Saturday, July 31, 2010

STAT-USA is going away

After more than 25 years of operation, STAT-USA is closing its doors.

USA Trade Online will continue, provided by the Foreign Trade Division of the Census Bureau—a key source of STAT-USA data. All USA Trade Online subscription accounts will be handled directly by that agency, with no interruption to the customer.

STAT-USA/Internet (which includes all State of the Nation and GLOBUS & NTDB databases) and our syndication services will cease September 30, 2010.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Asian, Black Population in the U.S.

The Asian Population in the United States: 2007 and 2008

The Black Population in the United States: 2007 and 2008

A series of detailed tables with data on a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the specified population. Topics covered include marital status, educational attainment, nativity and citizenship status, labor force and employment status, occupation, earnings, poverty and housing tenure.

America's Laziest States 2010 ranked the country's laziest states based on five years (2004-08) of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey, which averages the time spent each day on various activities across the population ages 15 and older, including people who did not do the activity at all. We evaluated the amount of leisure time spent on physically inactive pursuits, such as sleeping, watching television, relaxing, thinking, socializing, playing board games, and surfing the Internet (the U.S. average is 12 hours, 58 minutes). We considered these metrics against factors such as time spent exercising and playing sports in each state (the national average is 17 minutes), time spent working, and the state's median age. The final ranking only includes states where residents spend more free time doing sedentary activities than the U.S. average.

New York made the list.

Is work overrated?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just 3 Days Left to Ensure You Are Included in 2010 Census

The U.S. Census Bureau reminds the nation that on Friday, July 30, it will shut down its toll-free telephone assistance line. More than 130,000 interviews have been completed via the toll free line. Friday is the last day for callers who feel they may have been overlooked in the census to complete their 2010 questionnaire quickly over the phone.

ACS and Federal funding

Brookings' analysis of the federal funding programs that use data from the American Community Survey in their allocation formulas or eligibility requirements.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2007 SAHIE Release

The 2007 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) is scheduled to be released today (Tuesday, July 27). The 2007 estimates show the demographic characteristics of people with and without health insurance coverage for every state and county in the nation.

The Census Tip Sheet link

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Fear the Blog

Easy steps to get you blogging like a pro

In recent years, blogs have become a popular online lead generation and brand-building tool for thousands of companies. But many growing business owners have three big fears about blogging: they won't have time to blog regularly; their blog won't get enough exposure; and their blog won't be interesting enough. Well, take a deep breath because it isn't all that scary! Here are some steps to get you confidently striding down the path to big-time blogging.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Heath brothers

The authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die and Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard have made some related resources available on their website

Free with registration, the tools available here are probably most useful if you have read the corresponding book(s), but are helpful even without that additional context.

There is a framework and first chapter available for each title, plus a podcast series, a guide for creating successful (“sticky”) presentations, and more.

(Tip o the hat to

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ADA Turns 20

The US Department is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act this week. I find this to be exciting; at the same time, it seems as though some people seem to find ADA difficult and punitive. While I'm sure that one can find bad outcomes of good intentions in any bureaucracy, the core message of the Act is to make goods and services more accessible to a population that is nearly one in five Americans, and growing.

As the Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities section indicates that "The ADA asks public accommodations to take steps that are 'readily achievable' or are 'reasonable' or that do not constitute an 'undue burden' to enable people with disabilities to be their customers and clients."

I was at a business conference a few years ago, and a representative laid out some examples about how a business could become more customer friendly. A dry cleaner had a three-step walk up to the entrance. Not only would a ramp been expensive, it would not have been practical, because the angle would have been too steep. The solution: setting up a buzzer at the bottom of the stairs for an employee to come out to the customer and pick up or deliver the dry cleaning.

I was struck by the conversation I had with someone at my former church. There was a debate before I had gotten there as to whether they should build a ramp. Some folks indicated that there were no current parishioners who needed a ramp. The response: "Yes, and if we don't build the ramp, we never will." Subsequently, folks with walkers and wheelchairs and others for whom the few steps were a burden have made good use of that ramp.

Accessibility is not just a matter of "fairness" or "justice"; it's good business sense.
Info about the Disability website and blog; the latter features some great stories.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Countdown to the 20th Anniversary of the ADA

While is useful in connecting "the Disability Community to Information and Opportunities", it has been its Disability Blog, about the "latest disability news, information and trends", that has been most intriguing.

In anticipation of the countdown to the anniversary of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act this week, several guest bloggers have written personal essays about how the ADA has literally changed their lives for the better.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Give My Regards to Broadway

I went to see CATS this past weekend. It was the second-longest musical in Broadway history, surpasered only by another Andrew Lloyd Webber piece, Phantom of the Opera. Whoever maintainds the Wikipedia site for the longest-running Broadway shows is doing a stellar job, updating every week. And where are they getting their numbers? Why the Internet Broadway Database.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Geography of Bliss

Do democracies promote happiness or are happy places are more likely to be democratic? Molly Mayfield Barbee explores this and more in her review of Eric Weiner’s 2008 account of his travels and research on subjective well-being, or “SWB,” the scientific term for the field of happiness studies. The Geography of Bliss is an expansive, humorous, and slightly dark account of the influence government policies and mechanisms can have on happiness.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What Would You Do With an Extra Hour?

Americans Are Spending More Time Watching TV and Sleeping as Unemployment Rises, Survey Finds

The average American aged 15 or older spent three hours, 11 minutes a day working in 2009, according to the American Time Use Survey released by the Labor Department... That's 17 minutes less time a day engaged in work than in 2007, before the recession hit. While 17 minutes might not seem a lot, when it's averaged over the entire population, including employed people, those who have lost a job and retirees, it represents a significant amount.

What did people do with that extra time? Mainly they slept and watched TV. Time spent in front of the television rose by 12 minutes, to two hours, 49 minutes a day in the two years through 2009. Sleep was the next big gainer, increasing by six minutes to eight hours, 40 minutes a day.

The data also show what Americans aren't doing with their extra time: There was virtually no change between 2007 and 2009 in the time devoted to volunteering, religious activities, exercise or education. In sum, time people might have used productively is instead being squandered...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Taste for Hotter, Mintier, Fruitier

The Increased Craving for Intense Flavors Suggests That the American Palate is Changing from WSJ, May 26, 2010

The buttery taste found in packaged foods isn't just butter flavor anymore. Increasingly, it is browned-butter flavor, formulated to taste deeper and more savory than plain butter, says International Flavors and Fragrances, one of the leading laboratories for developing flavors used by food companies.
Food companies describe some of their efforts as adding "umami," a Japanese word that, roughly translated, means "good flavor." What it describes, however, is the pleasant savory flavor found in protein-heavy foods and increasingly viewed as one of the five basic tastes (in addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter). It isn't exactly a flavor, food executives say, but an experience—an explosion of flavor.
As people crave intensity in flavor, some traditionalists are wondering if diners will become desensitized to natural flavors. Regular mangoes may taste bland when eaten next to mango-flavored gum or a mango energy drink, they say.
New flavors used to originate in fine dining kitchens and work their way down, but now they come just as often from the Food Network or from ethnic or international sources.

Newspaper circulation

Looking for newspaper circulation?

You can find data about the collective industry or the top newspapers by circulation or the top markets.

But for the most comprehensive list, I'd go with the Audit Bureau of Circulation; you can search by daily, weekly or total circulation, in descending order.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 -- Federal Response and Recovery Portal is the new, official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery. The site provides information on current operations, how to file a claim and obtain other assistance, and links to federal, state, and local partners. will replace Deepwater Horizon Response, the old response site about the BP oil spill.

NEW: Transportation and finance

Data for the state(s) and Economic Census Sector(s) listed below have recently been released on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder web site.
• NAICS sector 48-49, Transportation and warehousing Get Data
o New York (Released 07/09/2010)
• NAICS sector 52, Finance and insurance Get Data
o New York (Released 07/09/2010)
To access selected key data for these states/sectors in the Economy-Wide Key Statistics data file, click here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Graphical, Inside View of Government Spending.

The Center for Governmental Research has launched a new website, Govistics™, that can be used to access, in an interestingly visual way, information about spending by state and local governments. CGR is using the 2007 Census of Government data and will be adding data mash ups. There is free info, and also more extensive data available for a fee.

The Rochester Business Journal wrote an article about the service: Web tool enables access to government spending info.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Census Bureau Launches New Tool for Hurricane Planning

The U.S. Census Bureau, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, announces the launch of OnTheMap for Emergency Management: Hurricanes, a Web-based tool that provides real-time workforce information when a hurricane strikes land in the United States. OnTheMap for Emergency Management: Hurricanes is an easy-to-use tool that provides a live feed from the National Hurricane Center. When a storm’s leading winds make landfall, the application will allow users to view the characteristics of the local workforce, such as the affected industries, the ages of workers and workers’ earnings with a simple click of the link.

“OnTheMap technology has been providing useful data for emergency preparedness for some time, but this new tool doesn’t require any specialized training,” said Jeremy Wu, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Local Employment Dynamics Partnership. “It puts valuable information directly into the hands of emergency planners and local officials.”

OnTheMap for Emergency Management: Hurricanes provides users with:

• Access to the most recent workforce data for the area impacted by a hurricane.
• An easy-to-use, Web-based interface for visualizing hurricanes and jobs data, including historical results and downloadable reports.
• The most recent storm location information as provided by a direct link to the National Hurricane Center.

OnTheMap for Emergency Management: Hurricanes, is a product of OnTheMap, an online mapping and reporting application that shows the relationship between where people work and where they live, as well as the characteristics of the workforce. It allows users to create, print and download workforce related maps, profiles and underlying data down to the block level.

OnTheMap comes from the Census Bureau’s Local Employment Dynamics Partnership.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Recent Governments Division Data Releases

Quarterly Tax - 1st Quarter 2010. Tax revenue grows for the 2nd quarter in a row.

Public Education Finances - 2008. Sources of funding and expenditures.

State Tax Collection - 2009. Tax collections decline from 2008.

State and Local Government Employee Retirement - 2008. Public Employee Retirement System assets drop nearly $180 Billion in 2008.

Quarterly Retirement - 4th Quarter 2009. Public Employee Retirement Systems show first year over year increase in two years.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Newseum - Today's Front Pages

From JJ Hill

The Newseum is a bricks-and-mortar museum in Washington, DC, devoted to journalism and the media. Each day, the Newseum displays the front page of over 750 newspapers from 80 countries on its website.

This allows you to get a feel for what’s first and foremost on the minds of a community’s members right now, whether you’re travelling on business, about to make a conference call, or have other business dealings with a community outside your own – or simply curious to see what’s going on around the world!

In the Gallery, papers are sorted alphabetically by state and city. Alternatively, you can “Sort by Region,” which allows you to quickly jump to newspapers on a specific continent. But check out the Map view, which lets you more easily focus in on a certain geographic area.

You can print each front page or download in PDF. Once the page full view opens in a new window, you can also link out to that newspaper’s website.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Census aims to (finally) move into the future

From USA Today:
As hundreds of thousands of workers knock on doors this summer to collect information for the 2010 Census, momentum is mounting to drag future Censuses into the 21st century.
This year's Census may be the last to be filled out completely by hand and conducted primarily through mailings and home visits.
Almost certain for 2020: many people logging onto a secured Census website and filling out the form with a few keystrokes instead of pen, paper and a pre-addressed envelope.
Every change and every dollar spent on the Census requires approval from Congress — a reality that creates political tussling every 10 years.

The Census Bureau answers to the Commerce Department, which is headed by presidential appointees who can change after elections every four years — often in the middle of a 10-year Census cycle, when new strategies are being studied.

Census 2010 Quality Assurance PSA

This link provides a PSA for the 2010 Census Quality Assurance
operation. This operation involves a census enumerator phoning or visiting a
small sample of households to double-check on the accuracy of the data they
provided and make sure that the Census Bureau is getting a complete picture of everyone living in the household.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Go Swimming

Heat wave on the East Coast this week. Even as you listen to I Go Swimming by Peter Gabriel, you might want to consider this graphic:

Click the image to enlarge
Swimming pool trivia infographic
Source: Swimming Pool Costs at Fixr

Monday, July 5, 2010

Here's some data compiled on New York through a new website called The website organizes data from, New York City Data Mine, and elsewhere and makes it easy to sort through and filter to get what you are looking for. Here are some examples that you can check out:
**NYC Hiking Trails.
** NYC Dog Runs.
** NYC Restaurant Inspections.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The New

In honor of its 10th anniversary, announcing the new and improved and
The new look is based on best practices, usability testing, and suggestions received through the online public dialog, "Your Voice Matters."
Among the new features are:
• Look and Feel: a new, clean look that reduces the feeling of clutter and creates an open, focused interface.
• Enhanced Search: With a new search that is up to 9 times faster and more accurate, search is featured prominently on the pages and the 5 most popular search terms are now displayed daily.
• Government Apps Gallery: Some of the most innovative apps and mobile-friendly websites from across the federal government are showcased.
• Popular Content in English and Spanish: All of the most popular content like Online Services, Contact Your Government, and the A-Z index of government agencies have been kept. Now accessible through mega-dropdown menus that appear on every page, this content is easier to find through search engines or entry points other than the homepage.
This new design should make it easier for you to access the government information and services you need.
Have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend!

Friday, July 2, 2010

FDR, TR Top Siena Presidential Poll

Siena Research Institute’s 2010 Presidential Expert Poll ranked Franklin Delano Roosevelt No. 1, followed by his cousin and fellow New Yorker Theodore Roosevelt. The poll has generated a healthy debate on the online pages of the Times Union.

Lincoln, my #1 pick, ranked third.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's County Fair Season in New York!

New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker has announced that the county fair season kicks off on July 1. Fifty-four county and youth fairs are held during the summer months and through October 3. In addition, the Great New York State Fair is held in Syracuse from August 26 - September 6.

Information about county and youth fairs in New York, including locations and dates, can be found online HERE. Information about the Great New York State Fair can be found online HERE.