Friday, December 31, 2010

World's top destinations for 2011

(CNN) -- Where on Earth will you find yourself in 2011?

Here's wishing it's somewhere unforgettable -- and the time to plan your journey is now, as the New Year brings the customary yearning for a fresh start and the promise of new people and places.

To set your itinerary in motion, we sought out recommendations from three travel experts: Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer's guidebooks; and Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour.

Here are nine of their top destinations for 2011:

1. New York

A huge tourist destination in any year, the city will be especially unforgettable as it marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks next year.

Visitors who have been flocking to ground zero are finally expected to get a chance to pay their respects to the victims at the National September 11 Memorial, which is scheduled to open in time for the anniversary.

"It's going to be a massive moment for New York," Reid said. "It feels like the healing begins."

Visitors also shouldn't miss the High Line, once an abandoned elevated railway track that's been turned into a popular park. It expands in the spring, to the delight of New Yorkers.

"It was like a secret garden in the middle of New York," Frommer said. "It's become a park that other urban centers are studying because it's brought new life, a new vitality into the area below it."

No wonder the Big Apple tops Lonely Planet's list of top 10 cities for 2011....

More at link above.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Comparing DNA Profiling & Databases in the US and England

Many senior U.S. law enforcement officials believe that the English criminal justice system has capitalized more fully on the crime-fighting potential of forensic DNA evidence than the U.S. criminal justice system. They contend that the English system is much faster at testing DNA samples and at uploading the test results into its forensic DNA database and that the English national DNA database provides more database hits that might help law enforcement solve and prevent crimes. Members of the RAND Center on Quality Policing (CQP) asked RAND researchers to explore the forensic DNA analysis systems in England and the United States to find out whether these perceptions are accurate. This report presents CQP's best efforts to undertake this comparative analysis, which was severely hampered by a lack of data on the U.S. and English forensic DNA systems and the unwillingness of some U.S. agencies to share their data.

County Compensation by Industry, 2009

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Compensation declined in two-thirds of the 3,113 counties in the U.S. in 2009, according to statistics released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Total compensation of U.S. workers contracted 3.2 percent in 2009, as a decline in employment more than offset the increase in average annual compensation per job, which grew 1.2 percent to $56,962. Inflation measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, grew 0.2 percent.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Births: Preliminary Data for 2009

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

The 2009 preliminary number of US births declined 3 percent from 2008, to 4,131,019; the 2009 general fertility rate (66.7 per 1,000 women) and the total fertility rate (2,007.5 births per 1,000) declined (3-4 percent). The number of births and rates declined for all race and Hispanic origin groups in 2009.

• The birth rate for US teenagers 15-19 fell 6 percent to 39.1 per 1,000, a record low for the Nation.

• Birth rates for younger and older teenagers and for Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander teenagers all reached historic lows in 2009.

• The birth rates for women in their early twenties fell (7 percent, the largest percentage decline for this age group since 1973) as did the rates for women in their late twenties and thirties; the birth rate for women in their early forties increased in 2009.

• The birth rate for unmarried women declined almost 4 percent to 50.6 per 1,000 aged 15-44. The number of nonmarital births fell 2 percent to 1,693,850 in 2009, the first decline since 1996-1997.

• The percentage of births to unmarried women, however, continued to increase in 2009

• The cesarean delivery rate rose to 32.9 percent in 2009, another record high.

• The preterm birth rate declined for the third straight year to 12.18 percent of all births.

• The low birthweight rate was essentially unchanged between 2008 and 2009 at 8.16 percent in 2009, but is down from 2006.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Census: South and West Advance (Without California)

The full article.

For a hundred years, Americans have been moving south and west. This, with an occasional hiccup, has continued, according to the 2010 Census.
During the 2000s, 84 percent of the nation's population growth was in the states of the South and West...while growth has been far slower in the Northeast and Midwest. This follows a pattern now four decades old, in which more than 75 percent of the nation's population growth has been in the South and West. Indeed in every census period since the 1920s the South and West attracted a majority of the population growth.
In the first census after World War II, in 1950, the East and the Midwest accounted for 58 percent of the nation's population, with the South and West making up 42 percent. Since that time, the East and the Midwest have added less than 40 million people, while the South and West added nearly 120 million. Today, the ratios are nearly reversed, with 60 percent of the population living in the South and West and only 40 percent in the East and Midwest....

New York continued its laggard performance, gaining only 2.1%. Since the late 1960s, New York (long the largest state) has added little more than one million people, while California added 19 million and has nearly doubled New York's population...

The Northeast: The nation's former commercial heartland, the Northeast, has for its third census placed as the nation's least populated region. A prediction in 1950 that the region housing New York, Philadelphia and Boston would fall so much in relative terms would have been considered absurd. Yet, from 1950 to 2010, the region added 16 million people, for the lowest regional growth rate (40%). The region added less than 2,000,000 population between 2000 and 2010, for a growth rate of 3.2%. The fastest growing state was New Hampshire, at 6.5%, reflecting the growth of its Boston suburbs and exurbs. All other states had growth rates less than one-half of the national rate.

"Kudos" to the Bureau of the Census: Finally, congratulations are due the Bureau of the Census. In 2000, the Bureau was embarrassed by its under-estimation of the population during the previous decade. At the 1990 to 1999 estimation rate, the 2000 population would have been nearly 7,000,000 below the number of people actually counted in the census. The improvement during the decade of the 2000s was substantial. At the 2000 to 2009 estimate rate, the nation would have had 500,000 more people than were counted in 2010. Missing by less than 0.2 percent is pretty impressive.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Victims of Identity Theft, 2008

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents findings from the 2008 Identity Theft Supplement (ITS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS/ITS used interviews from a nationally representative sample of about 56,500 U.S. household residents to collect the first BJS data on individual victims of identity theft. Identity theft is defined as the unauthorized use or attempted use of existing accounts, the unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account, and the misuse or attempted use of personal information for a fraudulent purpose. The report details the number and percentage of persons who reported at least one incident of identity theft over the past two years, the amount of direct and indirect financial loss due to identity theft, victim reporting to credit bureaus and law enforcement agencies, and the impact of identity theft on victims'lives.

•An estimated 11.7 million persons, representing 5% of all persons age 16 or older in the United States, experienced at least one type of identity theft in a 2-year period.
•Although the total financial cost of identity theft was nearly $17.3 billion over a 2-year period, less than a quarter (23%) of identity theft victims suffered an out-of-pocket financial loss from the victimization.
•About 42% of victims spent 1 day or less working to resolve the financial and credit problems associated with the identity theft; however, 3% continued to experience problems related to the theft more than 6 months after discovering it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2009 Census of Horticultural Species

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agricultural Statistics Service)

The 2009 Census of Horticulture counted 21,585 operations in the United States with sales of $10,000 or more in horticultural specialty crops, a decrease of 2,173 operations since the 1998 Census of Horticulture. Sales of horticultural crops only increased by 10 percent over this period, compared to a 60 percent increase for all crop commodities.

Categories where sales increased more than average include food crops grown under cover, bedding plants, nursery stock and propagative materials. Categories with a lower than average change in sales include sod, potted flowering plants, cut Christmas trees, dried bulbs, cut flowers and cut cultivated greens.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Personal Health Care Spending Differs by Gender, Age Pronounced Gender And Age Differences Are Evident In Personal Health Care Spending Per Person

The research of Health Affairs found significant variations in per person spending by gender across age groups, health services, and types of payers. For example, in 2004 per capita health care spending for females was 32 percent more than for males. Per capita differences were most pronounced among the working-age population, largely because of spending for maternity care. Except for children, total spending for and by females was greater than that for and by males, for most services and payers. The gender difference in total spending was most pronounced in the elderly, as a result of the longer life expectancy of women.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Inheritance and Wealth Transfer to Baby Boomers

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute

The figures, drawn from national survey data, say the wealthiest Boomers will be given an average of $1.5 million, while those at the other end of the spectrum will be left $27,000, an amount that represents a larger percentage of the latter group’s overall wealth. Two-thirds of all Boomers stand to receive some inheritance over their lifetimes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Is the Price of College?

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This Statistics in Brief describes the annual price of education among undergraduates enrolled in U.S. postsecondary institutions in 2007–08. The most recent administration of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) supplied the data.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Portrait of America, 1st 2010 Census Results

The first release.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the 2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538.

The resident population represented an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281,421,906... The U.S. resident population represents the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The most populous state was California (37,253,956); the least populous, Wyoming (563,626). The state that gained the most numerically since the 2000 Census was Texas (up 4,293,741 to 25,145,561) and the state that gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 Census count was Nevada (up 35.1% to 2,700,551).

Regionally, the South and the West picked up the bulk of the population increase, 14,318,924 and 8,747,621, respectively. But the Northeast and the Midwest also grew: 1,722,862 and 2,534,225.

Additionally, Puerto Rico's resident population was 3,725,789, a 2.2 percent decrease over the number counted a decade earlier.

Just before today's announcement, the apportionment counts were delivered to President Obama, 10 days before the statutory deadline of Dec. 31. The apportionment totals were calculated by a congressionally defined formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to divide among the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the 50 states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents, on average, about 710,767 people. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population, as they do not have voting seats in Congress.

"The decennial count has been the basis for our representative form of government since 1790". "At that time, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House has more than quadrupled in size, with each member now representing about 21 times as many constituents."

President Obama will transmit the apportionment counts to the 112th Congress during the first week of its first regular session in January. The reapportioned Congress will be the 113th, which convenes in January 2013.

Beginning in February and wrapping up by March 31, 2011, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states on a rolling basis so state governments can start the redistricting process.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census of the nation's population every 10 years to apportion the House seats among the states. The 2010 Census is the 23rd census in our nation's history.

Many Americans Go To Work While Sick

Americans not taking sick days

Nearly half (44%) of Americans would consider going to work with a fever, and about a third of Americans (32 percent) said they would show up to work no matter how sick they get, according to a new survey from Halls.

With an unemployment rate upwards of nine percent this October, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the survey revealed that one in five Americans (19 percent) feel pressure by their boss or supervisor to head into work when they're sick. One in three (31 percent) Americans said they wouldn't get paid for taking off on a sick day, and one in 10 (11 percent) said they would likely fall behind on their bills by taking a sick day. Additionally, more than 10 percent of Americans thought they would not likely receive their next pay raise or promotion, or worse, would lose their job for calling out sick.

More HERE.

Census Data: Blacks and Hispanics Take Different Segregation Paths

Source: Brookings Institution

Every 10 years the census provides us with a view of racial segregation across America’s neighborhoods. We still have a few months before the 2010 census gives us those definitive numbers. However, the recent release of the huge five year data dump of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2005 through 2009, provides us with a clue about what we can expect.

To be sure, we are a country that is heavily sorted by race and Hispanic status across the 65,000 census tracts (groupings of neighborhoods of 5,000 to 10,000 persons) that span our nation. Although the U.S. minority population grew at five times the rate of whites since 2000, the average white resident lives in a tract that is 79 percent white. The average black resident lives in a tract that is 46 percent black. And while Hispanics comprise only 15 percent of the population, fully 45 percent of their neighbors are also Hispanic. Surely we are far from the residential melting pot that many people envision—but the small sliver of individuals who identify themselves as “multiracial” do live in neighborhoods that are fairly diverse.

New Racial Segregation Measures for States and Large Metropolitan Areas: Analysis of the 2005-2009 American Community Survey

Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Key to Raising Kids' IQ by Sharon Burch

In past generations, singing and playing instruments was an integral part of family life. A great way to express and entertain yourself and others. We did not realize it, but we were also exercising our brain while we played, causing us to be creative, more vibrant, smarter, etc. In our current generation, we tend to be passive listeners and consumers as a society, and as a result, shorting our mental development and our children the opportunity to reach their mental potential.

Humans are "wired" for music. Until recently, scientists did not know how music affected the brain. The advancement in technology allows scientists to actually "see" brain activity via PET scans and MRI imaging scanning the blood flow in the brain. Our brains are "wired" with neural pathways. Most activities only cause a portion of the brain to "light up" with activity; thus, the saying, right brain/left brain, etc. But there are actually four parts to the brain and music makes ALL of the areas "light up" and create new neural pathways as a person is learning and playing an instrument. Those neural pathways remain in tact and can be used for other things besides music.

Norman Doidge, in his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, shares case after case of people forcing their brain to change and adapt either voluntarily with discipline, or involuntarily due to odd incidences. Studies confirm that our brain has plasticity. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is proven to be a case of "can't want to," rather than too old to change.

Daniel Levitin passionately explores the connection between Music and the Brain in his book of the same name. Google his name, watch video clips on YouTube, or go to his website. It's an exciting time of discovering how little we know and how much there is to learn. There is definitely enough evidence to recognize it is not in a music teacher's imagination. Music has a huge impact on activity in the brain. You can physically/visually see the growth and changes that happen inside the brain. The possibilities are endless. The implications for music therapy and music education are profound. Just check out PBS video "The Music Instinct." Neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks relays a true story from his book, Musicophilia, where a man was indirectly struck by lightning through a telephone and three weeks later composing and playing the piano for the first time. Sacks believes the man was "re-wired" through that experience. The list goes on and on.

But even if you are still skeptical about music making kids smarter, let's look at the other benefits. Socially, music is an ageless hobby creating interaction with great people. Take a look at any school band or orchestra or top-ranking choir and you will find a huge percentage of the members are in the top 10 percent of their class and college bound. Striving for excellence is a given in a musical group. Everyone has to perfect their part for the group to perform at their best--NObody "sits on the bench." Everyone has to pull their weight or the whole group suffers. Creativity, especially in jazz groups is developed, honed and embraced. Who couldn't use more creativity in their workforce? Creativity is what makes the difference and gives any company the cutting edge.

There are many benefits of being involved in making music, but the neural pathways drives home the point and gets our attention. Scientists are reluctant to state that playing a musical instrument makes you smarter, but all the indicators are there, so let's look at it from the opposite angle. Instead of trying to prove that music makes you smarter or good for you and your child, try to prove that it is not. I can't think of a single reason how learning a musical instrument is detrimental, can you?

Give your child every opportunity and advantage you can. Enroll them in music lessons and watch them grow and mentally develop as they play, create, express, and struggle through the rigors of the discipline mastering an instrument. You will discover a more creative, brighter and mature person in the making.

Nationally regarded music education teacher and advocate Sharon Burch is the author of Freddie the Frog® - a fantastical 4-book with companion CD series that helps young children learn musical concepts while they are duly immersed in Freddie's colorfully illustrated adventures. She may be reached online at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pot, ecstasy use up, alcohol use down among US. teens

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Several important findings come out of this year’s Monitoring the Future study, the 36th annual, national survey of American teens in a series that launched in 1975.

•Marijuana use, which had been rising among teens for the past two years, continues to rise again this year — a sharp contrast to the considerable decline of the preceding decade.
•Ecstasy use—which fell out of favor in the early 2000s as concerns about its dangers grew—appears to be making a comeback this year, following a considerable recent decline in the belief that its use is dangerous.
•Alcohol use—and, specifically, occasions of heavy drinking—continues its long-term decline among teens into 2010, reaching historically low levels.

Monitoring the Future, conducted by a team of social scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, has been funded since its inception under a series of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health. In 2010, more than 46,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, enrolled in nearly 400 secondary public and private schools, participated in the study.

The proportion of young people using any illicit drug has been rising over the past three years, due largely to increased use of marijuana—the most widely used of all the illicit drugs. The proportion of 8th graders who reported using at least one illicit drug in the prior 12 months (called annual prevalence) rose from 13% in 2007 to 16% in 2010, including a statistically significant increase of 1.6 percentage points this year. Among both 10th and 12th graders annual prevalence has increased by two percentage points since 2007. In 2010, the proportions using any illicit drug during the past year were 16%, 30%, and 38% in grades 8, 10, and 12 respectively.

Data Tables

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mapping America

The NY Times today has a serious of articles about ACS2005-2009. Most interesting is the interactive map at the Census Tract level for the whole nation. The maps show household income, home value, education and race and ethnicity at each tract and also the percentage change from the Census 2000.

Here is the link. Mapping America: Every City, Every Block.

Some data folks, knowing the flaws in early ACS methodology, may grimace, especially with the Census 2000 comparisons. But it's out there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Liber8 is "An economic information portal for librarians and students" provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It includes links to the International Economic Statistics (IES) Database, plus economic data and research articles. The "browse by subject" function is most useful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

CQ Press to Release Comprehensive Guide to ACS

Washington DC (December 13, 2010) – In a timely initiative that coincides with the first release of the full breadth of American Community Survey data by the Bureau of the Census, CQ Press will publish a free online Web site named A Timely Guide to the American Community Survey (ACS). The site, launched as a companion to the forthcoming reference work Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, 2nd Edition, offers key context and analysis on how the new ACS data has become the primary U.S. government source of detailed demographic data. The site is available online at

Administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Community Survey is an on-going sample of cities and communities all over the United States. Like the census, this survey provides information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of the U.S. population. Unlike the decennial census, however, the ACS collects data on a continual basis. The Census Bureau releases the collected data in yearly, 3-year, and 5-year estimates; the 5-year data released on December 14, 2010 will be the first sample large enough to include all geographic areas down to census tract and block group levels.

Since about 90 percent of all local governments in the nation have fewer than 20,000 people and this year marks the first time these areas have received any ACS data, communities may have questions about what the ACS data means to them and how it can be used. Editors Margo J. Anderson, Constance F. Citro and Joseph J. Salvo have put together a comprehensive overview of the American Community Survey and its implications. This ACS Guide serves as a “what you need to know” and includes sections on the evolutionary history of the ACS, the methodology behind and content of the survey, the data products available from the ACS and where to find them, and how to use this data. Finally, they have also provided researchers a detailed bibliography for additional exploration on each topic. All of the information is collected in a searchable format at

The ACS Guide is a select portion of the larger reference, CQ Press’ Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, 2nd Edition, From the Constitution to the ACS and will be available December 14, 2010. The latest edition will provide updated information and expands the original data presented in the first edition, named a Best Reference Source by Library Journal in 2000, highlighting changes in the Census Bureau’s data collection and dissemination practices.

Free 5500

A nifty source. Tip of the hat to Hill Libraries: contains PDFs of Forms 5500 from companies of all shapes and sizes. What is a Form 5500, you ask? It's a disclosure form required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Depending on the Plan type and other factors, the accompanying schedules may include information such as ESOP (employee stock ownership program) information, financial information, service providers, financial transaction schedule, retirement plan information, and more. requires free registration to access, but registration lets you search by company name, EIN, state, ZIP, area code, plan type or class, assets, and number of participants, and includes up to 10 years of historical forms. You can also print the PDF formatted documents. Note that the free access may limit you to forms that are at least 2 years old or so (a subscription may net you more current data, as well as other perks such as more robust searching). is a service of Pension Data Resources, Inc., the publishers of the respected ERISA Red Book. Those who may find this site valuable include those in finance, insurance, securities, law, accounting, and many other related fields, as well as plan participants themselves.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

State Segway Laws

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

Segway LLC manufactures electronically propelled two-wheeled devices designed to transport one person with a maximum speed of less than 20 mph. In most states, Segways must follow the rules pertaining to pedestrians while on roads and sidewalks, such as traveling on the left side of the road, facing traffic.

Some states have minimum age requirements for operators or mandate helmet use for certain ages. One state (New Jersey) requires helmet use for all ages. No states require the operator of an to be licensed. Segways are exempted from registration requirements.

To date, Segways have been classified as neither a motor vehicle nor a consumer product. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a preliminary opinion that they should be considered "consumer products" and therefore not be regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This designation may change if Segways or other similar electronic personal mobility devices become more common.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hate Crime Statistics- Compare & visualize the data

From Matthew Kopjak, FindTheBest Press/Media

On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which required the Attorney General to collect data ‘about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity’ (U.S. Dept of Justice-FBI). The data visualized in this comparison was gathered from the 2008, FBI statistics on hate crimes and allows users to find and compare information about hate crime statistics.

Anti-Mental vs Anti-White vs Anti- Atheism vs Anti-Male Homosexual provides a side-by-side comparison of various statistics including: Bias, Total Offenses, Murder or Non-negligent Manslaughter, Forcible Rape, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, and more… Simply click Visualize in the top left corner to view graph statistics categorized by crime & bias. Whether you’re looking for information on the most common hate crime group, or statistics related to your race, religion, or sexual orientation, this resource will help you find the answers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010

Source: Sloan Consortium

The 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that enrollment rose by almost one million students from a year earlier. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are available.
Other report findings include:

Almost two-thirds of for-profit institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long term strategy.
The 21%growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.
Nearly one-half of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for face-to-face courses and programs.
Three-quarters of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online courses and programs.
The eighth annual survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States.

NEW American FactFinder available in January 2011

American FactFinder is the primary tool for accessing data on the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, Population Estimates and eventually the Economic Census.

This link will help you navigate the new version of the American FactFinder page on the Census website. Please take some time to become familiar with the site before it goes live in January 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Family Change and Time Allocation in American Families

Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation/Focus on Workplace Flexibility.

The paper discusses family demographic changes. Then, using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and the historical time diary studies in the U.S., the author documents trends in parents' time spent in paid work, housework and childcare. The activities parents forego in order to meet work and family demands are also described. Finally, the author discusses time devoted to adult care and help given to adult children, elderly parents, and friends later in the life course.

Comparing 2005-2009 ACS 5-year estimates with Census 2000

The Census Bureau now includes guidelines for comparing the 5-year 2005-09 ACS data to 2000 data. Also, the Bureau provides a variable-specific drill-down tool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 Census Demographic Analysis Estimates Available

The Census Bureau just released the results from the 2010 Census Demographic Analysis project. These numbers are five plausible ESTIMATES of the national population that will be used to help evaluate the quality of the 2010 Census. They are NOT the actual 2010 Census enumerations, which will be released later this month.

The numbers being reported are: 2010 Demographic Analysis Resident Population Estimates for April 1, 2010 (in thousands)
Low 305,684
Middle Low 307,415
Middle 308,475
High Middle 310,038
High 312,713

You can find more details, including estimates for various age, race, Hispanic Origin, and sex groups HERE.

Hate Crime Statistics 2009

Source: The FBI

Of the 6,598 single-bias incidents, 48.5 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 19.7 percent were motivated by a religious bias, 18.5 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 11.8 percent were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Bias against a disability accounted for 1.5 percent of single-bias incidents.
There were 4,793 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2009. Intimidation accounted for 45.0 percent of crimes against persons, simple assaults for 35.3 percent, and aggravated assaults for 19.1 percent. Other offenses, including nine forcible rapes and eight murders, accounted for the remainder.
There were 2,970 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property; most of these (83.0 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
The remaining 17.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses.

An analysis of data for single-bias hate crime incident victims revealed that 48.8 percent were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race, 18.9 percent because of a bias against a religious belief, 17.8 percent because of a sexual orientation bias, 13.3 percent because of an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 1.2 percent because of a disability bias.
Of the 6,225 known offenders, 62.4 percent were white, 18.5 percent were black, 7.3 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group), 1.0 percent were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The race was unknown for the remaining known offenders.
The largest percentage (31.3 percent) of hate crime incidents occurred in or near homes. In addition, 17.2 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys, or streets; 11.4 percent happened at schools or colleges; 6.1 percent in parking lots or garages; and 4.3 percent in churches, synagogues, or temples. The remaining 29.7 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other specified locations, multiple locations, or other/unknown locations.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Basic Facts About Low-income Children, 2009

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty

Children represent 25 percent of the population. Yet, they comprise 36 percent of all people in poverty. Among children, 42 percent live in low-income families and approximately one in every five live in poor families. Winding up in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. There are significant factors related to children’s experiences with economic insecurity, such as race/ethnicity and parents’ education and employment. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socio-economic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents – highlighting the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their less disadvantaged counterparts.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Refreshed 2010 Census Website is now Live

The refreshed 2010 Census Website is now live, as of noon December 6, and can be found HERE.
Thank you.

Household Food Security in the United States, 2009

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

Eighty-five percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2009, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.7 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security. In households with very low food security, the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Prevalence rates of food insecurity and very low food security were essentially unchanged from 14.6 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, in 2008, and remained at the highest recorded levels since 1995, when the first national food security survey was conducted.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Unemployment Assistance

The New York State Department of Labor devotes an entire section of its web site to "Unemployment Assistance" HERE. Information is available in ten languages in addition to English. Broad categories include General Unemployment Information, Claims and Eligibility Deadlines, and Information for Employers.

For those recently unemployed, the FAQ called "Before You Apply For Unemployment" is available HERE and a video "How to File an Unemployment Insurance Claim" can be viewed HERE.

The "Looking For a Job" section of the web site HERE provides links to information about finding employment, including assistance available from the Department of Labor.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Canada 2009 Data Tables Now Available on the TINET Website

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) announces the posting of data tables containing travel characteristics of Canadian travelers visiting the United States in 2009. Tables show visitor volume for each characteristic across U.S. regions and states and are available for the following items:

Visitors and visitor-nights
Trip purpose
Spending Activities
Province of residence
Age and gender
Mode of transportation
Nights spent in each state
Quarter of visit

The data tables are made available through OTTI's annual purchase of the data from Statistics Canada, the statistical agency of the Canadian government. The tables are in PDF format, and add to the series trend beginning with 2004. Tables containing the 2010 travel year should be posted to the TINET website in November 2011. Additionally, annual reports in PDF format will be available in January 2011 for the travel years 2005 through 2009. These reports provide additional insights into this important market through graphics and narrative.

The data tables may be found HERE.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 6 Census Bureau Data Release

At 10:00 AM on Monday, December 6 the Census Bureau will be releasing the very first data related to the 2010 Census. These are five series of ESTIMATES of the nation’s population broken down by age, race, Hispanic Origin, and gender. The purpose of these estimates is to provide a set of comparisons to the 2010 Census population counts to help measure the quality of the census. This release will contain ONLY data for the entire nation – there will be NO state-level data released at this time.

The first state-level data will be a count of the state’s total population and number of seats states will get in the House of Representatives starting in 2013. (New York to Lose 1 or 2 Seats in House.) This information will be released later this month – by law it must be provided to the President by December 31, 2010.

Population counts by race, Hispanic Origin, and age (total and 18 and older) for all areas within the state will be released sometime in February or March 2011. Again there is a legal deadline of March 31, 2011 for these data to be delivered to the state.

Census to Release New Data About Women-Owned Biz December 7

What: The U.S. Census Bureau will hold an audio news conference to release new data about women-owned businesses from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners. The data show the number and percent of women-owned businesses, sales and receipts at the national, state and local levels, as well as other details.

The event will consist of a simultaneous audio conference and online presentation. There will be no physical event associated with this conference. Information on accessing the online presentation is provided below. Reporters will be able to ask questions once the data presentation is complete. We suggest reporters log in and call in early.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010; 2 p.m. (EST)
Who: Thomas L. Mesenbourg, deputy director, U.S. Census Bureau
Rebecca Blank, acting deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dana M. Lewis, executive director, National Women's Business Council
Details:Audio conference — access information
Toll free number: 888-324-9312
Participant passcode: CENSUS
Note: Stay on the line until operator asks for the passcode. Do not key in passcode.

Online presentation — access information
Please login early, as some setup is required.
Conference/meeting number: PW9619952
Conference/meeting passcode: CENSUS (case sensitive)

If closed captioning is required:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

An estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and yet one out of five don’t know it. World AIDS Day (December 1) is an opportunity to take action.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NYS Sales and Use Tax Rates by Jurisdiction, as of Dec 1, 2010

Effective December 1, 2010:
Publication 718 (11/10),New York State Sales and Use Tax Rates by Jurisdiction
Publication 718-F (11/10), Local Sales and Use Tax Rates on Qualified Motor Fuel, Diesel Motor Fuel, and B20 Biodiesel

The change from the previous list is for Chautauqua County.

Monday, November 29, 2010

OTC meds will need Rx for Health Flex Spending

I believe there are some really good aspects of the new health care bill. This is not one of them: Over-the-counter medications will require a prescription to buy them with flexible spending account funds next year under new health care reform regulations. "The health care reform law sharply restricts FSA reimbursements for OTC purchases such as nonprescription pain relievers, cold medicines, antacids and allergy medications." Insulin is specifically excluded from this ruling.

Specifically, "the IRS says OTC reimbursements require a prescription, which it defines as a 'written or electronic order for a medicine or drug that meets the legal requirements of a prescription in the state in which a medical expense is incurred and that is issued by an individual who is legally authorized to issue a prescription in that state,'" whatever THAT means.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving: thanks to the Census Bureau.

The "event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday."

We are thankful that FDR provided that extra shopping period. Otherwise, Thanksgiving would have been a week later in 2000, 2006 and 2007, and would be a week later in 2012, 2017, 2018, 2023, 2028, 2029...

Seriously, I am thankful for all sorts of good things.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First and last names- How Many of Me?

"There are 310,771,873 people in the United States of America. If everyone in the U.S. lined up single file, the line would stretch around the Earth almost 7 times. That's a lot of people.

"The U.S. Census Bureau statistics tell us that there are at least 151,671 different last names and 5,163 different first names in common use in the United States. Some names are more common than others.

"There are 44,935 people named John Smith in the United States. There are 977 people named James Bond, 103 people named Harry Potter , 438 people named George Bush, and 31 people named Emily Dickinson. However, Johnny Cash (33 people) songs aside there are, statistically speaking, very few boys named Sue."


•There are 500,343 people in the U.S. with the first name Roger.
•Statistically the 111th most popular first name.
•More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Roger are male.

•There are 476,335 people in the U.S. with the last name Green.
•Statistically the 37th most popular last name.

The numbers appear consistent with the 2000 Census and recent Social Security numbers.

As for Roger Green:
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Changing American Family

Decades of demographic, economic and social change have transformed the structure and composition of the American family.

From the Newsmax coverage of the story: "About half of all adults in the U.S. are married, down from 72 percent in 1960, while four in 10 people consider marriage obsolete...As marriage has declined, cohabitation has become more widespread. Living with a partner has doubled since 1990, and 44 percent of adults say they have cohabited at some point, usually as a step toward marriage. Among respondents who were married, 93 percent said love was the most important reason to tie the knot. Marriage rates also were higher among those with greater education levels."

Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution. The TIME magazine cover story.

Monday, November 22, 2010

USA Counties - a quick reference for many commonly requested data items

USA Counties features over 6,800 data items for the United States, States and counties from a variety of sources. Files include data published for 2009 estimates and many items from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, the 1990 census, the 1980 census and the 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982 and 1977 economic censuses.

Information in USA Counties is derived from the following general topics: age, agriculture, ancestry, banking, building permits, business patterns, crime, earnings, education, elections, employment, government, health, households, housing, income, labor force, manufactures, population, poverty, retail trade, social programs, veterans, vital statistics, water use, and wholesale trade.

Files contain a collection of data from the U. S. Census Bureau and other Federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Social Security Administration.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Economic Indicator Search Tool

The Census Bureau has introduced a new, user-friendly Internet tool that takes all the guesswork out of finding, downloading and using data from economic indicators. For the first time, users can access data from multiple indicators in one place and all in the same format. This tool provides an easy way to create data tables in ASCII text or time series charts in your favorite spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose data by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus. Of the Census Bureau's 12 economic indicators, four are operational in the new tool now — international trade, manufactures' shipments, monthly wholesale trade and quarterly services; the remainder are expected to be available in this database throughout the course of 2011. See also a blog on this tool.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Census Data: Revolutionizing How We Understand Our Communities

by Lindsay Carille, Dutchess County Senior Planner

While [the decennial Census] is important, until the 2010 Census data is released in early 2011 it is not really newsworthy...

American Community Survey (ACS)
The Census Bureau has long recognized the need for more current data than the once-a-decade collection. People using the data for important funding and planning decisions were, by necessity, using data that was at some points up to ten years out-of-date. The Census Bureau has found a solution to the problem of out-of-date socioeconomic information with the American Community Survey (ACS).

Phased in over the last 10 years, the ACS has replaced the “long form” and is now the source for socioeconomic information. The ACS is a survey designed to provide communities a fresh look at how they are changing, every year instead of every ten years.

Much more info HERE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Have Consumers Become More Frugal?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the third quarter of 2010, which shows that consumer debt continues its downward trend of the previous seven quarters, though the pace of decline has slowed recently. Since its peak in the third quarter of 2008, nearly $1 trillion has been shaved from outstanding consumer debts.

Additionally, this quarter’s supplemental report addresses for the first time the question of how this decline has been achieved and notes a sharp reversal in household cash flow from debt, indicating a decrease in available funds for consumption.

More HERE.

Quoting the American Consumers Newsletter: At the household level, the Consumer Expenditure Survey shows the same pattern. Household spending peaked in 2006 at $51,688. In 2008, the average household spent $50,486, or $1,200 less after adjusting for inflation. On many categories of products and services, the average household reversed the direction of its spending in the 2006-08 time period compared with the 2000-06 time period. Here are the 10 most telling U-turns in consumer spending:

1. RESTAURANTS: +8 percent to -6 percent. Americans are spending more on groceries.
2. MORTGAGE INTEREST: +21 percent to -5 percent. No age group has been hit as hard as 35-to-44-year-olds.
3. STATIONERY AND GIFT WRAP: +15 percent to -11 percent. Is there anything more discretionary than gift wrap?
4. DAY CARE: +16 percent to -8 percent. As the unemployment rate climbed, spending on day care fell.
5. FURNITURE: +1 percent to -22 percent. Houses were selling furiously during the housing boom, but spending on furniture was surprisingly lackluster.
6. HOUSEHOLD TEXTILES: +24 percent to -23 percent Towels, sheets, blankets, curtains.
7. BABY CLOTHES: 0 percent to -9 percent. When the recession set in, the number of births began to fall, and so did spending on baby clothes.
8. DRUGS: +6 percent to -12 percent. Behind the decline is the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which went into effect in 2006.
9. ADMISSIONS TO ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS: +1 percent to -5 percent During the downturn, households continued to spend on high-definition television sets. But they cut back on other entertainment categories.
10. CASH CONTRIBUTIONS: +34 percent to -13 percent. Donations to charities are plummeting, says the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

American consumers spent $330 billion a year in borrowed dollars between 2000 and 2007, according to the Fed study. Now those dollars--and many of the businesses they built--are gone for good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taxable Sales and Purchases

Sales Tax: Taxable Sales and Purchases - County and Industry Data for March 2008 - February 2009

Article 29 of the Tax Law authorizes counties, cities and some school districts to impose a local sales tax as a complement to the statewide tax. This report presents statistical information on taxable sales and purchases subject to the county or the New York City (NYC) sales tax.
Taxable sales include nearly all retail sales of tangible personal property and certain services. Taxable purchases represent the value of tangible personal property or services purchased for use in business operations (which would otherwise be subject to tax) on which no sales tax was previously paid.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ruling On New York State's So-Called "Amazon Law"

In litigation of national significance, a recent State appellate court ruling upheld New York law requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax on sales to New York customers, in litigation of national significance.

To view the entire document please visit HERE.

Men and Women Wait Longer to Marry

The median age at first marriage increased to 28.2 for men and 26.1 for women in 2010, an increase from 26.8 and 25.1 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase is a continuation of a long-term trend that has been noted since the mid-1950s. In addition, the overall percentage of adults who were married declined to 54.1 percent in 2010 from 57.3 percent in 2000.

According to America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2010, the average household size declined to 2.59 in 2010, from 2.62 people in 2000. This is partly because of the increase in one-person households, which rose from 25 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2010, more than double the percentage in 1960 (13 percent).

More HERE.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teacher and School Employee Salaries

A searchable online database including salaries of 402,896 public school employees, outside of New York City, was updated this month at, the transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy. (New York City school salaries were updated on SeeThroughNY as part of the city payroll in July.)

The newly updated database includes data for professional employees, such as teachers and administrators, and for non-professional employees, such as custodians, bus driver, aides and secretaries.

The full text of this press release is available here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New York State Projection Data by County

In 2008 Cornell's Program on Applied Demographics redesigned its projection methods and produced population projections by county and by age and sex. The main differences from the earlier methodology and numbers are a 2005 base population instead of 2000, and the way populations in Group Quarters are handled.

Since 2008 the numbers were revised to accommodate new insights, such as new Census Bureau estimates. The results found on this web page were produced on April 2, 2009.

The projections are in 5 year intervals, in 5 year age groups, and project to 2035. The projections are based upon rates of change estimated from historic data. This means that the projections reflect what would happen if the rates of population growth and decline stay as they were. The projections are not meant to be forecasts; forecasts are predictions of future conditions while these projections are meant to gain insight into what might happen if the future looks like the past.

A methodology description and an Excel sheet with the assumptions can be downloaded from the download section.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Annual Statistical Report of NYS Tax Collections

2009-2010 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 2009-2010 (SFY 2009-2010) and some historical statistics. New York State's fiscal year is April 1 - March 31.

Monthly tax collection information is also available HERE.

New York state warns of drowsy driving

By TIM O'BRIEN, Times Union Staff Writer

ALBANY -- It's been a long drive, and you're almost home. You grab a cup of coffee to keep going, roll down the window to let the cold air blast you in the face, and crank up the radio. Still, you can't seem to stop yawning. Your eyes fight to stay open. The last thing you remember is seeing your car start to drift.

Every year, 1,000 car crashes in New York state are caused by drowsy drivers. Another 3,000 accidents involve drivers who fell asleep at the wheel, said state Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David J. Swarts.

According the Swarts, all the aforementioned tactics tired drivers try to use to make themselves more alert are "not effective."

"The best thing to do is pull over someplace safe and take a nap," he said...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day - Data from the Census Bureau

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New web site for Cornell Program on Applied Demographics

The last couple of months, the Cornell Program on Applied Demographics
has been working hard to completely overhaul its web site. This overhaul is related to limitations we had on the old site to present data. That limitation is now lifted.

Last month the new web site went live. The URL for the new homepage is, and the link on the sidebar of this blog has been updated.

The whole structure of the new site is different from the old web site, so old bookmarks and links do not work anymore and need to be updated.

At the moment the site presents data from different sources on the County and School district level.

Fertility of American Women: 2008

Census Bureau Reports Nearly 1 in 3 Unmarried Women Who Give Birth Cohabit

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that among the 1.5 million unmarried women who gave birth during the period between June 2007 and June 2008, about 425,000, or 28 percent, were living with a cohabitating partner. These unmarried mothers included those who were separated and those married with an absent spouse.

These findings are contained in Fertility of American Women: 2008, which reports that 4 million women age 15 to 44 gave birth during that time.

"The report shows that many unmarried new moms are not raising their child alone."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Census in Schools Educator Update

Read the November Issue of The Census in Schools Educator Update; the following topics are included in the issue:
* 2010 Apportionment Data
* American Community Survey Data
* Lessons Plans for World Statistics Day

The Census in Schools Educator Update keeps educators informed about current and upcoming census data and provides ideas about how to use data in the classroom.

Can the Census Go Digital?

Science 15 October 2010: Vol. 330. no. 6002, pp. 310 - 312
by Sam Kean

The 2010 census will cost U.S. taxpayers $13 billion, making it the most expensive census in the world and prompting policymakers to ask if there are cheaper and better ways for the Census Bureau to do its job. For instance, why not tap into the vast amount of digital data on U.S. residents already being collected by various state and federal agencies and sitting in computers? But using digital data is not as straightforward as it would appear, and the Census Bureau must be very careful if it decides to rely on it in the future. For starters, a census can't err on the side of counting someone multiple times when the same person's name appears in different databases. Data from government agencies also contain more mistakes about individual characteristics—age, race, sex, and so on—than a census can tolerate. In addition, few databases come close to delivering the universal coverage the decennial census demands. What's more, there are no obvious technical fixes to these problems, in part because of the dearth of research on the topic.

[Complete article available, for a fee, HERE.]

Monday, November 8, 2010

2009 ACS 1-year PUMS Files Now Available

The U.S Census Bureau is pleased to announce the release of the 2009 ACS 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files today. The PUMS files are individual-level datasets that ACS data users can download and analyze on their own computers.

American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month

Facts for Features: American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month: Nov. 2010

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Health-cost sharing could be step to balanced NY budget

Requiring local-government and school-district employees to pay part of the cost of their health insurance coverage could save New York taxpayers more than $1 billion a year without diminishing essential services, according to a new Rockefeller Institute report. The paper is one in a series prepared as part of Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch’s initiative to develop proposals that would lead New York State to structural budgetary balance.
“This idea would help localities manage through the inevitable cuts in state aid that can be expected in the coming years without compromising the quality of public services,” Ravitch said. “It is the kind of action that New York needs in order to avoid a destructive spiral of long-term economic decline.”
To read the report by Institute Senior Fellow Carol O’Cleireacain, visit the Institute Web site.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Community eligibility for grant programs

Someone asked me about income levels for certain grant programs:

The FFIEC, under contractual agreement with Tele Atlas, requires that you enter a street address along with either a city and state OR a zip code. It will provide demographic info for the area.

New York City has a Community Development Block Grant Eligibility Report

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Economic and trade sanctions

The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under US jurisdiction.

Lengthy PDF list of blocked persons.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TSA's Secure Flight

Turning the calendar to November 1 means that airline passengers are now "required to provide complete Secure Flight passenger data when booking reservations so [the Transportation Security Administration or] TSA can conduct watch list matching and approve airlines to issue a boarding pass. To avoid unnecessary delays and prevent misidentifications, passengers should provide complete Secure Flight data - their name, date of birth, and gender as it appears on a recognized government ID - when booking airline travel, whether they have booked directly with the airline, a travel agent or an online booking site.

More HERE.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Where Do You Vote?

Here's a national search engine as to where you vote, providing even the hours the polls are open.

Here's a New York State lookup. "To use this page, you must be a registered voter in the New York State." You also need the date of birth of the voter. The upside is that it provides voter district information, such as one's Election District, County Legislative District, State Senate District, State Assembly District, Congressional District, Town or City, and Ward. It also provides the party affiliation, in case you've forgotten.

Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas

"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) supports the Department's efforts to help create cohesive, economically healthy communities.

"PD&R is responsible for maintaining current information on housing needs, market conditions, and existing programs, as well as conducting research on priority housing and community development issues. The Office provides reliable and objective data and analysis to help inform policy decisions. PD&R is committed to involving a greater diversity of perspectives, methods, and researchers in HUD research."

And that's where I found Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas and other low-income data regarding housing, which can be applied to other uses.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Climate change: How do we know?

From NASA:

Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2010 Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International(TI) defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to the perception of corruption in the public sector. The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries.

The 2010 CPI draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. It captures information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption. Broadly speaking, the surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.

For a country or territory to be included in the index a minimum of three of the sources that TI uses must assess that country. Thus inclusion in the index depends solely on the availability of information.

Perceptions are used because corruption – whether frequency or amount – is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption. Measuring scandals, investigations or prosecutions, while offering ‘non-perception’ data, reflect less on the prevalence of corruption in a country and more on other factors, such as freedom of the press or the efficiency of the judicial system. TI considers it of critical importance to measure both corruption and integrity, and to do so in the public and private sectors at global, national and local levels. The CPI is therefore one of many TI measurement tools that serve the fight against corruption.

The United States ranked 22nd, 4th in the Americas.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Before they vote: Send Them a Postcard

Want to make sure your friends and family are informed about just who they're voting for in the upcoming midterms?

With an unprecedented amount of money flowing into this year's midterm elections, help your friends and family follow the money by sending a customized postcard or three right from this website - no stamps necessary - about the elections happening in their community.

Each postcard will show the industries and organizations that contribute the most to the candidate (or candidates) you choose. Make it personal by writing a note to tell your friend or family member about why you want them to see the money and influence this political season.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ACLU Report Calls On FCC To Protect Internet Openness

Protecting the Internet against content discrimination by broadband carriers is crucial to protecting First Amendment rights in the age of modern technology, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a new report on network neutrality. In the report, "Net Neutrality 101," the ACLU urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create strong policies that prevent Internet gatekeepers from exploiting their role for private gain. The report characterizes the need for "net neutrality" as a leading free speech issue of our time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Election-Related Spending by Political Committees & Non-Profits Up 40% in 2010

Report Prepared for a Conference on the Impact of Citizens United
Jointly Sponsored by the Campaign Finance Institute and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs

One part of the 2010 election spending story is based on publicly reportable activities. Non-party independent campaign spending in congressional elections is up by a very noticeable 73% in mid-October 2010, compared to the same time in 2008. In these reports, support for Republicans has nearly tripled from the mid-October level for 2008. There has already been more independent spending and electioneering in 2010 than in the full election cycle of 2008 – and this is before the traditionally heavy-spending final weeks of the campaign.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 Financial Blogs for College Students

Criminal Justice Degrees Guide recently published an article, Top 10 Financial Blogs for College Students that dovetails well with articles published recently here.

This was sent to me by a representative of the organization. Which reminds me: if you come across some interesting or intriguing or insane data that you think others might be interested in, please e-mail me. The contact info is at the bottom of the sidebar.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Male versus female pay

Payroll By Gender: Who Makes More Money

Who's bringing home the bacon?
In 1970, 4% of married women earned more than their husbands.
Today, it's 22%.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which State Is Smartest?

For the second consecutive year, Vermont has earned the title of the nation’s Smartest State. This honor was announced today in Education State Rankings 2006-2007, a new reference book from Morgan Quitno Press, a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent research and publishing company. At the opposite end of the scale, Arizona repeated as the lowest ranking state in the fifth annual survey.

New York ranked 16th, down six slots from the last study. See all the results, as well as the methodology, HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World Statistics Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated Oct. 20, 2010, as the first-ever World Statistics Day to highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems. Statistical organizations throughout the world will celebrate World Statistics Day at the national and regional level. The census, the U.S. Census Bureau and 13 other principal federal statistical agencies together have been collecting statistics about the nation's people, economy and society since 1790.

Here are some statistics, including statistics about statistics.

VIDEO: Statistics All Around Us on YouTube

World Statistics Day page

Monday, October 18, 2010

2009 American Community Survey Brief Series

The U.S Census Bureau is pleased to announce the release of twelve more reports from the American Community Survey (ACS) Brief series for 2009. These short reports cover a wide range of topics:

Public Transportation Usage among U.S. Workers: 2008 and 2009
Property Value: 2008 and 2009
Rental Housing Market Conditions Measures: 2009
Labor Force Participation Rate for Selected Age Groups: 2008 and 2009
Employment Status of Married-Couple Families by Presence of Own Children under 18 Years: 2008 and 2009
Public Assistance Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households: 2008 and 2009
Science and Engineering Degrees: 2009
The Place of Birth of the Foreign-Born Population: 2009
Nativity Status and Citizenship in the United States: 2009
Year of Entry of the Foreign-Born Population: 2009
The Population with Haitian Ancestry in the United States: 2009
People Who Spoke a Language Other than English at Home by Hispanic Origin and Race: 2009

An initial set of seven reports was released on Sept. 28, 2010.

You can access all reports HERE.

Friday, October 15, 2010

U.S. finally enters top gender equality ranking

The United States rocketed from 31st place to 19th this year in a report that ranks gender equality the world over. This is the first time the U.S. has entered the Global Gender Gap Report's top 20, and this sudden progress mainly comes from economic participation and political empowerment (although, the empty bar graph for "Years with female head of state" is rather depressing). In terms of economic participation and opportunity, we rank sixth in the world. The two other areas considered by the report: educational attainment and health.

The real stars of the report, however, are the four Nordic countries dominating the list: Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

More HERE.
Global Gender Gap Report 2010 - Saadia Zahidi video (2:29).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New York State Archives and Library announce new Saturday hours

The New York State Library and New York State Archives will institute new Saturday hours beginning on October 16th. Saturday hours of operation at the two facilities, located on the 7th and 11th floor of the Cultural Education Center (CEC) at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free public parking will be available in the Madison Avenue parking lots adjacent to the CEC. Directions and parking information is available on the New York State Museum website.

This new policy for expanded access does not affect the hours of the New York State Museum, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
However if a major holiday (e.g. July 4th, Memorial Day, Veterans Day) falls directly on a Saturday, the Library and Archives will not be open (checking their websites is advised for such holidays).

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, New York State government and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 190 years. It is the largest state library in the nation and the only state library to qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries. The Library's research collection of more than 20 million items includes major holdings in law, medicine, the social sciences, education, American and New York State history and culture, the pure sciences and technology.

The New York State Archives identifies, preserves, and makes available more than 200 million records of colonial and state government dating back to 1630 that have enduring value to the public and private institutions and to all the people of the Empire State and the nation.

Handbook of New York State and Local Taxes: October 2010

The Handbook of New York State and Local Taxes provides a general descriptive overview of the taxes which New York State and its local governments impose, and is revised periodically to reflect recently enacted law changes. It does not include non-tax revenue sources such as motor vehicle fees and the Lottery. Instead, it focuses on taxes, especially those administered by the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Transportation fatalities dropped, pipeline & marine deaths rose in 2009

Source: National Transportation Safety Board

Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 9.2 percent in 2009 from 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The data indicate that transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,928 in 2009, compared to 39,569 in 2008. Although highway, rail, aviation, deaths declined, pipeline and marine fatalities showed an increase.
Pipeline fatalities increased by six (8 to 14), with an increase in both categories - gas pipelines and liquid pipeline operations.

Marine deaths increased from 783 to 817, with the vast majority occurring in recreational boating (736). Other marine categories, including cargo transport and commercial fishing, showed increases as well, although commercial passenger vessels showed a slight decrease.

Highway fatalities, which account for nearly 95% of all transportation deaths, decreased from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808 in 2009. In fact, highway fatalities decreased in all categories including motorcycle fatalities (down 16 percent) which had been on the rise in recent years.

Aviation deaths decreased from 574 to 538. Nearly 90% of aviation fatalities occurred in general aviation accidents (471), but they still represented a decrease from the previous year (494).

Rail fatalities decreased 4% from 781 to 751. The vast majority of these fatalities were persons struck by a rail vehicle.

More HERE.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GSA Per Diem Rates

From Hill

If you’re wondering how much your next vacation or business trip might cost you – or you want to compare possible domestic locales by cost – have a look at the U.S. General Services Administration’s Per Diem Rates website.

The site was designed to show Federal employees the limits they have on spending each day for lodging, meals, and other incidental costs (local transportation, etc.). Typically the rates given reflect mid-range prices, not luxury or budget options.

While not designed for the non-Federal business traveler -- nor for the holiday traveler -- the figures on the site can at least be a start in setting a sample budget. Note that the rates given often vary by season, reflecting high-season and off-season price variations in certain locales (think Martha’s Vineyard, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains). Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for the tip!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Business quotes

Every month, Forbes magazine has a page of quotes at the back of the magazine - "Thoughts and Quotes on the Business of Life". Here's the link to the online database.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

HRVH Historical Newspapers website launch

The Southeastern NY Library Resources Council is pleased to announce the launch of a new website, HRVH Historical Newspapers , part of the Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH) service. The Kingston Daily Freeman is the first newspaper to be included in this new digital newspaper repository and was completely digitized for the years 1903 to 1912. The entire contents of the newspaper issues can be searched by word and browsed by date. Complete issues of the newspaper can be viewed by full page or individual articles can be highlighted and viewed. This collection will be invaluable to historians, family researchers, teachers and students.

HRVH Historical Newspapers is the product of a two year demonstration project supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Using this grant and other New York State funds, SENYLRC created images and digitized 2,974 issues and 26,341 pages of The Kingston Daily Freeman from microfilm and print issues of the newspaper. The Kingston Library supplied copies of the microfilm and the City of Kingston Historian provided 106 year old print copies of the newspaper for this project.

HRVH Historical Newspapers is freely available for public use. The goal is to have the newspaper site linked from as many library websites and portals as possible so that people know that this resource is available for them to use for their research.
The vision for HRVH Historical Newspapers is to provide access to digitized copies of historical newspapers from the Hudson River Valley region of New York State. New titles added to HRVH Historical Newspapers will be based on a number of factors, such as regional significance, the availability of paper issues or master negative microfilm copies of the newspaper, and available funds.

Feel free to share this information.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prison Mortality

Although access to this research (which appeared in the August 2010 issue of Demography) is restricted, the astounding results published in the article, "Incarcerating Death: Mortality in U.S. State Correctional Facilities, 1985-1998," are worthy of attention. In the article, Vanderbilt University sociologist Evelyn J. Patterson compares the mortality rate of men in state correctional facilities with the rate of men who are not in prison. She discovers that imprisoned black men have a lower mortality rate than black men who are not in prison. After controlling for firearm and motor vehicle deaths, the mortality rate for imprisoned black men is still lower. The reason, suggests Patterson, is that imprisoned black men have greater access to basic health care than their counterparts outside prison walls.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Small Nonprofits in Danger of Losing Their Tax-Exempt Status

From Guidestar:

"Time is running out for small nonprofits facing loss of tax-exempt status because they have not filed Form 990-N or Form 990-EZ for three consecutive years. The deadline for the IRS's one-time filing relief program is October 15, 2010. After that, nonprofits that (1) are required to file a 990 and (2) whose filings are at least three years in arrears will automatically lose their exemptions. To regain tax-exempt status, they will have to apply to the IRS all over again, a process that can take several months and requires payment of fees."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Every county in the US

For $4, one can purchase an MS EXCEL Spreadsheet that lists every county in the United States (3,136 of them) followed by all cities and towns (25,097 of them). Both lists are alphabetical by State and county/city within each State. Each listing includes the population from the 2000 census. (The current population of each can be found on the Census Bureau's web site.)

Launch of New York First (Gov. David Paterson)

My Fellow New Yorker:
I am proud to announce the launch of New York First (, an innovative business website geared toward the needs of companies within New York State and those who are considering relocating here. Until now, anyone looking for information on the State’s economic development programs would have to contact every agency in the State. With New York First, the full scope of what our State offers its entrepreneurs and potential corporate partners can now be found at one centralized, easy-to-navigate website.
New York First brings new clarity, efficiency, and transparency to the State’s economic development efforts. This new site also offers an “Experts on Demand” guarantee. Any email or phone call will receive a response from Empire State Development staff within twenty-four business hours. I’m confident this site will act as a catalyst for long-term business growth, jobs, and prosperity in New York, building on my Administration’s larger efforts to make New York THE State for doing business. For more information about New York First, please enjoy an introductory video with an overview of the website and a demonstration on how to fully utilize it.