Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Members of Congress: Trends in Characteristics Since 1945

Questions about the characteristics of Members of Congress, including their age, education, previous occupations, and other descriptors, are of ongoing interest to Members, congressional staff, and constituents. Some of these questions may be asked in the context of representation, in efforts to evaluate the extent to which Members of Congress reflect their constituencies and the nation at large. In other instances, questions arise about how the characteristics of Members have changed over time, which may speak in part to the history of Congress.

Members in 2011 are older, more likely to identify a religious affiliation, and include more women and members of racial and ethnic groups than Members in 1945. The data presented in this report suggest that since the 79th Congress, Members have had high levels of education, and worked in professional positions prior to coming to Congress. The number of Members who previously served in the military has risen and fallen, largely in tandem with the levels of service in the broader population.

Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Survey of Mining Companies: 2011/2012

Since 1997, the Fraser Institute has conducted an annual survey of metal mining and exploration companies to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulation affect exploration investment. Survey results represent the opinions of executives and exploration managers in mining and mining consulting companies operating around the world. The survey now covers 93 jurisdictions around the world, on every continent except Antarctica, including sub-national jurisdictions in Canada, Australia, Argentina, and the United States.

Full report HERE [PDF] .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indicators of School Crime and Safety

National Center for Education Statistics - Bureau of Justice Statistics

Our nation’s schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community.
Establishing good indicators of the current state of school crime and safety across the nation and regularly updating and monitoring these indicators is important in ensuring the safety of our nation’s students. This is the aim of Indicators of School Crime and Safety.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fertility Rates, Costly Medical Conditions, and Obesity

National Center for Health Statistics - Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through June 2011 [PDF]
The provisional count of births in the United States for the 12-month period ending June 2011 was 3,978,000, which was 2 percent lower than the provisional count of 4,057,000 for the 12-month period ending June 2010. This continues the decline in the number of births from the all-time high of 4,316,233 in 2007; the rate of decline appears to have slowed from January 2011 to June 2011.
The provisional fertility rate in the United States for the 12-month period ending June 2011 declined as well, down 2 percent to 64.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44 from 65.5 for the 12-month period ending June 2010. This continues the decline in the fertility rate from the 17-year high of 69.5 in 2007, but again, the rate of decline appears to have slowed in the first 6 months of 2011.

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - The Concentration of Health Care Expenditures and Related Expenses for Costly Medical Conditions, 2009 [PDF]
In 2009, health care expenses among the U.S. community population totaled $1.26 trillion. Medical care expenses, however, are highly concentrated among a relatively small proportion of individuals in the community population. As reported previously in 1996, the top 1 percent of the U.S. population accounted for 28 percent of the total health care expenditures and the top 5 percent for more than half. More recent data have revealed that over time there has been some decrease in the extent of this concentration at the upper tail of the expenditure distribution. Furthermore, medical expenditures have been concentrated for the treatment of certain types of highly prevalent conditions or for which treatment often entails the use of high-cost services

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Obesity Update 2012 [PDF]
The obesity epidemic slowed down in several OECD countries during the past three years. Rates grew less than previously projected, or did not grow at all, according to new data from ten OECD countries. Child obesity rates also stabilised in England, France, Korea and United States. However, rates remain high and social disparities in obesity are unabated. Many governments have stepped up efforts to tackle the root causes of obesity, embracing increasingly comprehensive strategies and involving
communities and key stakeholders. There has been a new interest in the use of taxes on foods rich in fat and sugar, with several governments (e.g. Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary) passing new legislation in 2011.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Archives Announces Website for Free 1940 Census Online Release

The National Archives, with its partner, launched its new website in preparation for its first-ever online U.S. census release, which will take place on April 2, 2012, at 9 a.m. (EST). The public is encouraged to bookmark the website now in order to more quickly access the 1940 census data when it goes live. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2 release date.

Full story

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fundraising Raffle Laws, Rules, and Regulations

by Deane Brengle

In the United States and Canada all types of fundraising raffles are considered to be games of chance. Consequently, they are very tightly regulated and failure to adhere to the law is considered a serious offense. If you have any doubt about the correct procedures, do not rely on anybody's word but a government official or a lawyer knowledgeable in these matters.

In many areas there may be more than one governmental body that has jurisdiction over a fundraising raffle. It is always good to check your state/province/territory and your local government for any necessary licenses and permits.

In almost all cases an application for a license must be made to the governing unit. This application and the resulting permit may takes weeks or months to process and receive. Do not proceed to hold a fundraising raffle without having the necessary paperwork in hand.

More HERE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

State & Local Government Jobs Continue to Decline in Most States

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics continue to show broad declines in state and local government employment in a majority of states, although public-sector jobs have increased elsewhere. This Data Alert examines recent changes in state and local government employment at the individual state level, as well as the national level, using several recent periods for comparison.

Using three-month employment averages to smooth short-term variations, total U.S. nonfarm employment rose by 1.4 percent over the year ending in January 2012. The growth was driven by a 2.0 increase in the private sector (+2.1 million jobs). By contrast, all the subsectors of government reported declines in employment over the year. As shown on Table 1, federal government employment declined by 1.2 percent (-35,000 jobs), state government employment by 1.5 percent (-76,000 jobs) and local government employment by 1.1 percent (-163,000 jobs).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Election Administration by the Numbers

This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey, public opinion surveys, and expert assessments...

The Pew Center on the States has been working with state election officials, researchers, and other experts to develop measurements and tools to improve election performance. This report follows up on Data for Democracy (2008), which reviewed ways in which data could support better election management, from the local to the national level.

* Link to full report (PDF)

* Link to publication web page to download individual sections

Saturday, February 18, 2012

If 2012's Oscar-nominated movie posters told the truth

It's that time of year again: the Oscar nominations are in, and the chatter has begun. Who will fail to beat George Clooney and Meryl Streep this time? In the interests of transparency, we've shopped the posters for this awards season's biggest movies so they're a little more honest about their content.

More HERE.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Census Bureau annual employment size of firm data

U.S. Census Bureau annual employment size of firm data (partially funded by the Office of Advocacy) on the number of firms, employment, firm births, deaths and job creation has been updated to 2009. As with the economy in general, small businesses struggled from 2008 to 2009. The over twenty-years of data presents opportunities to evaluate how small businesses have weathered business cycles.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MetroTrends: up-to-date indicators from numerous data sources

The Urban Institute's report card and toolkit for researchers, students, journalists, elected officials and the public on the state of metropolitan economies. Here you'll find up-to-date charts and figures, expert commentaries and relevant, downloadable datasets.

The MetroTrends Blog has launched and brings you seasoned voices on the changes and challenges facing metropolitan America.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES)


To provide broad-based statistics on business spending for new and used structures and equipment. United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses. The survey is also referred to as the ACES program.

All domestic, private, non-farm businesses, including agricultural non-farm (NAICS Subsectors 113, 114 and 115) including nonemployer businesses. Major exclusions are foreign operations of U.S. businesses, businesses in U.S. territories, government operations (including the U.S. Postal Service), agricultural production companies, and private households.

Basic data for each year include expenditures on new and used structures and equipment (including added expenditure detail by type of structure, and by type of equipment in years ending in 3 and 8).

Data collection begins in mid-March and continues for 9 months; data are for activities in the prior calendar year. Basic annual data are supplemented on a 5-year cycle; 5th year supplements provide added detail by type of structure and by type of equipment. Data has been collected annually beginning with data for 1993.

More here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Major Work Stoppages in 2011

In 2011, there were 19 major strikes and lockouts involving 1,000 or more workers and lasting at least one shift, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The 19 major work stoppages in 2011 idled 113,000 workers for 1.02 million lost workdays, a large increase compared to 2010 with 11 major work stoppages idling 45,000 workers for 302,000 lost workdays. In 2009, there were record lows of 5 major work stoppages idling 13,000 workers for 124,000 lost workdays

More HERE.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Census Bureau Requests for Comments: partnerships, sharing data

APDU has identified several Census Bureau Requests for Comments that I think may interest you.

The first deals with Geographic Partnership Programs. This includes the Geographic Support Systems Initiative (which we’ve been hearing about, the 2010 Redistricting Data Program (some of the later phases), and the School District Review Program.

The second request covers the special census program. This program allows local governments to contract with the Census Bureau for a special census of their community. The local government pays all of the costs of these censuses.

The third request for comments is about a proposal allowing the Census Bureau to share a portion of its Business Register with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on a confidential basis. The Census Bureau’s Business Register is the business equivalent of the Master Address File used to collect demographic data.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Census Bureau Reports Post-Recession Growth in 10 of 11 Service Sectors

The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2010 Service Annual Survey, which shows that of the nation’s 11 service sector, 10 showed an increase in revenues for employer firms between 2009 and 2010. Only the finance and insurance sector (NAICS 52) showed a loss ($27.2 billion, a loss of 0.8 percent)...

These figures are the first findings from this survey to track the revenues of services after the December 2007 to June 2009 recession. Accompanying these figures is a recent webinar that examined the revenues of selected industries for the years 2005 to 2010, covering before and after the latest recession.

The Service Annual Survey provides the most comprehensive national statistics available annually on service activity in the United States. Since 2009, the survey was expanded to collect data for all service industries, capturing 55 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Previously, the survey accounted for only 30 percent of GDP.

Information Services Sector

Increases varied widely across service sectors. For example, the information sector (NAICS 51) increased from $1.08 trillion to $1.1 trillion. Within this sector, Internet publishing and broadcasting (NAICS 516) continued to see increased revenues, up 11.3 percent from$19.1 billion to $21.3 billion in 2010.

Television broadcasting (NAICS 51512) increased 12.0 percent from $31.6 billion to$35 billion. Cable and subscription other programming (NAICS 5152) as well as wireless telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5172) also saw increases in revenue of 7.3 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, to $55.2 billion and $195.5 billion.

However, revenues for newspaper (NAICS 51111) and periodical publishers (NAICS 51112) continued to fall. Newspaper publishers declined by 4.6 percent to $34.7 billion, and periodical publishers declined 1.8 percent to $38.4 billion. Wired telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5171) continued to decline, falling 2.3 percent to $168.8 billion.

Other Sectors

Health care and social assistance revenue (NAICS 62) continued to increase for employer firms, rising to $1.9 trillion in 2010, an increase of 4.0 percent. Hospitals (NAICS 622) increased revenue to $822.6 billion, up 4.5 percent from 2009. Nursing and residential care facilities (NAICS 623) also rose 4.4 percent to $192.0 billion.

The finance and insurance sector (NAICS 52) had a small decline to $3.3 trillion in revenues in 2010, decreasing 0.8 percent from the prior year. Securities and commodity exchanges revenue (NAICS 5232) decreased 1.5 percent to $10.9 billion, while miscellaneous intermediation revenue (NAICS 523910) rose 16.0 percent to $23.6 billion.

Among other sectors covered by the Service Annual Survey:

-- The utilities sector (NAICS 22) showed estimated revenues of $501.7 billion, an increase of 5.0 percent from $477.6 billion in 2009.

-- Arts, entertainment and recreation (NAICS 71) increased 2.0 percent to $192 billion in revenue.

-- Revenues for the transportation and warehousing sector (NAICS 48-49) were $640.2 billion in 2010, up 7.6 percent from $595.2 billion in 2009.

-- The real estate rental and leasing sector (NAICS 53) had total revenues of $356.0 billion, up 1.8 percent from 2009. New subsectors added last year to this sector included real estate (NAICS 531) and lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (NAICS 533). (

The 2010 Service Annual Survey (SAS) includes all or portions of NAICS Sectors 22, 48-49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 61, 62, 71 and 81. The estimates provided in this release are from the 2010 Service Annual Survey based on the 2002 North American Industry Classification System. Estimates contain sampling and nonsampling errors. To keep the identity of an individual firm confidential, some estimates may be suppressed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do the dead outnumber the living?

Not even close, according to new research from the Population Reference Bureau. according to new research from the Population Reference Bureau. "There are currently seven billion people alive today and the Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived," according to a BBC News article. Of course, as BoingBoing NOTED, the vast majority of history is based on educated guesses. The first homo sapiens weren't too interested in acquiring census data. It wasn't until the 18th century or so that the best ongoing data was collected about such things.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Interesting NYC map on on energy consumption by block

A new study by Columbia Engineering School will help urban planners, policy makers, and engineers understand the local dynamics of building energy use in New York City—where over two-thirds of the energy consumption is from buildings—and help jumpstart the exchange of ideas.

Model Created to Map Energy Use in NYC Buildings

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Copyright Clearance Center Announces Motion Picture License

The CCC, in partnership with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC), developed the Motion Picture License to meet the diverse needs of businesses and their employees and reduce the risk of unintended copyright infringement.

The Motion Picture License allows one to show motion pictures legally in an organization for sales meetings, employee training and development programs, company functions and more while respecting the rights of content creators.

More HERE.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Study Reveals Gender Gap over Social Media Privacy

Most women using social media are just as willing to reveal personal information about their relationships, jobs, brand preferences and political and religious affiliations as men — but when it comes to details like phone numbers, location, and email or physical address that might put their personal security at risk, women are significantly more wary than men.

More HERE.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

Homeownership Rate (HR)

The homeownership rate in the third quarter 2011 (66.3 percent) was lower than the third quarter 2010 rate (66.9 percent). The homeownership rates in the Midwest and South were lower than their corresponding third quarter 2010 rates.
Rental Vacancy Rate (RVR)
The rental vacancy rate in the fourth quarter 2011 (9.4 percent) was approximately the same as the fourth quarter 2010 rate (9.4 percent).

Homeowner Vacancy Rate (HVR)
The homeowner vacancy rate of 2.3 percent in fourth quarter 2011 was lower than the fourth quarter 2010 rate (2.7 percent).p>
4th Qtr 2011
(HR): 66.0 percent
3rd Qtr 2011
(HR): 66.5 percent

More HERE.