Friday, March 27, 2015

Measuring America: A Child’s Day

At A Glance infographic uses statistics from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine aspects of a child’s well-being, including participation in extracurricular activities, academic experiences, meals with a parent and being read to. Internet address: <>.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Metro Areas and Counties that Propelled Growth in Florida and the Nation

County Population Estimates
The Villages, Fla., Nation’s Fastest-Growing Metro Area for Second Year in a Row
Florida was home to the nation’s fastest growing metro area from 2013 to 2014, according to new U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area and county population estimates released today.
The Villages, located to the west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000. State population estimates released in December revealed that Florida had become the nation’s third most populous state. Today’s estimates show Florida’s growth to reach this milestone was propelled by numerous metro areas and counties within the state.
Florida contained seven of the nation’s top 50 numerically gaining metro areas between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, and these areas accounted for more than three-quarters of the state’s population gain over the period:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nearly 1 in 10 in the U.S. Want to Move


  Nearly 10 percent of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety or public services to the point that they want to move, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. However, only 18.3 percent of the 11.2 million householders who wanted to move actually did so between 2010 and 2011.
  “Fifty-six percent of people who didn’t move in 2010 but wanted to, no longer wanted to move when interviewed again the following year. However, this does not necessarily mean that these residents were satisfied with where they lived,” said Peter Mateyka, an analyst with the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch and the report author. “Some additional factors that influence if people move include time, money, health and suitable alternative homes, which may explain why many people change their minds about moving.”
  The report, Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011, looks at the characteristics of householders who desired to move and their subsequent mobility pattern from 2010 to 2011 using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. This survey follows an initial sample, also referred to as a panel, of about 50,000 households for several years. Below highlights characteristics from 2010.
Who wants to move?
·         Young householders: About 14.6 percent of householders age 16 to 34 reported a desire to move, com­pared with 10.4 percent of house­holders age 35 to 54, and 6.3 percent of householders age 55 and older.
·         Renters: 16.5 percent of all householders who rented desired to move, more than twice the rate for homeowners.
·         Householders living in impoverished areas: Of homeowners who desired to move, the average census tract (neighborhood) poverty rate was 13.7 percent. For all homeowners, the average neighborhood poverty rate was 10.3 percent.
·         Householders with children: 14.3 percent of households with children desired to move compared with 8.7 percent of households without children.
·         Householders with a disability: 12.5 percent of householders with a disability reported a desire to move versus 8.2 percent of those without a disability.
Why do householders want to move?
·         6.1 percent reported dissatisfaction with housing conditions.
·         4.7 percent reported dissatisfaction with their neighborhood.
·         4.1 percent reported dissatisfaction with local safety.
·         1.8 percent reported dissatisfaction with public services.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Increased Smartphone Use Equals Lower GPA Among College Students

If college students want to excel in the classroom, they'll need to lay off using their smartphones, according to a new study.

A Kent State University survey of approximately 500 students revealed that coeds using their phones more than 10 hours per day had a significantly lower grade-point average – 2.84 – in comparison to the GPA of those students who only used their phones up to two hours daily – 3.15.

Professors Jacob Barkley, Andrew Lepp and Aryn Karpinski published their findings last month. The survey, The Relationship Between Cell Phone Use and Academic Performance in a Sample of U.S. College Students, follows in the footsteps of previous research done and findings made by the group.

The difference this time, however, is that the researchers controlled for several factors. Those items included gender, high school GPA, class standing and self-confidence for self-regulated learning and academic achievement.

In an email to Government Technology, Barkley explained that after controlling for these known predictors, the group still found the relationship between cellphone use and GPA was “statistically significant and negative.”

More from CenterDigitaled

Monday, March 23, 2015

State Revenues from Gambling Show Weakness Despite Gambling Expansion

States derive the bulk of gambling-related revenues from three major sources—lotteries, casinos, and racinos. While casinos experienced dramatic growth during the 1990s, that trend shifted downward over the past decade. In recent years, much of the growth has shifted to racinos—hybrids of casinos and racetracks —as more states have approved such facilities. Pari-mutuel betting, once the major source of gambling revenue for states, now represents less than 1.0 percent of such revenue.

When tax revenue weakens during economic downturns, states often consider expanded gambling operations among other options for balancing budgets. That has been no exception during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Since the recession began in December 2007, over a dozen states have enacted various measures to expand gambling.

States’ revenues from gambling showed soft growth at 0.6 percent in fiscal 2014, despite expansion of various gambling activities in recent years. In fiscal 2014, revenue collections from lotteries and racinos grew by 0.6 and 1.5 percent, respectively, while revenue collections from casinos declined by 1.4 percent. The expansion of gambling across the nation created stiff competition for certain regions of the nation and heightened rivalry for the same pool of consumers.

More from the Rockefeller Institute of Government

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why the country’s youth are abandoning religious conservatism

From SALON. This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
There’s been a lot of media attention recently to the changing demographics of the United States, where, at current rates, people who identify as “white” are expected to become a minority by the year 2050. But in many ways, the shift in national demographics has been accelerated beyond even that. New data from the American Values Atlas shows that while white people continue to be the majority in all but 4 states in the country, white Christians are the minority in a whopping 19 states. And, nationwide, Americans who identify as Protestant are now in the minority for the first time ever, clocking in at a mere 47 percent of Americans and falling.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Deficit Projections Are Often Way Off the Mark

The fairly modest federal deficit projected for the next few years has made fiscal discipline a less urgent policy concern than it was only a couple of years ago. But can we believe the projections? Does the fact that the deficit is projected to remain fairly small mean that the deficit is likely to remain fairly small in reality?

History indicates there is often a wide gulf between the deficit projections offered by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and what actually ends up happening. And that can have major implications when it comes to policy.

The deficit has shrunk considerably, and is expected to remain tame, according to recent federal budget deficit data, and projections released with the 2016 budget (see chart 1). In fiscal year 2014 the federal budget deficit was 2.8 percent of GDP. And it is projected to stay around 2.5 percent of GDP through 2020. This is close to the average deficit of 2.6 percent of GDP since 1960, and much lower than the deficit was only a few years ago, when it exceeded 8 percent of GDP.

More from the American Institute for Economic Research

Friday, March 20, 2015

Consumer spending by age group in 2013

Housing was the largest spending category among all households in 2013. Consumers ages 25 to 34 had the highest share of spending on housing (35.8 percent). Consumers ages 45 to 54 had the lowest share (31.4 percent).

In 2013, consumers under age 25 had the highest share of overall spending on food away from home, at 6.9 percent. This age group also had the highest shares of total spending on education (6.8 percent), apparel and services (5.0 percent), and alcoholic beverages (1.2 percent).

Consumers age 65 and older spent a higher share on healthcare, 12.2 percent of total spending, than other age groups. Consumers ages 55 to 64 had the next-highest healthcare share (7.8 percent), followed by those ages 45 to 54 (6.3 percent).

More from the BLS.