Tuesday, December 12, 2017

With 2020 Census Looming, Worries About Fairness and Accuracy

From the New York Times:
Census experts and public officials are expressing growing concerns that the bedrock mission of the 2020 census — an accurate and trustworthy head count of everyone in the United States — is imperiled, with worrisome implications.

Preparations for the count already are complicated by a sea change in the census itself: For the first time, it will be conducted largely online instead of by mail.

But as the Census Bureau ramps up its spending and workforce for the 2020 count, it is saddled with problems. Its two top administrative posts are filled by placeholders. Years of underfunding by Congress and cost overruns on the digital transition have forced the agency to pare back its preparations, including abandoning two of the three trial runs of the overhauled census process.

Civil liberties advocates also fear that the Trump administration is injecting political considerations into the bureau, a rigidly nonpartisan agency whose population count will be the basis for redrawing congressional and state legislative districts in the early 2020s. And there is broad agreement that the administration’s aggressive enforcement of immigration policies will make it even harder to reach minorities, undocumented immigrants and others whose numbers have long been undercounted.

Taken together, some experts say, those issues substantially raise the risk that the 2020 count could be flawed, disputed, or both.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Debt in America: An Interactive Map

From Urban.org:

Credit can be a lifeline during emergencies and a bridge to education and homeownership. But debt—which can stem from credit or unpaid bills—often burdens families and communities and exacerbates wealth inequality. This map shows the geography of debt in America at the national, state, and county levels. How does your community compare?

This dashboard contains 2016 data derived from a random sample of deidentified, consumer-level records from a major credit bureau, as well as estimates from summary tables of the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2015 or 2011–15).

We define the nonwhite population as those who are African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, another race, or multiracial.

Debt in collections includes past-due credit lines that have been closed and charged-off on their books as well as unpaid bills reported to the credit bureaus that the creditor is attempting to collect. For example, credit card accounts enter collections status once they are 180 days past due.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Commuting, Median Rents and Language Other Than English

New American Community Survey Statistics Provide Local Data for Every Community Nationwide

DEC. 7, 2017 — The nation experienced an increase in commuting times and median gross rent along with a rise in English proficiency among those who spoke another language. These are only a few of the statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeowner rates and costs, health insurance and educational attainment.
“The American Community Survey allows us to track incremental changes across our nation on how people live and work, year-to-year,” said David Waddington, chief of the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division. “It’s our country’s only source of small area estimates for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. These estimates help people, businesses and governments throughout the country better understand the needs of their populations, the markets in which they operate and the challenges and opportunities they face.”
The survey produces statistics for all of the nation’s 3,142 counties. In addition, it is the only full dataset available for three-fourths of all counties with populations too small to produce a complete set of single-year statistics (2,322 counties). Each year, Census Bureau data helps determine how more than $675 billion of federal funding are spent on infrastructure and services, from highways to schools to hospitals.
Data Highlights
The following highlights are from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates release, unless otherwise noted.
Commuting Characteristics
Between 2012 and 2016, the average commute time for the nation was 26.1 minutes, an increase of 0.7 minutes from 25.4 minutes in the 2007-2011 American Community Survey five-year estimates data.
·       The longest average one-way travel times are generally associated with larger metro areas or smaller metro areas within commuting distance of a larger metro area. Among the longest were:
o   East Stroudsburg, Pa., metropolitan area (38.6 minutes).
o   New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., metropolitan area (35.9 minutes).
o   Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C-Va.-Md.-W.V., metropolitan area (34.4 minutes).
·       The shortest average one-way travel times are usually associated with smaller metro areas. Among the shortest were:
o   Walla Walla, Wash., metropolitan area (15.4 minutes).
o   Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn., metropolitan area (15.5 minutes).
o   Great Falls, Mont., metropolitan area (15.6 minutes).
The travel times for Walla Walla, Grand Forks and Great Falls metro areas are not statistically different from each other.
·       About 7.5 million workers (5.1 percent) commute by bus, subway, commuter rail, light rail or some other form of public transportation on a typical workday. Public transportation usage is highly concentrated within the nation’s large metro areas.
·       Among metro areas with high rates of public transportation commuting:
o    The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., metropolitan area stands out with 31.0 percent of workers (2,918,906 people) commuting by transit.
o    The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., metropolitan area and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V., metropolitan area are at 16.5 percent (369,759 people) and 14.0 percent (443,870 people), respectively.
·       County-level commuting data are available here.
Language Spoken at Home and English-Speaking Ability
Between 2012 and 2016, 21.1 percent (63,172,059) of the population age 5 and older spoke a language other than English at home, an increase from 20.3 percent in the 2007-2011 American Community Survey five-year estimates data.
·       Of those who spoke a language other than English at home, 59.7 percent (37,731,103) also spoke English “very well.” This proportion increased from 57.1 percent in 2007-2011.
·       New data for five languages are available on American Fact Finder Table B16001: Haitian, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu and Tamil.
o   There were 806,254 people ages 5 and older who spoke Haitian at home. Almost half (48.8 percent) lived in Florida.
o   Of the 280,867 people ages 5 and older who spoke Punjabi at home, 48.0 percent lived in California.
o   Of the 259,204 people ages 5 and older who spoke Bengali at home, 38.6 percent lived in New York.
o   The 321,695 people ages 5 and older who spoke Telugu at home and the 238,699 people speaking Tamil at home were more evenly distributed across many parts of the nation. For both languages, the highest concentration of speakers lived in California, followed by Texas and New Jersey (the number of persons who spoke Tamil in Texas and New Jersey are not statistically different).
Median Gross Rent
The United States experienced a $21 increase in median gross rent — from $928 in 2007-2011 (adjusted for inflation), to $949 in 2012-2016.
·       The 50 most populous metropolitan areas had increases in median gross rent that outnumbered decreases four to one. There were 32 increases, eight decreases and nine that had no change from 2007-2011 data. (Comparisons for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., metropolitan area cannot be made due to boundary changes.)
·       Of the 551 micropolitan areas, 146 changed, increases outnumbering decreases two to one with 107 increases and 39 decreases.
County-level gross rent data are available here.
·       Of the 3,142 counties in the United States, 563 counties (17.9 percent) experienced a decline in median household income, while median household income increased in 234 counties (7.4 percent).
·       Among the more than 29,000 places in the United States, 3,254 places (11.1 percent) experienced a decline in median household income, while 926 places (3.2 percent) experienced income growth.
·       For the period of 2012 to 2016, the locations with the highest and lowest median household incomes were:
o   By county and county equivalent:
·        Loudon County, Va., Falls Church City, Va., Fairfax County, Va., Howard County, Md., and Arlington County, Va., were among the highest.
·        McCreary County, Ky., Sumter County, Ala., Holmes County, Miss., Stewart County, Ga., and Lee County, Ky., were among the lowest.
o    By metropolitan statistical area:
·        San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V., California-Lexington Park, Md., Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., metropolitan statistical areas were among the highest.
·        Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, Sebring, Fla., McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, Pine Bluff, Ark., and Valdosta, Ga., metropolitan statistical areas were among the lowest.
o    By micropolitan statistical area:
·        Los Alamos, N.M., Summit Park, Utah, Williston, N.D., Juneau, Alaska, and Gillette, Wyo., micropolitan statistical areas were among the highest.
·        Middlesborough, Ky., Rio Grande City, Texas, Helena-West Helena, Ark., Las Vegas, N.M., and Indianola, Miss., micropolitan statistical areas were among the lowest.
·       Of the 3,142 counties across the nation, 167 counties (5.3 percent) experienced a decline in poverty rates, while 566 counties (18.0 percent) showed a rate increase.
·       Looking at the more than 29,000 places in the United States, 1,391 places (4.7 percent) experienced a decline in poverty rates, while 2,927 places (10.0 percent) had their poverty rates increase.
·       From 2012 to 2016, among geographic areas with 10,000 people or more:
o   By county and county equivalent:
·        Falls Church City, Va., and Lincoln County, S.D., had among the lowest poverty rates for counties and county equivalents.
·        Oglala Lakota County and Todd County in South Dakota, Holmes County, Miss., and McCreary County, Ky., had among the highest poverty rates.
o   By metropolitan statistical area:
·        Among all metropolitan areas, Fairbanks, Alaska, California-Lexington Park, Md., Midland, Texas, and Barnstable Town, Mass., had among the lowest poverty rates.
·        Brownsville-Harlingen, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Laredo, Texas, had among the highest poverty rates.
o   By micropolitan areas:
·        Los Alamos, N.M., McPherson, Kan., and Dickinson, N.D., were among those with lower poverty rates.
·        aGallup, N.M., Cleveland, Miss., and Rio Grande City and Raymondville, Texas, were among those with higher poverty rates.
Also Released from the American Community Survey:
·       The five-year estimates feature “Comparison Profile” tables. These tables compare differences between the latest set of American Community Survey five-year estimates (2012-2016) and the most recent, nonoverlapping five-year estimates (2007-2011). The tables note statistically significant differences.
·       The Application Programming Interface updated with 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates statistics.
·       Guidance on making comparisons is available on our website.
New Data Exploration Platform with County-Level Geography Profiles
The U.S. Census Bureau is currently working to streamline online data dissemination to be more customer-driven and user-friendly by creating one centralized and standardized platform to underlie the search on census.govIn addition to being available through the American FactFinder, some of the 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates will be released through the new platform, which is currently a preview site at data.census.gov. Specific products available include detailed tables, data profiles, subject tables and comparison profiles.
New for this release, data.census.gov is featuring county-level geography profiles, which provide data users a high-level overview of each of the 3,144 counties in a visual format with maps, charts and graphs. These profiles include 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates data on a variety of topics including income, commuting, home ownership and veterans, as well as business and industry data from the 2012 Economic Census, 2012 County Business Patterns and 2015 Survey of Business Owners.
We encourage you to take a look at data.census.gov and provide your thoughts on our work in progress at cedsci.feedback@census.gov. 
About the American Community Survey
The American Community Survey is the only source of small area statistics for social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics. It gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision-makers who count on these annual results. Visit the Stats in Action Videos page to see examples. These statistics would not be possible without the participation of the randomly selected households in the survey.
Because it is a survey based on a sample of the population rather than the entire population, the American Community Survey produces estimates. To aid data users, the Census Bureau calculates and publishes a margin of error for every estimate. For guidance on making comparisons, please visit census.gov.
Citation Guidance
When sourcing this data, please use “2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Administration Delays Decision On Race, Ethnicity Data For Census

From National Public Radio:

A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced last week by the Trump administration.

But the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which sets standards for this type of data for all federal agencies, was silent on Friday, which OMB had said was the deadline for an announcement.

A spokesperson for OMB could not provide any information about the delay.

Under consideration by the White House are proposals introduced during the Obama administration that would fundamentally change how the government counts the Latino population. Another proposal would create a new checkbox on census forms and other federal surveys for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa. If approved, the policy changes could have significant implications on the upcoming 2020 census, as well as legislative redistricting, civil rights laws and health statistics.

"[The delay] tells me the new administration has taken an interest in the possible changes ... and wants to way weigh in," says Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director of the House oversight subcommittee for the census who now consults on census issues.

Friday, November 17, 2017

More Children Live With Just Their Fathers Than a Decade Ago

America Families and Living Arrangements
Over One-Quarter of Children Under Age 18 Live With One Parent
The percentage of children living with one parent who live with just their father saw an increase from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent in 2017. That’s according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 America’s Families and Living Arrangements table package.
“A higher percentage of children living with one parent live with their fathers than a decade ago,” said Rose Kreider, a demographer in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch at the Census Bureau. “However, the majority of children living with one parent still live with their mothers.”
In 2017, 83.9 percent of children living with one parent live with their mothers, compared to 86.0 percent in 2012 and 87.5 percent in 2007.
Overall, nearly 20 million children under age 18 live with one parent, composing 27.1 percent of all living arrangements for children under age 18. In 2007, 25.8 percent of children under age 18 lived with one parent, and in 2012, one of the highest intervening years, 28.3 percent of children under age 18 lived with one parent.
Of children who live with one parent, the most common marital status of the mother is never married (49 percent). The most common marital status of the father is divorced (43 percent). For children who live with their mother only, the largest proportions are ages 6 to 11 (36 percent), and ages 12 to 17 (35 percent). For children who live with their father only, the largest proportions are ages 12 to 17 (43 percent), followed by the proportion ages 6 to 11 (31 percent).
“The age distribution of children under age 18 who live with one parent shows a higher proportion of children living with their mother only are younger than children living with their father only,” Kreider said. 
There continues to be racial and ethnic variation in living arrangements for children under age 18. Today, over half (52.8 percent) of black alone children live with one parent, compared to 29.1 percent of Hispanic children and 22.4 percent of white alone children.
Other highlights:
· White householders make up 79 percent of all households in the United States, down from 89 percent in 1970. Black and Hispanic householders each make up 13 percent of households, while Asian householders comprise 5 percent. (Hispanics may be any race so percentages will not add to 100.)
· Households have grown smaller over time, reflecting the decrease in family size and the rise of living alone. The average number of people living in each household has declined from 3.7 people in 1940 to 2.5 today.
· In 2017, there are 35.3 million single-person households, composing 28 percent of all households. In 1960, single-person households represented only 13 percent of all households.
· Today less than 1 in 10 households (9 percent) have five or more people living in them – a decrease from 23 percent of households in 1960.
Marriage and Family
· In 2017, the median age when adults first marry is 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women, up from ages 23.7 and 20.5, respectively, in 1947. In 2017, less than one-third of all adults (32 percent) have never been married, up from 23 percent in 1950.
· More men (35 percent) than women (29 percent) have never been married in 2017 compared to 26 percent of men and 20 percent of women in 1950.
· Married couples make up 69 percent of all families with children under age 18, compared to 93 percent in 1950.
· In 19 percent of married-couple households, neither the husband nor wife is in the labor force. Among married-couple households with neither spouse in the labor force, 75 percent are age 65 and older.
· Over a quarter (26 percent) of children under the age of 15 who live in married-couple families have a stay at home mother, compared to only 1 percent who have a stay at home father.
Living Arrangements of Adults and Children
· Over half (55 percent) of young adults ages 18 to 24 live in the parental home, compared to 16 percent of young adults ages 25 to 34.
· Of the 64 million parents living with children under the age of 18, 4.9 million (8 percent) are unmarried cohabiting parents.
· Most adults between the ages of 65 to 74 still live with a spouse. For men in this age group, 72 percent live with a spouse, while for women the percentage is 56 percent. For adults age 75 and older, however, the percentage of those living with a spouse drops to 66 percent for men and just 33 percent for women.
Unmarried Couples
· In 2017, there are 7.8 million unmarried opposite-sex couples living together.
· Of the unmarried opposite-sex couples living together, 37 percent live with children under the age of 18.
· Statistics about same-sex couples are available from the American Community Survey.

These statistics come from the 2017 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families for more than 60 years. The data shows characteristics of households, living arrangements, married and unmarried couples, and children.
For more information, see Families and Living Arrangements or visit census.gov.