Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Census Bureau overhauling how it counts uninsured

The New York Times is reporting a change in how the census is going to count the uninsured, asserting that the bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said." This story has all the potential to give ammunition to the law's opponents with more "cooking the books" allegations.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

The indispensable Sarah Kliff has the whole story, a story that really clarifies this change in the survey instrument and what it could mean for estimating the numbers of uninsured.

More from The Daily Kos>

Monday, April 14, 2014


Going meatless on Monday has become a phenomenon in the U.S. and 29 other countries. We worked with Health Perch to create this Infographic about Meatless Monday, the health effects of meat, and the future of meat of consumption.

Did you know that cutting back on meat one day a week will reduce your saturated fat intake by 15%? Try going meatless on Mondays to start living a healthier life.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Census Reporter

Census Reporter is a Knight News Challenge-funded project to make it easier for journalists to write stories using information from the U.S. Census bureau. Place profiles and comparison pages provide a friendly interface for navigating data, including visualizations for a more useful first look.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How the Feds Blind Us To Our Malaise

Though we seldom think of them this way, America's statistical agencies are the very eyes and ears of our democracy. When they are functioning properly, they provide essential information to help the public and its elected representatives see what is going right in our country-and what is going wrong. Such information is crucial for forming a more perfect union.

Without timely and accurate information on our domestic problems, our government cannot hope to address these swiftly, much less effectively. Whether you are a progressive or a conservative, in favor of more government or less of it, you need good data to inform your own efforts to make our country better.

America was the first government in the modern era to recognize the importance of evidence-based public policy. Our Constitution mandated a decennial census-a truly revolutionary notion back in the late eighteenth century. And for most of our history, the U.S. statistical system has been well ahead of the curve, if not a virtual wonder of the world.

No longer. Today our government statistical services are failing at some vital missions-and they have generally been falling away from the global forefront for at least a generation. In key fields we see not only stagnation, but even retrogression. The painful truth is that our statistical services are currently incapable of providing some of the basic facts and figures we need for confronting our most pressing domestic social troubles.

More from HERE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homeownership in 2013

The nation's homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent in 2013, according to annual statistics released by the Census Bureau. The 2013 homeownership rate was down from 65.4 percent in 2012 and the all-time high of 69.0 in 2004. By age, 2013 homeownership rates (and the percentage point change since 2004) look like this...

Under age 25: 22.2% (-3.0)
Aged 25 to 29: 34.1% (-6.1)
Aged 30 to 34: 48.1% (-9.3)
Aged 35 to 39: 55.8% (-10.4)
Aged 40 to 44: 65.0% (-6.9)
Aged 45 to 54: 71.2% (-6.0)
Aged 55 to 64: 76.6% (-5.1)
Aged 65-plus: 80.8% (-0.3)

If homeownership rates by age were the same in 2013 as in 2004, then the overall rate would be a much higher 70.3 percent rather than 65.1. The United States would have nearly 6 million more homeowners--81 million rather than the 75 million of 2013. Among households headed by 30-to-39-year-olds, there would be 2 million more homeowners.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Centenarian Population: 2007-2011

Centenarians have lower education levels, are overwhelmingly women and are more likely to live in poverty than the 65-and-older population, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released this week. The report, The Centenarian Population: 2007-2011, analyzes characteristics of centenarians and how they compare with those 65 years and older.

"Centenarians are a small group who are a significant indicator of American life," said Brian Kincel, a statistical analyst in the Census Bureau’s Age and Special Populations Branch and the report’s author. "By living a century or more, they have seen great changes in the American landscape and their education levels reflect social and economic conditions in the 1920s and earlier. Today, their situations may vary based on many factors, and the statistics in this report begin to tell their story."

The report, based on results from the American Community Survey, compares social and economic differences between the 55,000 centenarians in the U.S. and the 40 million people 65 and older.

Major findings from the report include:

· Of centenarians, 57 percent received at least a high school diploma compared with 77 percent of the 65-and-older group.

· Women made up 81 percent of centenarians and 57 percent of those 65 and older.

· 17 percent of centenarians lived below the poverty line, and 9 percent of the 65-and-older population were in poverty.

· Among women, 3 percent of centenarians were married as opposed to 41 percent of women 65 and older. Among men, 23 percent of centenarians were married compared with 71 percent of men 65 and older.

· Of centenarians, 83 percent received Social Security income compared with 88 percent of the 65-and-older group.

· 24 percent of centenarians received retirement income, while 38 percent of the 65-and-older population received it.

About the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about all communities in the country. The American Community Survey gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results.

Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people. Questions about jobs and the economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said such information would allow Congress to “adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community,” and over the decades allow America “an opportunity of marking the progress of the society.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wives Are Better Educated than Husbands

Among the nation's married couples, wives are more educated than husbands 20.7 percent of the time. This figure exceeds, for the first time, the 19.9 percent in which husbands are more educated than wives, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Among newlyweds, the trend is even more pronounced, with 27 percent of wives more educated than husbands and only 15 percent of husbands more educated than wives. Despite their greater educational attainment, says Pew, only 39 percent of better-educated newlywed wives earned more than their husbands. The 58 percent majority earned less.

From the New Strategist.