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Chart Apr 26, 2017

Fraction of Defaulters, by Amount of Student Loan Debt

This chart shows the distribution of the amount of debt on which students who entered repayment in 2011 defaulted on their debt. Defaulting on federal student loans has consequences for borrowers beyond affecting credit scores. There are direct financial consequences to default such as wage garnishment and offsets of tax refunds and Social Security payments. Among those who defaulted on their student loans, two thirds defaulted on less than $10,000.

Chart Apr 26, 2017

Age Distribution of Undergraduate Students, by Type of Institution

This chart shows the age distribution of undergraduate students by the type of institution in which the students were enrolled in 2015. While the plurality of students at both four-year and public two-year institutions are between the ages of 18 and 24, students at for-profit institutions tend to be older: almost half are age 30 or older. Nonetheless, more than 20 percent of undergraduate students at four-year institutions are over the age of 24.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Share of Cumulative Global GHG Emissions, 2010–2100 (Projected)

The U.S. share of GHG emissions is projected to drop over time as developing countries’ emissions grow and the United States continues to limit its new GHG emissions and experience relatively slow economic growth. By 2050 the shares of cumulative GHG emissions accounted for by China and India will be larger, at 20 and 6 percent, respectively, while the U.S. share will have dropped to 16 percent. By 2100 China and India will have produced over one-third of global cumulative GHG emissions.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Estimated Temperature Impact of Combustion

Prior CO2 emissions have already resulted in substantial global temperature increases. A common misconception about climate change is that the imminent exhaustion of fossil fuel resources will act as a natural restraint on CO2 emissions and associated temperature rise. In fact, fossil fuel resources remain extensive, particularly in the form of coal. If world economies used all of the remaining fossil fuel resources that can be profitably extracted with current technology and prices, the total temperature impact is projected to be 2.8°F (1.6°C). Policy actions—and not the natural exhaustion of fossil fuel resources—will likely be required to avoid these outcomes.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

U.S. Energy Production by Fuel and Household Spending on Energy

The United States is experiencing large increases in energy production, including both conventional fossil fuels and renewable sources.The surge in domestic production of both fuels has not only sharply reduced imports, but also created export opportunities that were widely unexpected as recently as a decade ago. Combined with stable demand, the surge in domestic energy production has resulted in lower prices across multiple fuels, most notably oil and natural gas. The result is that American consumers are spending less on energy than at any time in decades.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Public Spending on Energy-Related Research and Development, 1974–2015

Government investment in energy-related research and development has varied considerably over time, alternately receiving encouragement during periods of perceived crisis and lower support during periods of low prices and abundant supply. Notably, this pattern holds true across the industrialized nations shown in this chart, reflecting the fact that they all experienced the same changes in global energy markets.