Monday, November 30, 2009

Form 990

NOZA has 990s on their site - it's the database that formerly belonged to GrantSmart. However, this database is primarily composed of grant-making organizations rather than grant-seeking or operating organizations.

Also, ERI has wonderful database of 990s. They only have the 2007 one as well.

International roundup of data

On a rare occassion, Information Advisor makes ones of its articles available free to everyone; it has just released on locating international industry information.

It's a roundup of some of the best sources (market research and industry databases, international agencies like UN, OECD, World Bank, associations, etc.); and search strategies for zeroing in on official and reputable information on industries around the globe.

It's a 4 page PDF.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Homes With Cell Phones Nearly Double in First Half of Decade

The number of households with cell phones increased from 36 percent to 71 percent between 1998 and 2005, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. This corresponded with a decrease in households with telephone landlines, particularly households headed by young adults.

Expanding the Product Line

There was a recent discussion on a listserv I monitor about what a florist might do who is suffering in the recession. One participant suggested "expanding their offerings beyond just flowers...some gifty/crafty stuff to compliment the flowers and get feet through the door and create incremental volume." Good idea, that.

One of my favorite resources is looking at the Economic Census for the Product Lines documents. The one for Retail Trade (NAICS 44-45) can be found here. For NAICS code 45311, found on page 173, you'll see that of the 22,750 florists in 2002:
3719 sell candy, 1209 sell other food stuff or 4061 selling some sort of grocery item (some sell both)
9268 sell some sort of kitchenware
603 sell jewelry
364 sell books
4810 sell games and toys

Again, these are 2002 numbers - the 2007 numbers don't exist yet - but it does provide some guidance for how an entity might diversify its line.

There are similar product line reports for:
NAICS 22: Utilities
NAICS 42: Wholesale Trade
NAICS 48-49: Transportation and Warehousing
NAICS 51: Information
NAICS 52: Finance and Insurance
NAICS 53: Real Estate, Rental and Leasing
NAICS 54: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
NAICS 55: Management of Companies and Enterprises
NAICS 56: Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services Services
NAICS 61: Educational Services
NAICS 62: Health Care and Social Assistance
NAICS 71: Arts, Education and Recreation
NAICS 72: Accommodations and Food Services
NAICS 81: Other Services (except Public Administration)

This information is also available from Census' American Factfinder, but frankly I found it less than user-friendly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New papers, presentations from Rockefeller Institute

Trends in state and local government finance, social welfare spending and gambling revenues to states are among the topics Rockefeller Institute researchers have explored in recent conference papers and presentations. The following papers and presentations are now available from the Rockefeller Institute Web site:
• The Decline of States in Financing the U.S. Safety Net: Retrenchment in State and Local Social Welfare Spending, by Thomas Gais, Lucy Dadayan and Suho Bae, presented at the “Reducing Poverty: Assessing Recent State Policy Innovations and Strategies” conference at Emory University, Nov. 19-20.
• State Budgets, Health Care, and Health Care Reform, presented by Donald J. Boyd to the National Academy of Public Administration, Nov. 19.
• Discussant comments on “Fiscal Sustainability Issues & Options,” presented by Donald J. Boyd at the National Tax Association Annual Meeting, Nov. 14.
• Trends in Gambling Revenue to the States, presented by Lucy Dadayan to Stop Predatory Gambling, Nov. 9.
• State Budget Gaps: Consequences for Policy, Now and in the Future, presented by Robert B. Ward to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Research Conference, Nov. 5.

2006 Payroll Distribution Data by State and Major Industry

Because of recent requests for the number of firms by payroll size, the U.S.
Census Bureau recently produced 2006 payroll distribution data by state and major industry. The combined real estate, rental and leasing industry led the major industries in the share of firms with annual payrolls below $100,000 while the management industry had the lowest share. Most states were within 5 percent of the national share of firms with annual payrolls below $100,000, 58 percent. The District of Columbia stood out with only 36 percent of its firms in this pay category.

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MessageLabs Intelligence Special Reports

What are the most spammed cities and least spammed cities across the US and Canada? You might be surprised to find out that the top spammed cities are Idaho and New Brunswick. In 2008, Idaho actually fell into the top ten least spammed states.
Download the one page report highlighting the Top 10 Most Spammed Cities in the US and Canada.

The September 2009 MessageLabs Intelligence Special Reports provides greater detail on all of the trends and figures noted above, as well as more detailed geographical and industry sector trends.

Facts for Features & Special Editions

Number of places in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous, with 71,486 residents in 2008; Plymouth, Mass., had 55,705. There is just one township in the United States named “Pilgrim.” Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 128 in 2008. And then there is Mayflower, Ark., whose population was 2,231 in 2008.

Where did I find all of those nifty statistics, and much more, about Thanksgiving? I went to Facts for Features & Special Editions, put out by the Census Bureau. Specifically, the Facts for Features for Thanksgiving 2009, which was posted on September 30.

Now if you want to spruce up your holiday newsletter or want some factoids for your business Twitter feed, you can get info from the Facts for Features: The 2009 Holiday Season, posted on October 29. Among other things, you can discover Where the Toys are Made (Pssst: Santa is, shockingly, NOT mentioned.)

And since the information is produced by the federal government, one can repost without fear of violating the Copyright Law.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Title II of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Takes Effect

On November 21, 2009 Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect. GINA prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on individuals' genetic information. Genetic information includes the results of genetic tests to determine whether someone is at increased risk of acquiring a condition (such as some forms of breast cancer) in the future, as well as a person's family medical history. For more information about Title I provisions of the law relating to health coverage read The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Information for Researchers and Health Care Professionals.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Build Strong Media Relations

Tips for becoming a go-to source for news.

This article is written with the business owner in mind. Yet it seems to me that data providers might well take to heart some of these ideas, especially since some (rightly) complain about the inaccuracies that find their way into stories.

Suggestions such as -
• Become familiar with the journalists you would like to cultivate relationships with.
• Don’t let months pass without contact.
• When you are interviewed, give good quotes.
- seem like great strategies. Not sure about the idea of sending a birthday card, though.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2010 Census Data Products At A Glance

The 2010 data products plan, "2010 Census Data Products At A Glance," is available (in PDF format) on the Internet here.

Data users can access by going to the Census Bureau's home page -, click on "People & Households," click on "Other Products," and then on the first link.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nearly Half of Parents Get Full Amount of Child Support

About half (46.8 percent) of parents owed child support in 2007 received the full amount, while nearly one-third (29.5 percent) received only a portion of the total due and about one-quarter (23.7 percent) received none of the child support they were owed, according to a new national report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the $34.1 billion total child support owed, 62.7 percent was reported as received.

For further details, see Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007. This report focuses on the child support income that custodial parents reported receiving from noncustodial parents living elsewhere, and other types of support, such as health insurance and noncash assistance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Yorkers Can Compare School Spending Online

The often opaque world of school finances has become more transparent thanks to Benchmarking New York, which allows New Yorkers to analyze how their school districts spend money and to compare them to nearly 700 other districts around the state.

For the full text of this press release and a regional breakdown of total and instructional spending per pupil, click here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen, 518.434.3100

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 Census New York Region Decennial 2010 Newsletter - Fall 2009

2010 Census New York Region Decennial 2010 Newsletter - Fall 20092010 Census New York Region Decennial 2010 Newsletter - Fall 2009

Thank you for your support of the 2010 Census! Together, we will achieve the best decennial census ever - It's in Our Hands !

For more information about the 2010 Census, please visit the recently relaunched

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hollywood on the Hudson

Personal Income Tax:

Empire State Film Production Tax Credit Report - October 2009
Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2004 created the Empire State Film Production credit to promote film and television production in New York State. The credit is available under Article 9-A, the Franchise Tax on Business Corporations, and Article 22, the Personal Income Tax. As enacted, the credit was limited to $25 million annually and was scheduled to expire on August 20, 2008. The credit has since been amended three times.

Chapters 61 and 62 of the Laws of 2006 increased the annual cap to $60 million and extended the sunset date through December 31, 2011. Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2008 made several significant changes to the program. It increased the credit rate from 10 percent to 30 percent of qualified production costs. It also shortened the credit refund period from 50 percent over two years to 100 percent in one year, Finally, the total amount of credit that can be awarded was increased from $60 million annually in 2008 through 2011 to $65 million in 2008, $75 million in 2009, $85 million in 2010, $90 million in 2011 and 2012, and $110 million in 2013.

Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2009 authorized an additional $350 million allocation for 2009. It also required the use of the credit to be spread across several years, depending on the size of the credit.

The credit is administered by the Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development (MP/TV), which is the entity also responsible for monitoring the status of the credit cap.

Chapter 60 also mandated an annual report evaluating the effectiveness of the tax credit in stimulating the growth of the film industry in the State. This report was prepared by the Office of Tax Policy Analysis (OTPA) and MP/TV using data from applications filed with MP/TV for allocation of film production credits.
2008-2009 Annual Statistical Report of New York State Tax Collections - Statistical Summaries and Historical Tables

This publication contains a series of statistical tabulations detailing taxes administered by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The information presented includes revenues and selected tax structure and consumption information for the State's major taxes. It also presents data for some locally imposed taxes.

This edition presents information for New York State Fiscal Year 2008-2009 and some historical statistics. New York State's fiscal year is April 1 - March 31.

To download either or both publications, please visit the State Tax Department website.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Governor's 2010 Census Kickoff

Thursday, the Secretary of State announced the Governor's Executive Order creating the NYS Complete Count Committee at a press conference in Albany. The event was attended by Congressman Paul Tonko, State Assembly member Jack McEneny, the directors of the Boston and New York Census Regional Offices, state agencies, and members of the media. You can view the event here. (35 minutes)
(Uses Windows Media)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Higher State Poverty Rates Based on Alternative Measure

Source: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

The percent of Americans living in poverty is higher than the current poverty measure captures, according to a new report that, for the first time, lists how poverty rates change in each state using a modern poverty measure.

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) compiled the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) calculations of each state’s poverty rate using a Census web tool and published these calculations in Measure by Measure: the Current Poverty Measure v. the National Academy of Sciences Measures.

“The current federal poverty measure is bereft in many ways,” said Dorothy Smith, the report’s author. “It only considers the cost of food, but not other basic living expenses. And it doesn’t count other sources of income and programs designed to lift people out of poverty, such as tax credits and Food Stamps.”

Measure by Measure provides each state and the District of Columbia two additional poverty rates using poverty measures based on NAS recommendations. The NAS poverty measure captures median spending by a family of four on food, clothing, shelter and other needs. Under this measure, income is broadly defined to include such non-cash resources as tax credits, and Food Stamps while subtracting expenses such as child care and medical expenses. The second measure adds an adjustment for the geographic differences in the cost of housing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Public School Graduates and Dropouts: School Year 2006-07

This First Look report presents the number of high school graduates, the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), and dropout data for grades 9 through 12 for public schools during the 2006-07 school year. State education agencies (SEAs) provided the data to the Common Core of Data (CCD) nonfiscal survey.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sources of Health Insurance, Characteristics of the Uninsured

This Issue Brief provides historic data through 2008 on the number and percentage of nonelderly individuals with and without health insurance. Based on EBRI estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS), it reflects 2008 data. It also discusses trends in coverage for the 1994–2008 period and highlights characteristics that typically indicate whether an individual is insured. HEALTH

COVERAGE RATE CONTINUES TO DECREASE: The percentage of the nonelderly population (under age 65) with health insurance coverage decreased to 82.6 percent in 2008. Increases in health insurance coverage have been recorded in only four years since 1994, when 36.5 million nonelderly individuals were uninsured; in 2008, the uninsured population was 45.7 million.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED COVERAGE REMAINS DOMINANT SOURCE OF HEALTH COVERAGE, BUT CONTINUES TO SLOWLY ERODE: Employment-based health benefits remain the most common form of health coverage in the United States. In 2008, 61.1 percent of the nonelderly population had employment-based health benefits, down from 68.4 percent in 2000. Between 1994 and 2000, the percentage of the nonelderly population with employment-based coverage expanded.

PUBLIC PROGRAM COVERAGE IS GROWING: Public program health coverage expanded as a percentage of the population in 2008, accounting for 19.4 percent of the nonelderly population. Enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program increased, reaching a combined 39.2 million in 2008, and covering 14.9 percent of the nonelderly population, significantly above the 10.5 percent level of 1999.

INDIVIDUAL COVERAGE STABLE: Individually purchased health coverage was unchanged in 2008 and has basically hovered in the 6–7 percent range since 1994.

MOST/LEAST LIKELY TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE: Full-time, full-year workers, public-sector workers, workers employed in manufacturing, managerial and professional workers, and individuals living in high-income families are most likely to have employment-based health benefits. Poor families are most likely to be covered by public coverage programs such as Medicaid or S-CHIP.

RETHINKING THE VALUE OF OFFERING HEALTH INSURANCE: Research illustrates the advantages to consumers of having health insurance and the benefits to employers of offering it. In general, the availability of health insurance allows consumers to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering and improves the quality of life, and employers report that offering benefits has a positive impact on worker recruitment, retention, health status, and productivity. Employers may believe in the business case for providing health benefits today, but in the future they may rethink the value that offering coverage provides, especially if health costs continue to escalate sharply or if health reform changes the value proposition.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

College Towns Are Undiscovered, Affordable and Stable Markets For Home Buyers

The annual College HPCI released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC provides an apples-to-apples comparison of similarly sized 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom homes in college markets home to the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. This year, Akron, Ohio (University of Akron) is ranked as the most affordable college town, where a typical four-bedroom home costs $121,885. Muncie, Ind. (Ball State University) took the No. 2 spot at $144,996. Ann Arbor, Mich. (a quintessential college town home to the University of Michigan) came in as the No. 3 most affordable college market, where the sample size home only costs $148,000.

Overall, the 2009 College HPCI revealed that real estate buyers can find a typical four-bedroom home for less than $250,000 in 62 percent of the college markets surveyed (72 total), including iconic American college towns such as:

* Syracuse, N.Y (Syracuse University): $171,711
* South Bend, Ind. (University of Notre Dame) $183,938
* Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia): $205,862
* Oxford, Miss. (University of Mississippi): $212,000
* Knoxville, Tenn. (University of Tennessee): $223,850

Further research indicates that the charm and affordability of college towns is appealing to more than just students. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey; Austin, Texas (University of Texas), Provo, Utah (Brigham Young University), and Raleigh, N.C. (North Carolina State University) were among the metropolitan cities with the greatest population growth in 2008. In all three rising cities, home buyers can find a four-bedroom home for very a reasonable price; only $226,642 in Austin; $231,000 in Provo; and $241,462 in Raleigh.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Housing Stats

Since the topic of housing came up at the State Data Center Affiliates meeting last week, thought I'd put up a couple Census links:

State Housing Unit Estimates: 2000 to 2008

Quarterly Vacancy and Homeownership Rates by State and MSA

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Contract Reporter

The Contract Reporter is a wonderful tool for small businesses to learn about bidding opportunities from NY state government. Beginning next year the NYSCR will be free to any user. It is a publication that:
* Keeps small businesses apprised of weekly bid opportunities with individual state agencies, public authorities and public benefit corporations.
* Publishes services and technology bid opportunities and notices of upcoming commodity bid openings.
* Is available online.

From the ESD's Div. of Small Business Government Procurement web site:

New York State can help your business sell to state, federal, and local governments -- major purchasers of a wide variety of goods and services. New York State budgets for over $8.5 billion worth of contracts annually. New York schools, colleges, towns, villages and counties also make several billion dollars' worth of procurements each year. This is a significant market for New York companies.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ACS Compass Handbooks: Rural, American Indians

From the Census Bureau:

The Census Bureau recognizes that users of ACS data have varied backgrounds, educations, and experiences. They need different kinds of explanations and guidance to understand ACS data products. To address this diversity, the Census Bureau worked closely with a group of experts to develop a series of handbooks, each of which is designed to instruct and provide guidance to a particular audience. The audiences that we have chosen are not expected to cover every type of data users, but they cover major stakeholder groups familiar to the Census Bureau.

The handbook series is called A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data. The specific handbooks are listed below, along with a brief summary of each of the target audiences.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released two new ACS Compass Products handbooks...
What Users of Data for Rural Areas Need to Know introduces the ACS to people who care about, and use, social, demographic, economic, and housing data for small governmental units and rural communities. Using the devise of a single case study, this handbook illustrates a variety of aspects of the ACS and shows how results from the ACS are both similar to, and different from, data formerly gathered in conjunction with the decennial census.

What Users of Data for American Indians and Alaska Natives Need to Know provides an overview of the ACS data produced for the American Indian and Alaska Native populations. It describes the data products, provides information about how to access and use these products, and includes case studies to illustrate how best to use these data. Input from the Census Advisory Committee on the American Indian and Alaska Native Population and other stakeholders suggested the need for these ACS education materials.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

10 Questions, 10 Minutes

The 10 questions on the 2010 Census form.

1. How many people lived here on April 1, 2010?
2. Are there other people at the address on that date? (e.g. people staying temporarily)
3. Do you own or rent your dwelling?
4. What's the phone number? (in case Census can't suss out your answers)
5. Name of each person.
6. Each person's gender.
7. Each person's age and date of birth.
8. For each person: Hispanic or not?
9. Each person race or races.
10. For each person; does he or she live elsewhere (and thus might be counted elsewhere)?
Oh and they'll be a question about the relationship of the first person listed to the subsequent people listed.

That's it.

The forms, which are postpaid (i.e., you don't need stamps), are coming late in March. If you mail it back during the first week in April, you severely minimize the need for the Census Bureau to have to send out costly enumerators to knock on your door.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Census Bureau Launches 2010 Census Campaign With New Web Site

The U.S. Census Bureau last week kicked off its communications campaign to reach every resident in America with the launch of its 2010 Census Web site, 2010CENSUS.GOV. The Web site will serve as a platform for a national dialogue about how the census develops a “Portrait of America.”

2010CENSUS.GOV features an animated marquee that symbolizes the Census Bureau’s place at the intersection of the American experience. By clicking on images representative of the population, visitors can view video vignettes that ease fears about the census and encourage participation in the once-a-decade population count. The marquee will evolve over time, bringing the diverse voices of America to the site.

Press release.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vote - 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

And if you need to find your county board of elections to find polling places, offices to be filled, etc, go here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poverty in the United States: 2008

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists/Secrecy News)

In 2008, 39.8 million people were counted as poor in the United States — an increase of 2.6 million persons from 2007, and nearly the largest number of persons counted as poor since 1960. The poverty rate, or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 13.2%; up from 12.5% in 2007, and the highest rate since 1997. The recent increase in poverty reflects the worsened economic conditions since the onset of the economic recession in December 2007. Many expect poverty to rise further next year, and it will likely remain comparatively high even after the economy begins to recover. The incidence of poverty varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. Under the official poverty definition, an average family of four was considered poor in 2008 if its pre-tax cash income for the year was below $22,025. This report will be updated on an annual basis, following release of U.S. Census Bureau annual income and poverty estimates.

Supporting data are based on the following: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008; Current Population Report No. P60-235, September 2009; and unpublished Census Bureau tables, available on the internet here.