Andrew Van Dam

Washington, D.C.

Columnist at the Department of Data

Education: University of Oklahoma; University of Missouri

Andrew Van Dam writes the Department of Data column each week for The Washington Post. He has covered economics and wrangled data and graphics for The Post and the Wall Street Journal. He got his start at the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Latest from Andrew Van Dam

Why are red states hiring so much faster than blue states?

The clear political divide is extremely rare: Politicians just don't have as much control over the economy as they say they do. So what's going on here?

May 26, 2023

A census mistake reveals surprising details about U.S. Hispanics and Latinos

Why does the Census Bureau consider ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino) separate from race (Black, Native American, White) and ancestry (German, Egyptian, Japanese)?

May 19, 2023

The real reason America’s nonprofit sector is seeing massive growth, and more!

It's reader mailbag week at the Department of Data, and we're knee-deep in questions about hearing aids, nonprofit jobs and those pesky stickers on fresh produce.

May 12, 2023

People from elite backgrounds increasingly dominate academia, data shows

A new analysis shows that two thirds of new U.S.-born PhDs in economics have parents with graduate degrees, up from around 20 percent a few decades ago.

May 10, 2023

Why are these groups so much more likely to wear glasses than any others?

A reader asks: Do my eyes deceive me, or is everybody suddenly wearing glasses?

May 5, 2023

The real reason Mexico suddenly dominates global beer exports

Mexican imports are taking the U.S. beer market by storm, snatching market share from Bud Light and other domestic stalwarts. What happened?

April 28, 2023

The age at which people give up on homeownership, and more!

This week: Does the age at which we decide to abandon homeownership have anything to do with shoveling snow? Also: who's coming to America post-pandemic?

April 14, 2023

The real reason trucks have taken over U.S. roadways

Light trucks now dominate U.S. roadways, outnumbering cars among registered vehicles in all 50 states. How did this happen, and is it Gerald Ford's fault?

April 7, 2023

America’s friendliest big cities are not the ones you’d expect

Skeptical of a report ranking the City of Brotherly Love and Beantown as the most helpful cities in the nation, we sought a broader measure of civic engagement.

March 31, 2023

The political leanings of people who go on cruises, and more!

This week, we ask the immortal question: Are Republicans more likely to go on cruises? We also look at top destinations for health-care travel, and which college majors are most likely to marry their own kind.

March 24, 2023