Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Births and Deaths by Month, 1995-2002

This ABC News story from 2005 I came across while looking for something else.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Website lets public track illness

New Yorkers can now find out the hospital admission rates for preventable illnesses by ZIP Code through a new Web site initiated by the state Department of Health.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Domestic Homicide in New York State: 2007

Bellwether study provides comprehensive view of domestic violence fatalities in NYS

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Missouri Census Data Center Updates

The Missouri Census Data Center has processed a number of new data files and updated some web applications to work with the new 3-year ACS data. The new data include a complete national collection of the ACS 3-year period estimates, both the MCDC's custom profile extracts (similar to the Bureau's profile reports available via AFF) and the complete set of base tables with MOEs. They have also converted the latest income and poverty estimates from the Bureau and the just-released state level population estimates.
For details please visit the MCDC home page - - and follow the various links from there. Uexplore/Dexter users may find it helpful to visit the MCDC Data Archive home page - - and look at the Recent Updates to the Archive section.
Be sure to note that the link to "ACS Profiles" in our Quick Links navigation box now takes you to the revised version of the application, modified to facilitate access to our 4-across profile reports with graphics for both the 3-year period estimates and the single-year data.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

County Compensation by Industry, 2007

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Total compensation of U.S. workers grew 5.2% in 2007 and most counties shared in that growth, according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Compensation grew in over 90% of the 3,111 counties in the U.S., as the average annual compensation per job in the U.S. grew by 4.1% to $53,892. Inflation, as measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, grew 2.6% in 2007.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

PRB DataFinder

The Population Reference Bureau exists to collect and publish statistics about population, health, and the environment worldwide. For an introduction to a specific place - anywhere in the world - there's no better place to start.

The PRB DataFinder tool aggregates statistics on U.S. states and nations around the world. The interface is simple, belying the broad coverage and notable depth of available information. Focus differs, on a state vs. nation basis, but in addition to population demographics, you'll find statistics as diverse as CO2 emissions per capita, number of uninsured citizens, remaining natural habitat, percentage of women in leadership, vaccination rates, and more.

* Population Characteristics
* Education
* Health
* Labor Force and Commuting
* Economic Security
* Housing
* Family Structure

* Population Trends
* Education
* Economic
* Environment
* Health
* Reproductive Health

Monday, December 22, 2008

New York State Local Employment Dynamics (LED)

The New York State LED program is a recent partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau. The data series is unique as it combines information from several different types of federal and state administrative data on employers and employees with core Census Bureau censuses and surveys, while protecting the confidentiality of people and firms that provide the data. This rich compilation of data provides an in-depth picture of local employment conditions unavailable elsewhere. This is the best data source for describing the churning that goes on in the labor market.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Health Care Costs, Biofuel Use Among Subjects in 2009 Statistical Abstract

The U.S. Census Bureau released this week the new Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009. First published in 1878, "Uncle Sam’s Almanac" is a summary of statistics on a wide range of important topics, from A (aquaculture) to Z (zinc production). Whether one seeks numbers on biofuel or banking, foreign trade or foreign aid, cars or bars, there is no better one-stop shop for statistics.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Updated State Health Stats has recently added new and updated data on Demographics and the Economy, Medicaid & SCHIP, Medicare, Providers & Service Use, Health Status and Women’s Health.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Energy Outlook 2009

The Annual Energy Outlook 2009 released this week by the Energy Information Administration presents updated projections for U.S. energy consumption and production through 2030.

Oil Use and Import Dependence: For the first time in more than 20 years, the new AEO reference case projects virtually no growth in U.S. oil consumption.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

America Will Soon Owe More Than Its Citizens Are Worth

The sum of America’s liabilities and other financial commitments now exceeds the collective net worth of its citizens, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation has calculated using the latest official data. Growth in the government’s unfunded promises for social insurance programs such as Medicare, combined with a drop in Americans’ net worth due in part by lower home equity values, is causing this unprecedented milestone.

In related news, bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts numbered over 1 million for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2008, up more than 30 percent when compared to filings in Fiscal Year 2007, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Global Health Facts

This interesting site provides data on a variety of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and more. One can access data by topic and by country. Maps are included that provide population statistics indicating who is afflicted with various diseases. The demographic information touches on median age, population density, contraceptive prevalence rate, maternal mortality ratio and life expectancy by gender. The interface can be a little clunky, but the data are quite good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Project Sunlight

"Shine a light on governmental decision-making in New York State. Project Sunlight: A Public Integrity Initiative contains general and advanced search features and datasets for doing research on elected officials, campaign finance, legislation, lobbying, state contractors and more." My favorite feature is a list of who lobbied for what bills.

The Road Less Traveled

The Road...Less Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled Trends in the U.S. from the Brookings Institute is "an analysis at the national, state, and metropolitan levels of changing driving patterns, measured by Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) primarily between 1991 and 2008, reveals that:

Driving, as measured by national VMT, began to plateau as far back as 2004 and dropped in 2007 for the first time since 1980. Per capita driving followed a similar pattern, with flat-lining growth after 2000 and falling rates since 2005. These recent declines in driving predated the steady hikes in gas prices during 2007 and 2008. Moreover, the recent drops in VMT (90 billion miles) and VMT per capita (388 miles) are the largest annualized drops since World War II."

Monday, December 15, 2008

HarpWeek: Explore History

"This website puts American history (1857-1912) in context. It uses Harper’s Weekly original news and feature articles, editorials, political cartoons, and period advertisements to provide overviews and analysis of events in the making of modern America." Lots of cartoonist Thomas Nast, plus perspective on Andrew Johnson's impeachment and the Electoral College debacle of 1876-77, which compares uunfavorably with Florida and the 2000 election.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Annenberg Political FactCheck/Project Vote Smart

Just because the campaign is overdoesn't mean you won't want to question the accuracy of political assertions. Check out "This non-profit, non-partisan website aims to clarify the claims made and the statistics stated. It acts as a 'consumer advocate' for voters, an invaluable resource in any election."

Also, will continue to provide you the facts on elected officials and candidates. "A nonprofit, non-partisan organization, funded by the American people."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Flickr Commons

The Library of Congress goes Web 2.0 with The Commons! In this pilot project, users can add tags, comments, and identifying information to two outstanding photography collections of the Library of Congress: 1930s and 1940s in color and News in the 1910s.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Globalization 101

As our world becomes smaller, globalization becomes more prominent. This website, geared for students and teachers but suitable for general users, aims to clearly, accurately and in a bias-free manner explain what globalization is and showcase the complex issues surrounding it. Sponsored by the Levin Institute, a graduate institute of the State University of New York

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New York State Physician Profile

This user-friendly web site lists New York State doctor’s medical education, translation services, and legal actions taken against them. Doctors can add optional information such as the address and phone number of all offices, the names of other doctors in a practice group, a list of the articles or research papers the doctor has published, a list of professional and community service activities or awards, a list of the health plans the doctor works with, and the doctor's community involvement.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Survey Reveals Escalating Budget Crisis for States

States, which already have closed $40 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget gaps, face at least an additional $97 billion they must close over the next 18 to 24 months, according to a national report issued this week by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NCSL said the news will pose difficult decisions for state legislators across the nation as they prepare for the 2009 legislative sessions.

State Budget Update: November 2008, a survey of the nation’s state legislative fiscal officers, reports that states face a $32 billion budget gap after already closing a $40 billion gap since the current fiscal year began. Their projections for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 for most states, reveal another $65 billion gap.

Fifteen states are forecasting double-digit gaps in FY 2010. The largest are in Arizona (24.2 percent), New York (20 percent), California (18 percent), Wisconsin (17.2 percent), Minnesota (14.7) and Kansas (14.5 percent).

NCSL's State Budget Report Update: November 2008 is a 60-page report that provides information for all 50 states and Puerto Rico. It gives an overview of state fiscal conditions, including state revenue performances, estimated budget gaps in FY 2009 and FY 2010 and actions legislatures are expected to take to close their budget gaps. This report is free only to credentialed members of the media and is available for purchase.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Consolidation = Taxpayer Savings

In Orleans County, NY, if the Village of Albion merges with the Town of Albion, which incorporates four-fifths of the Village, taxpayers can save at least 18%. If the neighboring Town of Gaines also consolidates with them, taxpayer savings are at least 22%. These savings come from cost reductions due to efficiencies and substantial new state consolidation incentive funds.

That report and others designed by Center for Governmental Research can be found here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

American Community Survey release of multiyear data

On December 9, 2008, the Census Bureau will release the first set of three-year American Community Survey data for all geographies with populations greater than 20,000. The release will provide the first look at detailed socioeconomic and housing characteristics for geographies between 20,000 and 64,999 since Census 2000. The type of data released and geographies covered can be found here.

Different from a point-in-time estimate

Before I talk about multiyear estimates, it’s important to understand the concept of a period estimate because all ACS estimates are period estimates.

The ACS produces period estimates of socioeconomic and housing characteristics. It is designed to provide estimates that describe the average characteristics of an area over a specific time period. In the case of ACS one-year estimates, the period is the calendar year. For example, the 2007 ACS data describe the population and housing characteristics of an area from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007, not for any specific day within the year.

A period estimate is different from a point-in-time estimate. A point-in-time estimate is designed to measure characteristics as of a certain date or narrow time period. For example, the purpose of the decennial census is to count the population living in the United States on a specific date, which is traditionally April 1. Although decennial census data are actually collected over several months, they are designed to provide a snapshot of the U.S. population as of April 1.

Understanding Multiyear Estimates in the American Community Survey

Period for ACS multiyear estimates is either 3 or 5 calendar years. A multiyear estimate is simply a period estimate that encompasses more than one calendar year. In the case of ACS multiyear estimates, the period is either three or five calendar years.

While a one-year estimate includes information collected from independent monthly samples over a 12-month period, a three-year estimate represents data collected from independent samples over a 36-month period, and a five-year estimate includes data collected over a 60-month period. For example, the 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates describe the population and housing characteristics of an area for the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007, not for any specific day, month, or year within that time period.

The types of ACS estimates published for a particular area or population group are based on established population thresholds. Geographic areas with at least 65,000 people will receive one-, three-, and five-year ACS estimates. Areas with 20,000 or more people will receive three- and five-year estimates. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. ZIP code tabulation areas, census tracts, and block groups, regardless of their population size, will only receive five-year estimates. Areas with less than 20,000 people, down to the block group level, will only receive five-year estimates.

ACS estimates based on data collected from 2005-2007 should not be labeled "2006" or "2007" estimates. Multiyear estimates do not represent any one year or the midpoint of a period. The correct labeling for multiyear estimate: "The child poverty rate for the 2005-2007 period was X percent."

Perhaps it is obvious, but multiyear estimates must be used when no one-year estimate is available. Unless a geographic area has a population larger than 65,000, that geography will be reliant on multiyear estimates.

Multiyear estimates should also be used when analyzing data for small population groups due to the higher margins of error associated with them. An example of a small population group could be "Families with Female Householder with own Children under 18". The choices posed for using mulityear estimates is more than simply a choice between using the one-year or the multiyear estimates, however, because for many areas there will also be the choice of which multiyear estimate to use, three- or five-year.

For small areas, only five-year estimates are released, but for larger areas, each annual release will provide one-, three-, and five-year estimates. For example, in 2010, there will be three sets of commuting data for San Diego County – one-year estimates for 2009, three-year estimates reflecting 2007-2009, and five-year estimates for the period of 2005-2009. Users need to decide which is the most appropriate for their needs.

In making this choice, one need to consider the tradeoff between currency and reliability. The one-year estimates for an area reflect the most current data but they tend to have higher margins of error than the three- and five-year estimates because they are based on a smaller sample.

The three-year and five-year estimates for an area have larger samples and smaller margins of error than the one-year estimates, but they are less current because the larger samples include data that were collected in earlier years. The main advantage of using multiyear estimates is the increased statistical reliability for smaller geographic areas and small population groups.

There are no hard-and-fast rules on choosing between one-, three-, and five-year data, but the margins of error provided with ACS data can help data users decide on the tradeoff between currency and reliability.

Only compare the same type of estimate:
1-year estimates to other 1-year estimates
3-year estimates to other 3-year estimates
5-year estimates to other 5-year estimates

When comparing estimates from two multiyear periods, it is easier to make comparisons between non-overlapping periods. This is because the difference between two estimates of overlapping periods is driven by the non-overlapping years. To illustrate what I mean, consider the 2005-2007 period and the 2007-2009 period estimates. Both contain the year 2007. Thus, the difference between the 2005-2007 and 2007-2009 estimates is determined by the difference between the 2005 and 2006 estimates versus the 2008 and 2009 estimates.

In this example, the simplest comparison is between the 2005-2007 estimate and the 2008-2010 estimate, which do not include any overlapping years.

There are global differences that exist between the ACS and Census 2000. These include differences in residence rules, universes, and reference periods. For example, the ACS uses a "two-month" residence rule - defined as anyone living for more than two months in the sample unit when the unit is interviewed. On the other hand, Census 2000 used a "usual residence" rule - defined as the place where a person lives or stays most of the time.

The reference periods between the ACS and Census 2000 also differ. For example, the ACS asks respondents to report their income for the 12 months preceding the interview date while Census 2000 asked for a respondent’s income in calendar year 1999.

Also, as discussed earlier, the ACS produces period estimates whereas Census 2000 data are interpreted to be a snapshot of April 1, 2000.

The Census Bureau subject matter specialists have considered all of these differences and have determined that for most population and housing subjects, comparisons can be made. Further information about comparing measures from the ACS and Census 2000 can be found here.

There are other subtlies of ACS data which I'll not touch on, such as controlling to county population estimates.

The ACS Web Site is offering handbooks providing "user-friendly information about the ACS and the new multiyear estimates... Each handbook targets a specific user group including first time ACS data users."

The ACS Compass Presentations, from which this post was partially purloined, can be found here.

Data Analysis and User Education Branch: 301.763.3655

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New York QWI Data on LED Website

The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) for the state of New York have been posted on the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) website. They are available through the QWI Online and Industry Focus. New York becomes the 46th state to post its QWI data on the LED website.

To get there:
1. Go to Census website
2. Click on Local Employment Dynamics, which takes you to
3. Click on QWI Online, which takes you to
4. Click on New York

Or you can go to the New York State Department of Labor site
From the home page -, click on Labor Statistics, then Employment, on the left-hand side. LED s the last on the list under Employment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Census Spending Cuts Raise Concerns on Count

Washington Post, Wednesday, November 26, 2008; A11

The Census Bureau plans to cut spending on advertising and community outreach for the 2010 census by at least a fourth compared with the 2000 census, provoking concern among congressional overseers that historically difficult-to-count groups such as minorities and illegal immigrants will not be accurately tallied.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

North American Transportation in Figures

This report provides a comprehensive overview of transportation statistics in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Each language edition — English, Spanish and French — contains more than 30 data tables. Statistics include modes of transportation, fuel consumption, number of passengers, fatalities and more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers

Soon enough, it will be tax season. The NYS Tax Department offers Publication 135 (11/08). Check out the PDFs the document here and the memo here.