Friday, September 28, 2012

Populations Increasing in Many Downtowns, Census Bureau Reports

A U.S. Census Bureau report released this week shows that in many of the largest cities of the most-populous metro areas, downtown is becoming a place not only to work but also to live. Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, metro areas with 5 million or more people experienced double-digit population growth rates within their downtown areas (within a two-mile radius of their largest city's city hall), more than double the rate of these areas overall.

Chicago experienced the largest numeric gain in its downtown area, with a net increase of 48,000 residents over 10 years. New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Washington also posted large population increases close to city hall. These downtown gains were not universal, however: New Orleans and Baltimore experienced the greatest population declines in their downtown areas (35,000 and slightly more than 10,000, respectively). Two smaller areas in Ohio — Dayton and Toledo — also saw downtown declines of more than 10,000.

These are just some of the findings in the new 2010 Census special report, Patterns of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change: 2000 to 2010. The report uses 2010 Census results to examine contemporary geographic patterns (as well as changes since the 2000 Census) of population density and distribution by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex for metro and micro areas collectively as well as individually. Metro areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, while micro areas contain at least one urban cluster of less than 50,000, but at least 10,000.

“By including totals for both 2000 and 2010, this report helps us to understand patterns of change for this past decade,” Census Bureau Deputy Director Nancy Potok said. “The report, together with its associated online maps, graphics and statistical tables, provides a detailed view of the nation's centers of population and economic activity.”

A common theme for the non-Hispanic white alone population from 2000 to 2010 was population increases in the central areas of many of the largest principal cities, especially those in the largest metro areas.

“The Washington metro area is a notable example of this pattern,” said Steven Wilson, a co-author of the report. “We see increases in the non-Hispanic white population, in both numeric terms and share of the total population, in many of the District's census tracts in or close to the city's downtown area.” At the same time, this group's share of the population declined by 10 or more percentage points in many tracts in the surrounding suburbs of Washington, D.C.

These demographic patterns were not uniform across all race and ethnic groups; the black alone population increased in most metro areas outside the area's largest city. In Atlanta, for example, this group's share of the population rose by at least 10 percentage points in wide swaths surrounding the city. For Hispanics, growth was greatest in pockets along principal city perimeters and adjacent territory.

In several sections of the report, census tract data were examined to provide a neighborhood-level perspective on demographic patterns within individual metro areas. Because census tracts often change boundaries from one census to the next, one of the report's innovations was to retabulate 2000 Census data in updated 2010 Census tracts, thereby allowing the calculation of 2000 to 2010 change data by tract. Another feature of the report is the construction of distance bands as measured from city hall. This permits a look at population distribution and density at various distance ranges from a metro area's largest city center.

Along with metro and micro area data for all variables in the report, two online data tools were released: a series of interactive population pyramids showing the age and sex structure of all metro and micro areas in 2000 and 2010, and a set of “distance profiles” of the population for all metro areas. Also, an interactive mapping tool that allows users to see metro and micro area and census tract-level data is now available.

Other highlights:
• More than one in 10 U.S. residents lived in either the New York or Los Angeles metro area in 2010.
• Although metro areas covered only slightly more than one-quarter of the nation's land area, they were home to eight of every 10 people.
• The Hispanic share of the population increased in every U.S. metro area.
• While the non-Hispanic white alone, black alone and Asian alone populations grew faster in metro areas than in micro areas, the reverse was true for Hispanics.
• Next to those who were non-Hispanic white alone, Hispanics were the most populous race or ethnic group in most metro and micro areas in the western half of the U.S., with single-race blacks the largest in most areas in the eastern half.
• Metro area populations were younger (a median of 36.6 years) than the population in either micro areas (39.3 years) or territory outside either of these areas (41.9 years).
• Areas with the highest median ages were either in slow-growing regions like western Pennsylvania, which had past outmigration of the young combined with “aging in place,” or were faster-growing areas in parts of Florida and Arizona that were traditional retiree migration destinations.
• Areas with the lowest median ages included metro areas and micro areas in Utah, southern Idaho and along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What 100 years of voting looks like


The story of American politics over the last few generations is one of ever increasing partisan polarization. Barack Obama was able to pick off a few Republican states in 2008, but ideology and party identity have largely synced up, draining the electoral map of much of its fluidity. When it comes to presidential politics, there are a lot of red states, a lot of blue states, and only a few true swing states...

To fully appreciate the journey that produced today’s polarized electoral map and the trends that will shape the future, Salon’s art director, Benjamin Wheelock, pored over a century’s worth of presidential, congressional and gubernatorial election results from every state, assigning each a shade of blue or red for each election year. Watch as the map travels backward from the divide we know today...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Protected Planet Report 2012

From the Foreword:

Protected areas remain one of the cornerstones for promoting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Today protected areas cover 12.7% of the world’s terrestrial area and 1.6% of the global ocean area. They store 15% of the global terrestrial carbon stock, assist in reducing deforestation, habitat and species loss, and support the livelihoods of over one billion people...

The Protected Planet Report is a new initiative that tracks global progress towards Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Achieving this ambitious target, which calls for at least 17% of the world’s terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas to be equitably managed and conserved by 2020, will require strong and effective partnerships: this report is an excellent example...

The Protected Planet Report 2012 underlines the successes of countries, communities and non- governmental organisations with respect to protected areas – since 1990, for example, protected areas have increased in number by 58% and in their extent by 48%. However, many protected areas face management, governance and financial challenges and half of the world’s most important sites for biodiversity are still unprotected.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



In November and December, more than 4 million businesses will receive forms for the 2012 Economic Census, the U.S. Government’s official five-year measure of American business and the economy. Response is required by law, and statistics that result will inform important business decisions and guide the development of effective public policy.

Businesses in your area are going to have questions, and they may look to organizations like yours for answers. To prepare you, the Census Bureau is offering a special webinar on Thursday, October 11 at 1:00 PM EST. In just one hour, you’ll learn all about the Economic Census so you can help local businesses understand the value of Census data and prepare to respond.

Complete information is available at, including industry statistics, videos and resources to help you reach out to your area. This site features story ideas and communications you can use through February 2013 when Economic Census forms are due.

Learn more on October 11 when you join Census for a highly informative session. Get the details at Mark your calendar now, and find out why response makes a difference.

Monday, September 24, 2012 to replace

The Library of Congress unveiled It's a new website that will eventually replace as the government's site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information.

The site includes bill status and summary, bill text, House and Senate member profiles, and a number of new features, including effective display on mobile devices. Learn more about the new site.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Restrictions on Religion Are Tightening

From the New York Times:

Government restrictions on religion around the world were highest in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the period before the Arab Spring uprisings, a new study has found, underscoring a factor that fueled hostilities in the region and led to the rise of political Islam after the revolts.

The study, by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, said that in 2010 government restrictions on religion were “high or very high” in most of the Arab Spring countries, where suppression of Islamist movements contributed to the uprisings and spurred subsequent incursions of Islamists into political power.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Never the poverty data twain shall meet

What is the difference between:

the first bullet on page 13 here: "In 2011, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent. There were 46.2 million people in poverty"


the first bullet on page 1 here: "In 2011, about 15.9 percent of the U.S. population had income below the poverty level, an increase from 15.3 percent in 2010. The number of people in poverty increased from 46.2 million to 48.5 mil-lion during the same time period."

The first is from the Current Population Survey and the second from the American Community Survey, as explained in How We Measure Poverty and Income.

"Many people contact us each year asking how to know which estimate to use for a particular purpose. For national estimates, we recommend the CPS because it provides a consistent historical time series at the national level and can also be used to look at limited state-level trends. However, because of the larger sample size and smaller sampling errors we recommend using the ACS for subnational geographies."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nifty intellectual property links

In addition to the US Copyright Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office, check out:

Intellectual Property Infringement and Other Unfair Acts. Section 337 investigations conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission most often involve claims regarding intellectual property rights, including allegations of patent infringement and trademark infringement by imported goods

A list of Who’s Who in the U.S. Gov’t involved in IP

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright (for students and teachers)
The Copyright Society of the USA
The Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States [Chart]
Crash Course in Copyright from the University of Texas
Copyright Navigator by Lionel S. Sobel

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Liquor licenses in New York State

When looking to discover what liquor license, if any, a business has, one would check with the State Liquor Authority. But the search mechanism isn't entirely obvious. One goes to Public, then pick the specific choice of search; I often use the Advanced Search.

But what do those codes mean? Here are Definition of License Classes, and License Type Code Classifications.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Protecting Your Finances if a Disaster Strikes: Are You Prepared?

If you had only a few moments to evacuate your home and could not return for several days or even weeks, would you have access to cash, banking services and the personal identification you need to conduct your day-to-day financial life? Download and order your free copies of Protecting Your Finances if a Disaster Strikes: Are You Prepared?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Census Bureau to Host Webinar on Your Free Tools of the Trade — AESDirect and AESPcLink

The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and is responsible for issuing regulations governing the reporting of all export shipments from the United States. In this sixth webinar in the eight-part series, you will learn what AESDirect and AESPcLink are and how to use them to transmit export shipments.

See complete series.

Please dial in by phone to listen to a simultaneous audio conference while viewing the online presentation. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Please log in early, as some setup is required.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m. (EDT)
Who: Rosanna Torres, AES Client Marketing and Services, Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau
RSVP today: Sign up for the webinar.
To register for this event:
1. Go to the link above.
2. Provide your information for the event leader and then click submit.
3. Registration closes one hour prior to the event.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Updated address to the the Fair Credit Reporting page

Some time ago, I wrote about Fair Credit reports; the link is no longer valid.

Here is the updated address to the Fair Credit Reporting page.

Another useful page on the topic that may be of interest.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Report: Birds, Bees and Bias (2012)

NYCLU Study Exposes Gaps, Inaccuracies and Bias in NYS Sex Ed

* A school district in the North Country defined the vagina as a "sperm deposit."
* A district in western New York used a handout portraying women as "hazardous material."
* A district in the Capital Region mentioned same-sex attraction as a cause to seek "counseling."

These are just a few of many startling findings in Birds, Bees and Bias: How Absent Sex Ed Standards Fail New York's Students -- a report the NYCLU recently released that examines sex-ed instruction in 82 New York public school districts. They found that school districts statewide have used sex-ed materials that are inaccurate, incomplete or biased.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Center for an Urban Future

Center for an Urban Future is a New York City-based think tank that fuses journalistic reporting techniques with traditional policy analysis to produce in-depth reports and workable policy solutions on the critical issues facing our cities.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Register to Vote - Find Registration Deadlines, Locations, and More

On November 6, 2012, citizens across the U.S. will vote for the next president, as well as other state and local offices.

Almost every state has a voter registration deadline, but it's not too late to register. This can help you find your state's voter registration deadline, information about how and where to register, and voter eligibility.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mobile Wireless Competition Report (15th Annual)

Mobile wireless competition reports contain data and information that the FCC uses to analyze competition in the mobile wireless industry. This is the 15th Annual Report, which was released on June 27, 2011.

Interesting that the the 16th annual report is a bit late.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions about Small Business

Advocacy’s most requested publication, Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business, gathers dozens of the latest statistics about America’s small business in one place. The FAQ is updated annually, and it’s a convenient place to confirm facts like the total number of small businesses, their share of employment and net new jobs, plus starts, closures, and overall contribution to the U.S. economy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

State Integrity

Open records laws with hundreds of exemptions. Budget decisions made behind closed doors. Ethics panels that haven’t met in years.

Those are among the examples of corruption risk found in the State Integrity Investigation, an unprecedented examination of America’s state capitols. The bottom line? Not a single state earned an A grade in the year-long investigation.

New York received a D.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Do You Know Your Cholesterol Levels?

Approximately 1 in 7 American adults and 1 in 10 American children have high cholesterol. Do you know your cholesterol levels?

September is National Cholesterol Education Month--a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and learn more about the importance of keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels.

Risk Factors for High Cholesterol
The Difference Between "Bad" and "Good" Cholesterol
Cholesterol Medicines -- Types, Side Effects, and Warnings
What You Can Do to Lower Your Cholesterol

Monday, September 3, 2012

Interesting infographic on worker safety

From Fast Company:

Fishing, logging, farming, and working as an aircraft pilot / flight engineer count among the most dangerous jobs in America. But in raw numbers, they are not the deadliest. That grim distinction goes to driving...

The chart was developed by the online workplace safety education company eTraining, and it goes beyond simply ticking off America’s most hazardous occupations; it conveys a whole of truckload of stats about on-the-job fatalities, such as where employees die most frequently (the same states, for the most part, with the biggest populations); which gender is most at risk (men, overwhelmingly); and the commonest way workers fall to their death (off a ladder, FTW). “Hopefully, this helps put into perspective the importance of safety at the workplace,” eTraining writes on its blog.