Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mapping the Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

The L.A. Times has deigned to map the 87 neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Naturally, there are...differences of opinion, with over 1200 comments to date. BTW, New York City's 59 neighborhoods were delineated governmentally in 1975.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Seventh Warmest January for Global Temperatures

The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for January 2009 was the seventh warmest since records began in 1880, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

Freight Facts and Figures 2008

From the Federal Highway Administration.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Census Data Show Characteristics of U.S. Foreign-Born Population

According to a new analysis of data about the U.S. foreign-born population from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS), a higher percentage of people born in India have a bachelors degree or higher (74 percent) than people born in any other foreign country. Egypt and Nigeria had rates above 60 percent.

Based on 2007 ACS data, these figures come from new detailed characteristic profiles on the foreign-born population — people who were not U.S. citizens at birth — available by country of birth.

Meanwhile, among the nation’s foreign-born, Somalis and Kenyans living in the United States are the most likely to be newcomers, and Somalis are among the youngest and poorest.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Happens When New Federal Aid to States Runs Out?

What will happen to state budgets when the new financial assistance included in the federal stimulus legislation expires? Senior Fellow Donald J. Boyd examines that question in a new Rockefeller Institute report.

“The economic and revenue picture for states is uncertain,” the new report concludes. “Under any likely scenario, however, major fiscal problems for states will return when the new aid from Washington runs out. Budget gaps in fiscal 2012 will likely rival the critical shortfalls that states faced before enactment of the new stimulus package. Cuts or reductions in growth of spending on education, health care, and other programs, and/or major tax and other revenue increases, will almost certainly be on the table once again.”

The New York Times reported last week on the Institute's new study. The Times article is available here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Multicultural Economy 2008

From the Hill Library

Are you interested in learning more about the economic clout of the nation's minority population? If so, you need the Multicultural Economy 2008. This study of minority buying power is an essential resource for business analysts, marketing specialists, product developers, advertisers, and researchers.

The report is published by the Selig Center for Economic Growth and provides definitive data series for 1990-2008 and projections for 2009-2013. Multicultural Economy 2008 includes total buying power by place of residence, data on the nation's largest consumer markets and fastest growing consumer markets, expenditures by item/category, and more. Buying power statistics are available for all fifty states.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Census Expert Down for the Count

If you don’t think the Census means much for New Yorkers, consider this: Population shifts since 2000 will cost the state at least one Congressional seat. The 2010 Census will determine which district will be the loser.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Stimulus Needs the States

"When the ink is dry on the massive, $787 billion 'federal' package to stimulate and grow the economy, much of the job actually will be carried out not by the federal government alone, but through the states." David Shaffer and David J. Wright of the Rockefeller Institute examine why that is – and stress the importance of tracking how well it works.

Friday, February 20, 2009

World Demographic Trends

"The report of the Secretary-General on the World demographic trends has been issued (E/CN.9/2009/6). According to the report summary, today's world population stands at 6.8 billion and is projected to reach 9 billion in 2045, if fertility continues to decline in developing countries." Report available in six languages.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

U.S. Exports of Goods, Services Increased 12% in 2008

U.S. exports of goods and services grew by 12.0% in 2008 to $1.84 trillion, while imports increased 7.4% to $2.52 trillion.

In December 2008, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit ($39.9 billion) was the lowest monthly deficit since February 2003. This led to a 3.3% improvement in the annual goods and services deficit for 2008.

Exports comprised 13.1% of U.S. GDP in 2008. To put in historical terms, exports were 9.5% of U.S. GDP five years earlier (2003), and 5.3% 40 years ago (1968).

Source: International Trade Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why the 2010 Census Stirs Up Partisan Politics

From Time magazine --
Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009
By Amy Sullivan

When Republican Senator Judd Gregg announced on Thursday that he no longer wished to be the Commerce Secretary nominee, he said that the decision was based in part on serious disagreements with the Obama White House over the 2010 census. That night on Fox News, Sean Hannity called Obama's plans for the census process "the biggest White House power grab ever," as his guest Karl Rove voiced agreement. The same day, House Republicans declared that the White House had "an unprecedented plan" for the census that "will taint results and open doors to massive waste of taxpayer funds."

It may sound surprising to those who don't consider the decennial headcount a red-hot political matter, but the census has become the controversial subject of an ongoing power struggle between Democrats and Republicans. And since the 2010 census will be the first in 30 years to be taken under a Democratic administration, the stakes are particularly high this time around.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2008 Foreclosure Filings

This link on the New York State banking department site has great info on NY State foreclosure filings. In the press release section, the quarters can be found at the the following dates:
1st qtr - April 29, 2008
2nd qtr - July 31
3rd qtr - October 30
4th qtr - January 23, 2009 (4th qtr and full year is listed)
Interestingly, last qtr is described thusly: "New York Foreclosure Filings Down in Fourth Quarter 2008, Reflecting Impact of State Efforts".

At the bottom of the page for each link there's the following options:
top ten counties in New York for foreclosure filings
foreclosure filings alphabetically by county
foreclosure filings by percentage of filings

[Thanks, TK.]

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President 2008

The 2008 edition of The Small Business Economy documents the small business role in the economy of 2007 and includes chapters focusing on financing, procurement, international trade, small business training and development, tax policy, business creation, and regulation.

A copy of the report is located here and the research summary can be found here.

Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Chad Moutray at (202) 205-6533 or

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Area Criteria

The Office of Management and Budget recently issued a Federal Register Notice proposing changes to the criteria used for defining the metropolitan and related statistical areas. Once the criteria are finalized, the delineation process is a very mechanical one that is hard to influence. While these areas won't be defined for another 4 years or so (2013), NOW is the opportunity to comment on the criteria used to define them. Comments are due to OMB by April 13, 2009.

(Thanks, LMG.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Language of Local Government

This list of definitions and acronyms provides easy-to-understand explanations of words, phrases, terms and acronyms commonly used in local government that may not be familiar to citizens or newly elected or appointed municipal officials.

Friday, February 13, 2009

5th Annual AP Report to the Nation

More than 15 percent of the public high school class of 2008 achieved at least one AP® Exam score of 3 or higher — the score that is predictive of college success — announced Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. Additionally, AP students are much more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree in four years than their peers, thereby reducing college costs and supporting higher education’s goal of on-time degree completion.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Census of Agriculture Shows Growing Diversity in U.S. Farming

The number of farms in the United States has grown 4 percent and the operators of those farms have become more diverse in the past five years, according to results of the 2007 Census of Agriculture released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For Nearly Half of America, Grass Is Greener Somewhere Else

Where would Americans most like to live — and how do they feel about the place they currently call home?

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they’re living in now — a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities, and Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati at the bottom.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Website, Automated Phone Service Helps Taxpayers Track Refund Check Status

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Robert L. Megna reminds taxpayers that they can track the status of their state income tax refund checks on the department’s website or by calling the automated refund status hotline.

Taxpayers who expect state income tax refunds can call the department’s Refund Hotline at 1-800-443-3200 or 518-457-5149, or online at Tax filers will need to know their social security numbers, the amount of the state refund claimed, and which New York tax forms they filed.

More info here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Four things you should know about how ACS multiyear estimates are produced

Using Multiyear Estimates addresses Interview Collection Periods, Geographic Boundaries, Weighting Methodology - Use of Population Estimates; and Inflation Adjustments. Re: the latter, "Monetary values for the ACS 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year estimates are inflation adjusted to the final year of the period. For example, the 2005 - 2007 ACS 3-year estimates are tabulated using 2007 adjusted dollars. These adjustments use the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) since a regional-based CPI is not available for the entire country."

For a more comprehensive list of ACS subject definitions, go here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Amendment to cut libraries out of broadband package in Senate stimulus bill

Calls to ALL Senators are needed IMMEDIATELY to protect $200 million for libraries, community computing centers and related institutions in the original language of the Senate stimulus bill, H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The American Library Association has just been advised that Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are expected to introduce Senate Amendment 501 which would strip funding for libraries and broadband to put additional funding in FDIC. If introduced, the vote could take place this afternoon.

The message is: keep the $200 million for libraries and broadband in H.R. 1 - defeat amendment 501. Libraries provide information on jobs, employment skills, and all other types of job-seeking information. More people are using libraries during these difficult times and the demand for broadband is greater than ever.

Census of Canada, 1891

The 1891 Census offers a rich source of information about Canada and Canadians. Through this research tool, you can access digitized images of original census returns which list the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time of the 1891 Census.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Evolution of the Household

From Women's Day: Housdehold expenditures from 1950 to today. (Thanks, Dale.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CENSUS NEWS BRIEF: President Selects Sen. Gregg

*President Obama has selected Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, to be his Commerce Secretary. The post would give Sen. Gregg authority over the Census Bureau and upcoming decennial census. The Census Bureau is part of the Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), which also houses the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
Sen. Gregg chaired the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State during the 2000 census. In 1999, he questioned the Administration’s request for additional census funding for fiscal year 2000; the Census Bureau had asked for an extra $1.7 billion after a Supreme Court decision forced it to redesign non-response follow-up operations.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold confirmation hearings for Sen. Gregg, while the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be responsible for confirming a Census director. President Obama has not yet nominated an Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, who oversees the ESA, or Census Bureau director; both positions require Senate confirmation.
*Economic stimulus bill includes extra funds for 2010 census: On January 28, by a vote of 244 – 188, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an $819 economic stimulus bill (H.R. 1) that includes $1 billion in additional funds for the 2010 census.
The stimulus package requested by President Obama is also working its way through the U.S. Senate. Last week, the Committee on Appropriations approved its own version of the economic recovery package (S. 336), which includes $1 billion for the 2010 census. The funds would be available until September 30, 2010. The Census Bureau is required by law to report state population totals to the President by December 31, 2010, and detailed populations counts to the states for redistricting purposes by April 1, 2011.
*An analysis of the economic stimulus package by Robert Santos of the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC think-tank, concludes that the proposed spending for the 2010 census “would provide an infusion of new jobs, better community participation and a more accurate census.” Dr. Santos calls the census “a shovel-ready infrastructure project,” a reference to one of President Obama’s criteria for including projects in a stimulus package. The analysis is available online.
*Senator urges quick appointment of Census Director: Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security (Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs), sent a letter to President Obama on January 28, urging him to “move quickly to fill the top leadership at the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau with individuals with the knowledge and the management skills necessary to get the ongoing preparations for the 2010 Census back on track for good.”
The full documment and previous Census News Briefs can be found at Census News Briefs, which are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant to the nonpartisan Census Project, organized by the Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC. Please direct questions about the information in the News Brief to Ms. Lowenthal at, who writes, "Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guard Times

Guard Times is a quarterly magazine, "Serving the New York Army and Air National Guard, Naval Militia, New York Guard and Families." Formerly a bi-monthly newspaper, this glossy magazine is now celebrating its first anniversary. It is distributed free to members of the New York State Military Forces and employees of the Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Guard Times can be found in electronic format from January 2001 to the present.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Resource to Help Locate 2010 Local Census Offices

The Census Bureau has put up a new website page that lists local Census offices; their address, phone number, and the starting salary for the area.

This page is part of the 2010 Census section and is at: