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The range of bank deposits worldwide

Safe and sound banks are key to a healthy US economy and are at the heart of promoting growth and development. Banks’ basic intermediary function of matching savers with investors is predicated on receiving deposits that can be transformed into loans. There is no rule of thumb for how large those deposits need to be for banks to best operate as financial intermediaries, and there are large differences among countries in that regard.

The FRED map shows data from the World Bank about the value of bank deposits by nation divided by the value of that nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is reported as a percent. During 2020, that figure had a median value of 64% but widely ranged between 9% (Tajikistan) and 429% (Luxembourg). Why such differences?

As mentioned above, a solid banking system helps promote economic growth and development, so economists argue that good access to finance is both part and parcel of prosperity. However, the specific relationship between financial development and economic growth continues to be the subject of active research. You can learn more about this topic from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

How this map created: Search FRED for “Bank Deposits to GDP for Nigeria” and click the “View Map” option. Next, click on “Edit Map” and select “Data grouped by: User Defined Method.” Change the data interval values and customize the colors for each interval to match those shown in the map.

Suggested by Diego Mendez-Carbajo.

Women are the majority of the college-educated workforce

For over 30 years, American women have largely surpassed men in earning a bachelor’s degree. In this post, we look at how educational attainment and gender manifest themselves specifically in the labor force.

Before July 2019, college-educated men typically occupied a greater share of the US civilian labor force than college-educated women. Since then, with the exception of a few months, women have occupied the greater share. The FRED graph above shows the composition of men and women 25 years and older from different education groups in the labor force: In January 2024, for example, the share of women 25 years and older with at least a bachelor’s degree was 22.5%. The share of men 25 years and older with at least a bachelor’s degree was 21.5%.

Women have increased their representation in the college-educated labor force since 2019 and maintained that trend even after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a recession and a decline in the size of the US labor force.

On the other hand, there has been little change in the gender composition of the labor force with less education than a college degree. In July 2019, men 25 years and older with less than a bachelor’s degree comprised 33.2% of the labor force and women in the same category comprised 25.7%. In January 2024, those shares were 31.7% and 24.2%, respectively. Overall, the levels of men and women with less education than a college degree are still higher than the levels of college-educated men and women. And the gap between the share of men and women with less education than a college degree is also larger than the gap between the share of college-educated men and women.

How this graph was created: In FRED, search for and select “Civilian Labor Force – Bachelor’s Degree and Higher, 25 years and over, Women.” This is line (a). From the “Edit Graph” menu and under the “Customize data” tab, search and add “Civilian Labor Force – 25 years and over.” This is line (b). In the “Formula” section, apply a/b*100. For the share of women ages 25 and older with less than a four-year degree, search for the lines in the following order: “Civilian Labor Force – Less than a High School Diploma, 25 years and over, Women”, “Civilian Labor Force – Some College or Associate Degree, 25 years and over, Women”, “Civilian Labor Force – High School Graduates, No College, 25 years and over, Women”, and “Civilian Labor Force – 25 years and over.” Apply the formula (a+b+c)/d*100. Repeat these steps to find the share of men in the labor force.

Suggested by Hoang Le and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria.

State revenue from death and gift taxes

One of these things is not so certain anymore

Estate taxes are commonly called “death taxes” because they’re levied on the value of everything you own at the time of death. Only estates valued above a filing threshold, set in 2024 at $13.61 million, are taxed by the Internal Revenue Service. Similarly, the only gifts that are taxed are those valued above $18,000.

The FRED graph above shows data from the US Census on the revenue collected quarterly by all 50 states and the District of Columbia from estate (death) and gift taxes between 1994 and 2023. The data are divided by GDP to make it easier to observe the proportional size of this source of revenue over time.

The relative value of the revenue generated by these taxes has declined by about two-thirds since the Economic Growth and Taxpayer Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 reduced federal tax rates and increased exemptions. Afterward, many states repealed their own estate taxes.

Had Benjamin Franklin seen our FRED graph, he might have penned a different thought about the certainty of death and taxes—or at least about the certainty of “death” taxes.

How this graph was created: Search FRED for “State Tax Collections: T50 Death and Gift Taxes for the United States.” Next, click on the “Edit Graph” button and select the “Line 1” tab to customize the data. Start by searching for “Gross Domestic Product, Millions of Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted.” Click on “Add” and then type the formula (a/b). Make sure to click on “Apply.”

Suggested by Diego Mendez-Carbajo.

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