Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cancer Death Rate Steadily Declining

Cancer death rates are falling steadily, according to the American Cancer Society’s annual cancer statistics report, Cancer Facts & Figures 2009, and its companion article “Cancer Statistics, 2009,” published in the Society’s CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The drop is driven in large part by better prevention, increased use of early detection practices, and improved treatments for cancer.

Cancer death rates dropped 19.2% among men during 1990-2005 and 11.4% among women during 1991-2005. Cancer incidence rates are also on the decline – they decreased 1.8% per year among men from 2001-2005 and 0.6% per year from 1998-2005 among women.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Agriculture Census Data Now Available by Congressional District

Information from the 2007 Census of Agriculture is now available at the congressional district level in online profiles published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

U.S. Lags World in Paid Sick Days for Workers and Families

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that the United States is the only one of 22 rich countries that fails to guarantee sick workers some form of paid sick leave.

The report, Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Countries, finds that the U.S. is the only country among 22 countries ranked highly in terms of economic and human development that does not guarantee that workers receive paid sick days or paid sick leave. Under current U.S. labor law, employers are not required to provide short-term paid sick days or longer-term paid sick leave.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Federal, State Cigarette Excise Taxes - US, 1995--2009

On April 1, 2009, the largest federal cigarette excise tax increase in history went into effect, bringing the combined federal and average state excise tax for cigarettes to $2.21 per pack and achieving the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) objective (27-21a) to increase the combined federal and average state cigarette excise tax to at least $2 per pack. This report summarizes changes in the federal excise tax, as well as state excise taxes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) from December 31, 1995 to April 1, 2009.* The findings indicate that the federal excise tax increased from 24 cents per pack in 1995 to $1.01 per pack in 2009, and the average state excise tax increased from 32.7 cents per pack to $1.20 per pack during the same period. These increases represent a 321% increase in the federal excise tax and a 267% increase in the average state excise tax since 1995.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

America’s Best Beaches 2009

Source: “Dr. Beach”. One of the Top 10 is in New York State.

Friday, May 22, 2009

41 Million Licensed Americans May Be Unfit for Roads

Results from the
2009 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test released today found that 20.1 percent of licensed Americans - amounting to roughly 41 million drivers on the road - would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. Overall, findings from the fifth annual survey indicate the number of drivers with knowledge of basic road rules is decreasing, with this year’s test scores lower than last year’s (76.6 percent vs. 78.1 percent).

Idaho and Wisconsin drivers tied for first in the nation, with an average test score of 80.6 percent; New York drivers ranked last, with an average score of 70.5 percent. This is the second time Idaho ranked first and the second time New York has ranked last in the survey’s five-year history.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Little Green Data Book 2009

Are you interested in finding country-specific environmental indicators? Then check out the newly-released Little Green Data Book 2009 from The World Bank.

The Little Green Data Book 2009 is the tenth annual compilation of statistics on key environmental and development data for over 200 countries. In addition to statistics, each year's edition highlights a specific focus area. This year's edition identifies cities as key determinants of climate change and explores the impact public policy can have for future generations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ACS Confusion

I was trying to explain ACS to a general population; here's what I wrote:

As you may know, 2000 is scheduled to be the last decennial Census that will gather "long-form" data. The information gathered from the long form of the census covered income/poverty, language, ancestry, education, homeowner/renter status and expenditures for same, plus much more.

Data users were frustrated about having nine-year-old figures in 2009. Thus was born the American Community Survey, which will eventually provide numbers every year starting in 2010.

Because there are different size requirements for geographies, this creates what might be confusion for the user.

2006: 2005 ACS - statistics for entities of 65,000

2007: 2006 ACS - statistics for entities of 65,000

2008: 2007 ACS - statistics for entities of 65,000 PLUS
2005-2007 statistics for entities of 20,000

2009: 2008 ACS - statistics for entities of 65,000 PLUS
2006-2008 statistics for entities of 20,000

2010: 2009 ACS - statistics for entities of 65,000 PLUS
2007-2009 statistics for entities of 20,000
2005-2009 statistics for all entities

Every year after 2010 will have a rolling set three sets of data for the largest geographies. So, in 2010, there will be reported surveys information gathered over 12-, 36- and 60-months periods for Queens County.

But which one should one use?

The multi-year reports are less current. Statistics are gathered over a larger period. However, multi-year reports are more statistically accurate because they include more records, more collected surveys. Particularly for figures with fewer occurrences, e.g., number of grandparents raising their grandchildren, I'd be inclined to opt for the longest period available.

When comparing geographies, obviously one must consider the size of each entity. There are no one-year ACS stats for 24 of New York State's 62 counties because the population of those counties are each below 65,000.

In any case, when doing comparisons, these two rules should be noted:
1. Do not compare one-year stats, three-year stats and five-year stats with each other. Compare one-year with one-year.
2. When comparing multi-year stats, do not compare overlapping years. For instance, do not compare 2005-2007 with 2007-2009 because both have the exact same records from 2007. This is not an issue yet but will be in 2010.

Finally, do all you can to support the 2010 decennial Census, which, like the 2000 survey, is one of the few attempts to get a full count, rather than a sampling. Therefore it becomes the benchmark of other calculations, both for Census products such as the ACS, and for the private firms that estimate demographic and consumer trends, such as Demographics Now and EASI.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How does your last name rank nationally?

You've heard all about the most popular baby name database, which not incidentally has data going back to 1880.

Another database allows one to search a last name and see how it ranks nationally, with racial demographic breakdowns (provided by U.S. Census Bureau).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

State Tax Revenues Plummeted in First Quarter

State tax collections plummeted in the first quarter of 2009, with almost every state showing a decline from a year earlier, according to the Rockefeller Institute's latest state revenue "flash" report, released this week. The bulk of the decline came from a 15.8 percent drop in personal income tax revenue. Further deterioration in state revenues is likely to occur in coming months, according to the report.

Google Down, World Stands Still?

Google Outage Shows Site's Ubiquity, Our Overdependence. From Hispanic Business.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Direct Response TV revenues

Direct Response TV revenues from Response magazine.

National Energy Board of Canada

The Canadian electricity system is part of an integrated North American electricity grid, but Canada's electricity markets have primarily developed along provincial or regional boundaries.

America’s Parents Vote for Change on Social Security's Most Popular Baby Names List

n 2008, American parents voted for change in naming their children. After a 12-year reign as the most popular baby name, Emily has slipped to third on the list. Emma is now the nation’s most popular name for girls.

The most popular boy’s name, Jacob, remained the same for the 10th year in a row.

Please click on the Most Popular Baby Names link at Social Security’s website -- -- to see all the top baby names for 2008. Drum roll please…the Top 10 boys and girls names for 2008 are:
Top 10 Names for 2008 Rank Male name/Female name
1 Jacob/Emma
2 Michael/Isabella
3 Ethan/Emily
4 Joshua/Madison
5 Daniel/Ava
6 Alexander/Olivia
7 Anthony/Sophia
8 William/Abigail
9 Christopher/Elizabeth
10 Matthew/Chloe

On the boys' list: Roger is at 463, up from 468 in 2007.
On the girls' list, Lydia is at 120, up from 124 in 2007, while Carol has been out of the top 1000 for the last two years.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bankruptcy courts

Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court.

But if you were trying to figure out which court had jurisdiction over which county in states that have more than one court, such as New York, which has four, you won't find the info in the bankruptcy section, only an annoyingly overbroad map. Instead, look in the general federal district court section where you'll find this link for all counties in a district.

The Western contains the western counties, the Northern the eastern counties north of the Southern.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


No, not the North Atlantic treaty Organization. National Association of theater Owners, chock full of statistics such as U.S. Box Office Grosses, Total Number of U.S. Admissions, Average U.S. Ticket Prices and Number of U.S. Movie Screens.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

State of the Air 2009

Air pollution continues to threaten the lives and health of millions of people in the United States despite great progress since the modern Clean Air Act was first passed in 1970. Even as the nation explores the complex challenges of global warming and energy, air pollution remains widespread and dangerous.

This year marks the tenth annual American Lung Association State of the Air report and provides an excellent opportunity to look back over the changes in the past ten years

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prevalence, Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults in the US, 2005

From the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC):

This analysis determined that the estimated percentage of U.S. adults reporting a disability has not changed since 1999, when, using the same survey and definitions, 22.0% of adults reported having a disability. Reasons for this leveling off likely include a better educated public, improved medical interventions, increased public health attention to behavior modifications (e.g., tobacco use), and increased access to assistive technology among the most advantaged socioeconomic groups.

Although the percentage has not changed, this analysis and other studies have determined that the absolute number of persons in the U.S. population reporting disabilities is increasing because of a rise in the at-risk population.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Faith in Flux

A new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Americans change their religious affiliation early and often, and the reasons they give for changing - or leaving religion altogether - differ widely depending on the origin and destination of the convert.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Personal Income Tax Statistics

New York Adjusted Gross Income and Tax Liability - Analysis of 2006 State Personal Income Tax Returns by Place of Residence

This annual study provides statistical information on 2006 New York State personal income tax returns that were timely filed during 2007. The data are from full-year resident, full-year nonresident, and part-year resident returns. The report categorizes returns as either taxable or nontaxable depending on the presence or absence of taxable income and income tax liability. Data presented include the distribution of New York adjusted gross income and tax liability by residence and the value of deductions, exemptions, and taxable income by income class.

To download the entire publication and statistical tables, please visit here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Some interesting facts about Mother's Day

* The first official celebration of mothers in the United States took place in 1858. Anna Reeves Jarvis campaigned for a Mothers' Work Day in her home state of West Virginia to raise awareness about local sanitation issues. When Jarvis passed away in 1905, her daughter Anna pursued a national mother's day in honor of her own activist mom. Anna's efforts paid off when in 1914, Mother's Day was recognized as a national holiday by Presidential proclamation.
* More than 83 million mothers are living today in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are approximately 2 billion mothers living worldwide.
* Modern moms have an average family size of two children, while mothers in the 1950s had an average of 3.5 children. In the 1700s, women gave birth to seven to ten children each.
* Nearly 96% of all Americans participate in Mother's Day celebrations in some way. For example, the holiday is the peak day for long distance carriers and one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.
* The founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, was vehemently opposed to the commercialization of the holiday. "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit," she once said. Despite Jarvis' opposition, Mother's Day is the second biggest gift-giving holiday in America, preceded only by Christmas. The National Retail Foundation estimates that Americans will spend more than $14 billion a year on Mother's Day.


Used Merchandise Store Sales Top $9 Billion in 2007

From the U.S. Census Bureau

Used merchandise stores employed more than 131,000 people with $2.1 billion in annual payroll and nearly $9.3 billion in sales in 2007, according to new economic census data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

As part of the 2007 Economic Census Industry Series, these new figures for the retail trade sector provide data on the number of establishments, sales, payroll, number of employees, value of product line sales and other data items at the national level by industry.

Other findings include:

* Women’s, juniors’ and misses’ clothing product line sales accounted for more than 15 percent ($1.4 billion) of total used merchandise store sales. Sales of antiques made up almost 13 percent ($1.2 billion) of the total sales of the 17,779 used merchandise stores in the United States.
* Total sales from used merchandise stores increased $1.5 billion (nearly 20 percent) since 2002, while the number of used merchandise stores decreased by 353 (nearly 2 percent) over the same period.
* Annual payroll per employee for used merchandise stores increased from $14,898 in 2002 to $16,382 in 2007, a 10 percent increase.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summary of Tax Provisions in SFY 2009-10 Budget

The Summary of Tax Provisions in SFY 2009-10 Budget contains synopses of the tax provisions contained in the most recently enacted budget legislation, and provides overviews (of the revenue impacts) and complete descriptions of all of the tax provisions enacted, and a guide to the tax provisions in the budget bills, listing each provision and its bill section, page, description, and effective date.

To download the entire publication, please visit here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CENSUS NEWS BRIEF: FY2010 Budget Request

Go to Census News Brief for May 5 with information on several recent 2010 census developments.

On May 7, the President is expected to release his detailed budget request for Fiscal Year 2010, which begins October 1, 2009 and includes funding for final census preparations such as staffing all Local Census Offices (LCOs), launch of the 2010 census advertising campaign, and implementation of the census through mailed and hand-delivered questionnaires and follow-up visits to unresponsive households.

Video of Education Commissioner Mills' Speech at Rockefeller Institute

The next round of education reform — including establishment of new national standards — will be driven by the states, with New York among those leading the way, State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills told educators, legislators and researchers at a May 4 forum hosted by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Mills predicted that the $4.4 billion in federal stimulus money intended to reward states that have taken the lead in pursuing federal reform priorities will be won by consortia rather than individual states. Mills' talk also covered a range of other current education topics, including standards, outcomes, financing, technology and more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Occupational Employment and Wages Summary

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
In 2008, the U.S. median wage was $15.57 per hour or $32,390 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor. These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, which provides employment and wage estimates for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 801 detailed occupations.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Occupational Injuries and Illnesses: Counts, Rates, and Characteristics, 2006

The data, which come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, identify the industrial, occupational, and worker groups having relatively high risks of job-related injury and illness. The data also provide the means to focus attention on the severity of the incidents and how they occurred.

This report includes charts and text highlighting summary, case, and demographic data gathered from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Supplementary data, such as injury and illness rates by detailed industry and establishment size, can be accessed here. The online version of the Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Profiles System can be found here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Consumer Expenditures in 2007

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Consumer units (CUs) spent $49,638, on average, in 2007, a 2.6-percent increase over the previous year. This was a more moderate increase than the 4.3-percent growth in spending in 2006 and the 6.9-percent increase in 2005. The increase in consumer expenditures in 2007 was close to the 2.8-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Items (CPI-U) in 2007. This report shows the latest results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE).

New York State Homeland Security Strategy

On April 23, 2009 the New York State Office of Homeland Security announced the release of its New York State Homeland Security Strategy. This guide addresses man-made and natural disasters. It outlines priorities, capabilities, and goals. The document can be viewed here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2008 Traffic Data for U.S and Foreign Airlines: Total Passengers Down 3.5 Percent from 2007

The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines and on flights to and from the United States on foreign airlines declined in 2008 by 3.5 percent from 2007, dropping to 809 million, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported.

Mailing Services Prices Effective Monday, May 11, 2009

Remember. See full list here.
First-Class Mail Price
Letters – first ounce $0.44
Large envelopes – first ounce $0.88
Parcels – first ounce $1.22
Additional ounces $0.17
Postcard $0.28
Stamped Card $0.31
Stamped Envelope $0.54

Friday, May 1, 2009

Relationship Between Education and Earnings

The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week that workers with a bachelor’s degree earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma, according to new figures that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels.

The tables also show that in 2008, 29 percent of adults 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree, and 87 percent had completed high school. That compares with 24 percent of adults who had a bachelor’s degree, and 83 percent who had completed high school in 1998.