Derek Thompson

How the Rich and Poor Spend Money

Since 1984, education spending has nearly doubled as a share of a richer family's budget. And rent has nearly doubled as a share of a poorer family's spending.

8 Facts About the U.S. Sex Economy

Pimps in Atlanta take in more than $30k per week, but only 14 percent reported spending some of it on condoms, according to a massive new report from the Urban Institute.

RadioShack Is Doomed (So Is Retail)

Even after restructuring, there will still be 4,000 locations nationwide—approximately one for every person who still wants to buy their stuff.

America's Weird, Enduring Love Affair With Cars and Houses

$1 of every $2 Americans spend is on real estate and transportation. It doesn't have to be that way.

A Map of the World's Most Dangerous Countries for Drivers

A new study from the University of Michigan maps global fatalities from car accidents.

The Fastest-Growing Jobs of This Decade

Hospital rooms, shopping floors, and fast-food counters: This is where the future of U.S. employment lives. We think.

Why Do the Smartest Cities Have the Smallest Share of Cars?

What the metros with the highest percentage of non-car households tells us about driving and density.

Where Does Obesity Come From?

We think poverty makes people obese and that obesity makes people poor. It's harder to understand exactly why.

Why Americans Stopped Moving to the Richest States

The long road from "go west, young man" to "stay put, everyone."

Why So Many Rich Counties Are Concentrated Around D.C.

Parts of California and New York are much richer than Washington, but they often belong to larger counties that include areas with poorer residents.

Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions

And why their "bad" decisions might be more rational than you'd think.

The Case Against Cars in 1 Utterly Entrancing GIF

Dense travel in a dense world makes sense.

The Messy, Messy Relationship Between Income (and Race) and Obesity

The groups with the lowest obesity rates? The richest white women and the poorest black men.

The Workforce Is Even More Divided by Race Than You Think

The labor market is stratified, if not calcified, by race, with whites seeing much higher wages and lower unemployment than blacks and Hispanics.

Why McDonald's Killed the Dollar Menu—in 1 Chart

A dollar ain't what it used to be.

How America's Marriage Crisis Makes Income Inequality So Much Worse

The rich and educated are more likely to marry, to marry each other, and to produce rich and educated children.

Where Americans—Rich and Poor—Spent Every Dollar in 2012

Food, clothes, and housing account for more than 60 percent of all spending among the poor.

Can Your Language Influence Your Spending, Eating, and Smoking Habits?

An absurd-sounding claim leads to a surprising finding.

Overdrive: How America's Amazing Car Recovery Explains the Economy

What does it mean that one of the country's most iconic and fast-growing industries doesn't need American workers to work?