on measures to provide relief to Americans from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a record-setting deficit of more than $3.3 trillion, as this USAFacts chart shows:
- The 2020 elections set a record for voter turnout: over 158 million Americans voted in 2020, which is an increase of 21 million voters from 2016 as this USAFacts chart shows:
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / matejmo)
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