×

Fill out the brief form below for access to the free report.

  • George W. Bush Institute

    Our Ideas

  • Through our three Impact Centers — Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda — we focus on developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

I'm interested in dates between:
--

Issues

I have minutes to read today:

Programs & Issues

Issues

Publication Type
Date
I'm interested in dates between:
--
Reading Time

I have minutes to read today:

How Growth Benefits Us All — the 1990s vs. the 2000s

March 23, 2012 by Ike Brannon

The quest for 4% growth is more achievable than many realize, and in fact we saw such a period of prosperity during much of the 1990s. Beginning in 1997, economic growth topped 4% for four straight years, reaching a peak of 4.8% in 1999. The following examples compare the period of high growth in the 1990s (defined as 1995-2000) to the 2000s[1], showing in a concrete way what sustained prosperity does for our economy and society. Comparing the period 1995 to 2000 with the period 2000 to 2010, we find that: • From 1995 to 2000, the labor force participation rate increased by an average of 0.1 percentage points a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, the rate dropped by an average of 0.24 percentage points a year.[2] • From 1995 to 2000, the suicide rate dropped by an average of 2.4% a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, the suicide rate increased by an average of 1.4% a year.[3] • From 1995 to 2000, there were on average 217,000 fewer bankruptcies per year than during the period from 2000 to 2010. • From 1995 to 2000, patents issued for individual inventions increased by an average of 1,000 a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, patents issued dropped by an average of 580 a year. • From 1995 to 2000, movie theater attendance increased by an average of 36 million visitors a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, attendance dropped by an average of 5 million visitors a year. • From 1995 to 2000, there were on average 30 more operating ski resorts per year than during the period from 2000 to 2010. • From 1995 to 2000, persons naturalized as U.S. citizens increased by an average of 80,000 a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, naturalization dropped by an average of 27,000 persons a year. There were 2,330,000 fewer unauthorized immigrants in 2000 than in 2010. • From 1995 to 2000, the value of U.S. construction, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, increased by an average of $53 billion a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, construction value dropped by an average of $1.7 billion a year. • From 1995 to 2000, employment in transportation and warehousing increased by average of 114,000 employees a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, employment dropped by an average of 23,000 employees a year. • From 1995 to 2000, the employed population increased by an average of 0.3 percentage points a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, the ratio dropped by an average of 0.6 percentage points a year. • From 1995 to 2000, the unemployment rate dropped by an average of 0.3 percentage points, or 343,000 people, a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, the unemployment rate increased by an average of 0.6 percentage points, or 913,000 people, a year. • From 1995 to 2000, domestic lumber production increased by an average of 77 million cubic feet a year. During the years 2000 to 2010, production dropped by an average of 240 million cubic feet a year. • From 1995 to 2000, the price of gold dropped by an average of $21 per ounce each year. During the years 2000 to 2010, the price increased by an average of $92 per ounce each year. • The average inflation rate from 1995 to 2000 was 0.63 percentage points lower than in 2011.[4] Comparing the period 1995 to 2000 with the period 2000 to 2009, we find that: • From 1995 to 2000, there were on average 280 more hospitals and 80 thousand more hospital beds than during the period from 2000 to 2009.[5] • From 1995 to 2000, symphony orchestra concerts nationwide increased by an average of 765 events a year. During the years 2000 to 2009, concerts dropped by an average of 38 events a year. • From 1995 to 2000, national park attendance increased by an average of 3.26 million visitors a year. During the years 2000 to 2009, park attendance dropped by an average of 33,000 visitors a year. Comparing the period 1995 to 2000 with the period 2000 to 2008, we find that: • From 1995 to 2000, the average birth rate was 2% higher than during the period from 2000 to 2008. • From 1995 to 2000, the average annual number of people who enter into marriage was 26% higher than during the period from 2000 to 2008. • From 1995 to 2000, homicide rates dropped by an average of 10% a year. During the years 2000 to 2008, homicide rates barely dropped at all, averaging just a 0.2% decrease a year. • From 1995 to 2000, the number of people collecting unemployment insurance dropped by an average of 92,000 a year. During the years 2000 to 2008, collections of unemployment insurance increased by an average of 150,000 persons a year.


 

[1] Readers will note that the time periods analyzed for the 2000s vary due to data availability issues.
[2] U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States.
[3] U.S. Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control.
[4] InflationData.com calculations based on BLS data.
[5] This and all following data from U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States.

Author

Ike Brannon
Ike Brannon

Ike Brannon served as an Economic Growth Fellow of the George W. Bush Institute from 2012 to 2015. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University and a B.A. in math, Spanish, and economics from Augustana College. View his full bio

Full Bio