Saturday, May 30, 2015

Vanishing Languages: one language dies every 14 days

There are almost 7000 languages in the world, but every two weeks one goes silent. People who speak the world’s dominant languages—English, Spanish, Chinese—believe that a common language binds us and makes us one unified people. But such unification is also a loss of culture.

A language that is embedded into song, behavior and belief keeps a community intact. Language is an intimate moral compass, a belonging.

More from Maptia

Friday, May 29, 2015

Multiple jobholding over the past two decades

In 2013, 6.8 million workers in the United States held more than one job. Twenty years before, the figure was 7.5 million, although the total number of workers with a job was lower by 15.9 million. The multiple-jobholding rate—the proportion of multiple jobholders among all workers—rose from 6.2 percent in 1994 to a high of 6.8 percent during the summer of 1995. It has declined steadily since then and was at 5.0 percent by the end of 2013.

Multiple jobholding has become less common for both men and women, although the downward trend has been sharper among men. Multiple-jobholding rates among women held fairly steady between the 2001 recession and the 2007–2009 recession.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

E-Stats 2013: Measuring the Electronic Economy

This economy-wide statistical brief from the Census Bureau consolidates in one document previously released 2013 e-commerce data on shipments, sales and revenues from four sectors of the economy: manufacturing, wholesale, services and retail.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Heaviest Downpours Rise across the U.S.

Record-breaking rain across Texas and Oklahoma this week caused widespread flooding, the likes of which the region has rarely, if ever, seen. For seven locations there, May 2015 has seen the most rain of any month ever recorded, with five days to go and the rain still coming. While rainfall in the region is consistent with the emerging El NiƱo, the unprecedented amounts suggest a possible climate change signal, where a warming atmosphere becomes more saturated with water vapor and capable of previously unimagined downpours...

Across most of the country, the heaviest downpours are happening more frequently, delivering a deluge in place of what would have been routine heavy rain. Climate Central’s new analysis of 65 years of rainfall records at thousands of stations nationwide found that 40 of the lower 48 states have seen an overall increase in heavy downpours since 1950. The biggest increases are in the Northeast and Midwest, which in the past decade, have seen 31 and 16 percent more heavy downpours compared to the 1950s.

More from Scientific American

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Survey Shows New York Small Business Economic Sentiment in Unprecedented Geographic Detail

SAN FRANCISCO, CA --" will be releasing [this week] the Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Survey, a first-of-its-kind survey that captures the economic sentiment of more than 10,000 small businesses nationwide on a monthly basis, including 768 responses over two years in New York. Starting this week, and released on a monthly basis going forward, the survey and accompanying visualization allow anyone to explore American small business economic sentiment at the national and local level. Designed with Bloomberg, all data will be housed and integrated seamlessly into the economic functions of the Bloomberg Professional service.

"The full results for New York can be seen here and include how businesses in each area responded to survey questions, and hundreds of quotes from small businesses nationwide. Each state and city also has its own dedicated webpage showing detailed survey results for that area.

"This new survey provides a first-of-its-kind, monthly look at the economic sentiment of tens of thousands of small business owners across the country, including 5,404 responses collected over two years in New York. The first publicly released data for this survey show that New York's small businesses reported a 4.5 point jump (out of 100) in their feelings about the economy over the past 12 months."

You can read the methodology paper here.

For more information about the survey or the methodology, please email Thumbtack’s Chief Economist Jon Lieber at

Monday, May 25, 2015

Consumer spending on entertainment by household income in 2013

Entertainment has long been a household budget staple. In 2013, the average household spent $2,482 on entertainment, or 4.9 percent of total household spending. Income affects most household spending patterns. In other words, the higher the household income, the greater the dollar amount spent on goods and services in general.

In 2013, the group with the lowest household income—the lowest 20 percent—spent around $1,000 on entertainment. They spent the most on audio and visual equipment ($548). The highest 20-percent income group spent more than double on entertainment what the third 20-percent group spent ($5,133 versus $1,997, respectively).

More from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2013 Nonemployer Statistics Now Available

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2013 Nonemployer Statistics on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Nonemployer Statistics is an annual series that provides subnational economic data for businesses that have no paid employees and are subject to federal income tax. The data consist of the number of businesses and total receipts by industry. Most non-employers are self-employed individuals operating unincorporated businesses (known as sole proprietorships), which may or may not be the owner's principal source of income.

Statistics are presented in hypertext format (HTML), and comma separated value files (.csv) for download and manipulation. The data are accessible through the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder and the Nonemployer Statistics website

For assistance, please contact Nonemployer Statistics staff by email or phone at 301-763-2580.

Ten U.S. Cities Now Have 1 Million People or More; California and Texas Each Have Three

1 Million Milestone
May 21, 2015 — San Jose, Calif., is now among the 10 U.S. cities with a population of 1 million or more, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
California now has three cities with 1 million or more people (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose), tying Texas (Houston, San Antonio and Dallas) for the lead among states.
When the 2013 estimates were originally released last year, San Jose stood just shy of the 1 million mark. The 2014 population estimates released today show the city passing the 1 million milestone in the updated 2013 estimate. Each year, the Census Bureau revises its time series of previously released estimates going back to the 2010 Census. The updated years in the time series supersede the previously released estimates to reflect additional data used in the population estimates.
New York remained the nation’s most populous city and gained 52,700 people during the year ending July 1, 2014, which is more than any other U.S. city.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

U.S. Climate Change Policy

Directorate-General for Internal Policies (EU)

This document provides an overview of the climate change policy in the United States. Starting with the emissions trend it then makes some general remarks about policy making in the U.S. before entering into concrete climate policy, both domestically and at international level. Finally, there is a section displaying three climate topics of mutual interest for the EU and the U.S.

Monday, May 18, 2015

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics

The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance. For the first time, there was a news source available virtually everywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a conservative tilt. Finally, conservatives did not have to seek out bits of news favorable to their point of view in liberal publications or in small magazines and newsletters. Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters.

Soon, it became the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.

More from SSRN, via Talking Points Memo. Josh Marshall describes writer Bruce Bartlett as "a conservative economist and policy hand (very much out of the supply-side and monetarist movement) who I think still considers himself and by rights is a conservative but at this point in his life is very much a dissident and critic of American conservatism."

Friday, May 15, 2015

State of the News Media 2015

Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data.

At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tend to spend more time per visit than do mobile visitors. For half of these top 50 news sites – which include legacy print, cable, network, international and public broadcasting outlets as well as digital-only entities – visitors from desktops stay longer than those coming through mobile. The reverse is true for only 10 of the sites, while for 15 sites the time spent is roughly equal.

In tandem with the growth of mobile has been the further rise of the social Web, where the flow of information embodies a whole new dynamic....

The State of the News Media 2015 is the twelfth edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism. This year’s study includes 13 data-filled fact sheets, each of which provides the latest audience, economic, news investment and ownership trends for key sectors of news media, from cable TV to African-American media to news magazines. This study also includes a searchable Media & News Indicators database.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

2014 National 911 Progress Report

The National 911 Program was created to provide Federal leadership and coordination in promoting optimal 911 services. The Program is housed within the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The National 911 Program is responsible for developing, collecting, and disseminating information concerning practices, procedures, and technology used in the implementation of 911 services. The Program operates and maintains a “National 911 Profile Database” (Profile Database) for collecting and analyzing data that can be used to characterize the status of the statewide 911 systems
that comprise the National 911 system.

The Profile Database contains information that can be used to characterize the status and basic functions of state 911 agencies as well as to measure and report on their progress of implementing advanced 911 systems using innovative technology and operations. These data are useful to States and 911 stakeholders in the development of effective policies, planning, and implementation strategies at all levels of government.

The Program has worked with the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) to encourage States to voluntarily share their State data to provide an updated picture of Next Generation 911 (NG911) progress across the country. A total of 39 States and territories provided data during the 2014 data collection effort, which is an increase from 27 states in 2012. Please note that data collected during calendar year 2014 reflects the previous year’s data (i.e., data collected in 2014 is 2013 data).

More from

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer

There are two overarching privacy issues implicated by domestic drone use. The first is defining what “privacy” means in the context of aerial surveillance. Privacy is an ambiguous term that can mean different things in different contexts. This becomes readily apparent when attempting to apply traditional privacy concepts such as personal control and secrecy to drone surveillance. Other, more nuanced privacy theories such as personal autonomy and anonymity must be explored to get a fuller understanding of the privacy risks posed by drone surveillance. Moreover, with ever-increasing advances in data storage and manipulation, the subsequent aggregation, use, and retention of drone-obtained data may warrant an additional privacy impact analysis.

The second predominant issue is which entity should be responsible for regulating drones and privacy. As the final arbiter of the Constitution, the courts are naturally looked upon to provide at least the floor of privacy protection from UAS surveillance, but..., under current law, this protection may be minimal.

More from Congressional Research Service via Federation of American Scientists

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Big Drop in Share of Americans Calling Themselves Christian

The Christian share of adults in the United States has declined sharply since 2007, affecting nearly all major Christian traditions and denominations, and crossing age, race and region, according to an extensive survey by the Pew Research Center.

Seventy-one percent of American adults were Christian in 2014, the lowest estimate from any sizable survey to date, and a decline of 5 million adults and 8 percentage points since a similar Pew survey in 2007.

The Christian share of the population has been declining for decades, but the pace rivals or even exceeds that of the country’s most significant demographic trends, like the growing Hispanic population. It is not confined to the coasts, the cities, the young or the other liberal and more secular groups where one might expect it, either.

More from the New York Times.

There are now approximately 56 million religiously unaffiliated adults living in America, according to the study, which is a follow-up to a similar study conducted in 2007. The "nones," as they are known, are more numerous than either Catholics or mainline Protestants, and second only to evangelical Protestants.

Millennials have played a significant role in the extraordinary growth of unaffiliated Americans, a phenomena called “generational replacement.”

But it's not only the millennial generation driving this shift in the religious landscape. Older Americans are also exiting from organized religion. Nearly 25 percent of Generation Xers identified as unaffiliated in 2014, a four-point increase from 2007.

More from the Huffington Post.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Daily time use among married mothers

On an average day during the 2009–2013 period, married mothers working full time who had children under age 6 spent 2.1 hours caring for and helping household members. Those working part time spent an average of 2.6 hours each day on these activities, and those not employed spent 3.3 hours. Married mothers working full time whose youngest child was ages 6 to 17 spent 0.8 hours helping other household members, less than half the time spent by those with children under age 6.

More from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Older Americans Month: May 2015

A meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens resulted in President John F. Kennedy designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition.
44.7 million
The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2013. This groupaccounted for 14.5 percent of the total population. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates <>
98.2 million
Projected population of people 65 and older in 2060. People in this age group would comprise just over one in five U.S. residents at that time. Of this number, 19.7 million would be 85 or older. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Projections, Table 3 <>
2.4 million
Projected number of baby boomers in 2060. At that time, the youngest baby boomers would be 96 years old. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Projections <>
The year in which, for the first time, the population 65 and older would outnumber people younger than 18 in the U.S.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Economic Development Data from Data (dot) NY (dot) gov

In 2013, Governor Cuomo launched Open New York,, a state data transparency website that provides user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government.

Here are just a few items available through the Economic development section:

1. Active Corporations: Beginning 1800

2. Liquor Authority Quarterly List of Active Licenses Economic Development licenses3

3. Retail Food Stores which are licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

4. Current Employment Statistics: Beginning 1990, reflecting jobs by "place of work."

5. Jobs By Industry: Donut Chart, based upon an economic profile created for the 10 Empire State Development (ESD) economic development regions.

6. Farmers Markets in New York State Map. In the past decade the number of farmers markets in New York State has grown at a rapid rate. The dataset published on the Department website contains information detailing the time and location of community farmers markets as well as the name and phone number of the market manager.

7. Broadband Availability By Municipality

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NYT Looks at Best Places to Grow Up

There’s a very interesting package of articles and interactive charts this week in The Upshot section of The New York Times that underscore the role location plays in a child’s success later in life. The package includes a map called “The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares.” You can see how the county in which you live can affect a child’s expected earning power when they grow up.

More from AIER.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Security Breaches - list of companies

If you are interested in examining firms that have suffered information security breaches, the US Department of Justice has a website for this.

And the Heritage Foundation has a list for 2014.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Measuring America: Transportation Alternatives

“Transportation Alternatives by Census Region,” a new infographic in the Measuring America series, highlights household public transportation use with statistics from the 2013 American Housing Survey. It summarizes regional differences in public transportation use and expense, the type of public transportation used most frequently, and walking and biking accessibility. The American Housing Survey is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Internet address.

Transportation Alternatives by Census Region

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Friday, May 1, 2015

1 in 4 renters spend half their income on housing, a paycheck away from homelessness

For more than one in four renters in the US, housing and utility costs take up at least half of their family's income, according to a new analysis of Census data. That number is up 26 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007.

Rising rents and stagnant wages are pushing more Americans into rental agreements, according to an analysis by Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable housing advocate. More than 36 percent of Americans rent housing as compared to 31 percent before the recession began.

The analysis found:
- 11.25 million families pay at least half of income for rent
- 6.4 million families headed by women pay at least half of income for rent
- Low income families paying at least 50% on rent spend about 40% less on food than those with affordable rents

The states most impacted by rising rents and stagnant wages are Florida, New Jersey, California and New York. In these states, 30 percent of renters are using at least half their income on rental housing and utilities.

The situation is nearly as dire across the nation.

More from RT.