Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Proposed Urban Area Criteria for the 2010 Census

The Census Bureau announces publication of the "Proposed Urban Area Criteria for the 2010 Census" in the Federal Register of August 24, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 163), available HERE or HERE (PDF). The Census Bureau is seeking public comment on these proposed criteria. Comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the criteria should be submitted in writing, no later than November 22, 2010, to Timothy Trainor, Chief, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233-7400.

The Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying individual urbanized areas of 50,000 or more people and urban clusters of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people; “rural” encompasses all population and territory not included in urban areas. The Census Bureau’s urban areas represent densely developed territory, and encompass residential, commercial, and other non-residential urban land uses. Additional information about the Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification, including proposed urban area criteria for the 2010 Census, as well as summaries of the proposed changes is available on the Census Bureau’s website.

Changes proposed for the 2010 Census include:

• Use of census tracts as analysis units in the initial phase of delineation
• Potential return to a maximum jump distance of 1.5 miles (the distance was increased to 2.5 miles in the Census 2000 criteria).
• Use of land use/land cover data to identify territory containing non-residential urban land uses or land cover that restricts urban development, such as marshland and wetlands.
• Lowering the minimum number of enplanements (departing passengers) from 10,000 to 2,500 to qualify airports for inclusion in urban areas.
• Elimination of the central place concept.
• Requirement that, in addition to at least 2,500 total population, an area must contain at least 1,500 persons residing outside institutional group quarters to qualify as urban.
• Splitting urban agglomerations of 1,000,000 or more population based on metropolitan statistical area boundaries, or, in New England, along metropolitan New England city and town area boundaries.

For further information about the Census Bureau urban-rural classification, or the proposed criteria for the 2010 Census, please contact Vincent Osier, Chief, Geographic Standards and Criteria Branch, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, via e-mail at vincent.osier@census.gov or telephone at 301-763-9039.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Historical Population Data

Census of Population and Housing data present here ranges from our most recent census to the historical decennial census conducted throughout the decades. Some of the data were scanned as an effort to make historical census information available to the public. The display of data will continue as historical census records become available

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The History of Weather

I've found a selection of weather data (temp, precipitation, hummidity, wind) on a daily basis for most US locations, going back to 1945 from the Weather Underground.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

Data Detectives Ed and Michael have noted the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, which "is meant to be a resource for people seeking records of past events, and people trying to analyze, interpret and display county-based historical data like returns of elections and censuses, and for people working on state and local history projects. The special interests of those potential users range from history to demography, economics, genealogy, geography, law, and politics."

The page features interactive maps of every county, extinct county, and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of the first county through 31 December 2000; plus an index of counties and equivalents, with individual and statewide county chronologies. See how county boundaries changed over time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Counting Same-Sex Couples

It has been written that the Census Bureau has no data on same-sex couples; this is incorrect. Go to Families and Living Arrangements and scroll near the bottom. Not only will one find tables, one will discover a couple working papers that describe the political and statistical challenges about gathering such information. Gay marriage is a particularly complicated statistical issue.

Also, on American Factfinder, look for Table B11009. UNMARRIED-PARTNER HOUSEHOLDS BY SEX OF PARTNER in the American Community Survey.

There's a UCLA professor named Gary Gates, who has put together some statistics based on 2000 Census data and other sources, including the Gay and Lesbian Atlas.

Monday, August 23, 2010

National Environmental Scorecard

The 2009 National Environmental Scorecard illustrates the extent to which the Obama administration and the 111th Congress began to move our nation towards a new energy future that will reinvigorate our economy, create jobs, make America more energy independent and protect the planet from global warming pollution. In the most sweeping accomplishment, the U.S. House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act, which marked the first time that comprehensive global warming and clean energy legislation passed either chamber of Congress.

The 2009 Scorecard covers other key issues, such as public lands, water quantity and quality, forest management, offshore drilling, wildlife conservation at home and abroad, chemical security and population.

The New York state delegation as a whole did very well, over 80%. In fact there were only 3 representatives with scores under 86% positive:
Christopher Lee (REP) NY-26 14%
Peter King (REP) NY-3 36%
John McHugh (REP) NY-23 67%

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Census Bureau Releases Detailed Information on Nation’s Housing

U.S. Monthly Housing Costs Reach $1,000 for Homeowners

The nation's homeowners paid a median of $1,000 in monthly housing costs in 2009, compared with $808 for renters, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, renters usually paid a higher percentage of their household income on these costs than did owners (31 percent compared with 20 percent).

Friday, August 20, 2010

IRS Publishes List of Nonprofits at Risk of Losing Tax-Exempt Status

I belong to GuideStar, an entity that "gather[s] and publicize[s] information about nonprofit organizations." They have been writing about smaller nonprofits facing automatic revocation of tax-exempt status. They inform the readers that there is a list of nonprofits at risk on the IRS Web site.

You might want to check your favorite charities. The more curious could search the PDFs by location or partial ZIP Code, or perhaps save and manipulate the downloadable Excel files.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2011-2015 Consolidated Plan, AI Public Comment Announcement


To participate in certain federal community development and housing programs, the State of New York must prepare a five-year Consolidated Plan and an annual Action Plan and provide opportunities for citizens to participate in its development. As part of this process, New York State invites interested persons to review and comment on the five-year Consolidated Plan for 2011-2015 and the Annual Action Plan for 2011 during an upcoming public comment period.

The Consolidated Plan and the Annual Action Plan focus principally on four federal programs: the New York State Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG); the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME); the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA); and the Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESGP).
The Consolidated Plan will be a five-year strategy for addressing the housing and non-housing community development needs of New York communities. The Consolidated Plan will set long-term goals for the development of viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. New York State must submit a completed Consolidated Plan, including the Annual Action Plan, to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development by November 15, 2010.

The Annual Action Plan will describe the State’s planned use of federal Fiscal Year 2011 CDBG, HOME, HOPWA and ESGP funds it administers to address the needs identified by its five-year Consolidated Plan and further the Consolidated Plan’s objectives, and will also describe the State’s methods for distributing these funds.
In addition, New York State is updating its Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing which will identify impediments to fair housing choice in New York State and what actions are being taken to overcome the effects of those impediments. Interested persons are also invited to review and comment on the draft update of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing during the upcoming public comment period.

The 30-day public comment period will begin on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 and extend through close of business Thursday, October 7, 2010. Beginning on September 8, 2010, New York State’s draft five-year Consolidated Plan for 2011-2015, draft Annual Action Plan for 2011, and draft update of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing, may be viewed on and downloaded from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) website at www.nysdhcr.gov. In addition, copies can be requested by email (DHCRConPln@nysdhcr) or by calling 1-866-ASK-DHCR (275-3427).

Comments should be mailed to: NYS DHCR, Attention: Brian McCarthy, 38-40 State Street, Albany New York 12207 or emailed to DHCRConPln@nysdhcr.gov. Comments must be received by close of business Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector

The Guidestar June 2010 economic survey, which measured the impact of these difficult economic times on the nonprofit sector. Among respondents, nearly half were CEOs, executive directors, or presidents—our leaders in the nonprofit industry. The results are compelling:
• Some 40 percent of participants reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier.
• Eight percent indicated that their organizations were in imminent danger of closing.
• Sixty-three percent reported a total increase in demand for their organization's services between January 1, 2010 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year prior.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summertime Child Care Arrangements Vary

Children are less likely to have regular child care arrangements during the school break in the summer — about 55 percent of preschoolers and 58 percent of grade-schoolers were not in a regular child care placement during the summer of 2006. According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, those children who do have regular arrangements typically spend more hours in child care during the summer than the rest of the year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's soda. No, it's pop.

I was at a wedding recently and the discussion evolved to what one calls carbonated beverages. It turns out that there is a website called Pop Vs Soda that addresses this very important issue. There is even a county-by-county map delineating the data. Western New York is pop territory while the rest of the state is soda country.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Women's Earnings in 2009

Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2009, U.S. Department of Labor/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2010, Report 1025 is part of the Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Census Bureau to Update Employment Numbers

During the week of Aug. 15, 2010, nearly 2,000 Census Bureau field representatives will interview about 72,000 households across the nation for the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS).

The CPS is co-sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau

Before the survey is conducted, households selected in the nationwide sample will receive an informational letter from the Census Bureau director. Some participants are interviewed by telephone and others are interviewed in person by field representatives who carry official identification.

Every month, Census Bureau field representatives ask selected households questions relevant to the U.S. labor force, such as their employment status, hours worked, earnings, age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, occupation and industry. From these answers come estimates of the unemployment rate released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

State government employment drops below level at start of recession

Total employment by state governments has dipped below its level at the start of the recent recession for the first time, a new “Data Alert” from the Rockefeller Institute of Government shows. After rising for eight consecutive months after the recession began in December 2007, state and local government employment has declined for 17 of the last 23 months as states have experienced record declines in revenue. An extension of extraordinary federal aid to states, expected to be approved by Congress, “would likely dampen but not eliminate pressure for additional cuts in state and local government employment,” Institute researchers Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan write.
Click here for the Data Alert.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Power Partnership Top 50

The Green Power Partnership works with a wide variety of leading organizations — from Fortune 500 companies to local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of colleges and universities. The following Top Partner Rankings highlight the annual green power purchases of leading organizations within the United States and across individual industry sectors.

These green power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide. Purchase amounts reflect U.S. operations only and are sourced from U.S.-based green power resources. Organizations can meet EPA purchase requirements using any combination of three different product options (1) Renewable Energy Certificates, (2) On-site generation, and (3) Utility green power products.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Will the 2010 Census Surprise Us?

In contrast to censuses past, the results of the 2010 census are not likely to surprise us. In fact, the overwhelming response could be a collective yawn. What was all the fuss about? Didn't we already know that?
At the national level, yes we did know. The Census Bureau's estimates and surveys do a good job of keeping us up to date on the size and characteristics of the U.S. population. But the census does much more, providing population counts and demographic profiles for the entire country down to the neighborhood level. Nothing but a census can do that. So when census results begin to emerge, stifle the yawn and appreciate the depth of the information.
The 2010 census asked only 10 questions, and three of them were administrative... The most interesting socioeconomic questions (such as where our money comes from) have been siphoned off by the annual American Community Survey...

Which answer will surprise us the most? The biggest surprise may be household size. For decades, household size has been declining as smaller families became the norm and more people lived alone. In 2009, however, the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey recorded a tiny blip upwards (from 2.56 to 2.57 people in the average household) as the Great Recession forced Americans to double up. The 2010 census may show that the doubling up has been even greater than suspected. Other data sources hint that this may the case: housing vacancies are at a record high and many middle-aged parents are reporting that their adult children have moved back home.

By Cheryl Russell, editorial director, New Strategist Publications. If you have any questions or comments about the above Q & A, e-mail New Strategist at demographics@newstrategist.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So, you want to know, for business or cultural reasons, what holidays are celebrated in various countries? Here are some suggestions:

Time and Date lets you choose a date until 2015 and choose the country.

CountryReports is also useful. Though you need to scroll through the months to see the holidays, you can choose a country or region.

My favorite may be Earth Calendar, a "daybook of holidays and celebrations around the world. For the purpose of this web site a 'holiday' is any day that recognizes a cultural event, and not necessarily a day when businesses are closed.
Madonna - Holiday
The Bee Gees- Holiday

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Nonprofit Sector May Shrink 25%

On May 17, 2010, the IRS began revoking tax-exempt status from nonprofits that failed to file three consecutive annual returns (Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990, or 990-PF). As a result, as many as 300,000 nonprofits may lose their tax-exempt status, effectively shrinking the nonprofit sector by 25%.
What do YOU need to know?
• Which nonprofits are at risk?
• What happens to a nonprofit that loses its exemption?
• What happens if a donor gives to a charity that has lost its exemption?

GuideStar's new report, Automatic Revocation of Nonprofits' Tax-Exempt Status: What Nonprofits, Grantmakers, and Donors Need to Know, answers all of these questions, and more. Written by Linda M. Lampkin of ERI Economic Research Institute, it is a no-nonsense overview of the impact of this earthshaking development in the nonprofit world.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

HHS Poverty Guidelines 2010

Recent legislation prohibited publication of 2010 poverty guidelines before May 31, 2010, and required that the 2009 poverty guidelines remain in effect until publication of updated guidelines. Legislation to further delay publication of the 2010 guidelines did not pass. The procedure for updating the 2010 guidelines was modified to take into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for the period for which their publication was delayed. As a result, the poverty guideline figures for the remainder of 2010 showed no change from the 2009 poverty guideline figures.


All consumers participate in the World of Wellness. In fact, 19% of all monthly spending is reserved for products with a wellness halo.

This infographic...explores what wellness spending means to consumers as they redefine healthy living.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The WorkingPoint blog

I've been checking out the blog put out by WorkingPoint, an "online, small business solution." They have been putting out some interesting articles such as Essential Ingredients for Small Business Success and 19 Ways to Drive a Steady Stream of Traffic to Your Website. It's fun site - periodically, you'll come across the Botpreneur, who is ready for (business) action.

WorkingPoint offers free invoicing, bill & expense management and bookkeeping, with additional services for $10 per month. This article explains that the founders of WorkingPoint "worked for Intuit and were behind the creation of QuickBooks and Quicken. They believed Quickbooks had become too complicated and that the small business software segment was ripe for SaaS-based innovation."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Largest Companies Operating in Canada

The Globe and Mail ranks the top 1000 public companies in Canada, as well as the top 350 private companies.