Saturday, June 30, 2012

U.S. Net International Investment Position at Yearend 2011

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. net international investment position at yearend 2011 was -$4,030.3 billion (preliminary), as the value of foreign investment in the United States continued to exceed the value of U.S. investment abroad. At yearend 2010, the U.S. net international investment position was -$2,473.6 billion (revised). The -$1,556.7 billion change in the U.S. net investment position from yearend 2010 to yearend 2011 was mainly attributable to net price changes of -$802.1 billion and net financial flows of -$556.3 billion.

Friday, June 29, 2012 Update: The Health Care Law and You

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Do you have questions about what the Affordable Care Act means for you and your family? Learn about key features of the law, what will change, and when it will change at

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions

From the Census Bureau:

This quarterly survey (formerly known as the Finances of Selected State and Local Government Employee Retirement Systems Survey) provides national summary statistics on the revenues, expenditures and composition of assets of the 100 largest state and local public employee retirement systems in the United States. These 100 systems comprise 89.4 percent of financial activity among such entities, based on the 2007 Census of Governments. This survey presents the most current statistics about investment decisions by state and local public employee retirement systems, which are among the largest types of institutional investors in the U.S. financial markets. These statistical tables are published three months after each calendar quarter and show national financial transactions and trends for the past five years.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

U.S. Employer Businesses Show Declines in Establishments and Employees in 2010

In 2010, U.S. businesses with paid employees numbered 7.4 million, a decline of 36,800 establishments from 2009, marking the third consecutive year of decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In comparison, between 2008 and 2009 there was a decline of 168,000 establishments.

These findings are from County Business Patterns: 2010, which provides the only detailed annual information on the number of establishments, employees, and first-quarter and annual payroll for most of the 1,100 industries covered at the national, state and county levels. The statistics are broken down according to employment-size classes (for example, number of establishments with one to four employees) and legal form of organization (for example, corporations and partnerships).

In 2010, total employment from all sectors was 112.0 million, a decline of 2.5 million employees from 2009. In comparison, between 2008 and 2009 there was a decline of 6.4 million employees.

“This year’s release of the County Business Patterns shows the overall decline in employment is slowing,” said William G. Bostic Jr., associate director for economic programs at the Census Bureau. “In contrast, 2009 coincided with the height of the recession and showed higher declines in employment and establishments.”

Between 2009 and 2010, only Alaska showed a rise in employment from the previous year, having increased 0.7 percent. All other states showed declines in employment, led by Wyoming’s 4.5 percent decline from 2009.

Among the top 50 counties in the United States by number of establishments, the largest decline in total annual payroll was Los Angeles County, Calif., with a decrease of nearly $2 billion. This was a decrease of 1.1 percent from 2009. Only Kings County, N.Y., showed an increase in the number of employees with an additional 4,400 from the previous year.

The retail trade sector had the highest number of establishments (1.1 million). Next were professional, scientific and technical services (851,506); health care and social assistance (812,860); other services (except public administration) (725,488); construction (682,684); and accommodation and food services (643,960).

The construction sector showed the largest percentage decline in establishments, decreasing 4.2 percent from 2009 to 2010. The finance and insurance sector had the second largest decline, falling 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010. The remaining top five sectors that showed the largest decline in establishments were manufacturing (2.9 percent), management of companies and enterprises (1.4 percent), and wholesale trade (1.2 percent).

Among industries that showed an increase in establishments, both utilities and health care and social assistance saw the largest increase, rising 1.7 percent from the previous year. The remaining top five industries that showed the largest increase in establishments were educational services (1.5 percent); accommodation and food services (1.4 percent); and professional, scientific, and technical services (1.1 percent).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Justice Expenditure & Employment Extracts

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents data from the Census Bureau's Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment. This series includes national, federal, and state-level estimates of government expenditures and employment for the following justice categories: police protection, all judicial functions (including prosecution, courts, and public defense), and corrections. Data for large local governments (counties with populations of 500,000 or more and cities with populations of 300,000 or more) are also included.

Justice Expenditure & Employment Extracts, 2007 - Revised
Justice Expenditure & Employment Extracts, 2008 - Final
Justice Expenditure & Employment Extracts, 2009 - Preliminary

Friday, June 22, 2012

11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation - Released

DOD has released its newest study assessing the effectiveness of military pay and benefits. The Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC) is completed every four years and focuses on areas established by the President. Begun in 2010, the 11th QRMC focused specifically on:
special and incentive pays for critical career fields; combat compensation; wounded warriors, caregivers, and survivor compensation; and Reserve and National Guard compensation and benefits.
For the rest of the summary see the press release

The report can be viewed in several ways. The main link for the 11th report also includes links for the 9th and 10th as well.
11th QRMC Main report
11th QRMC supporting research papers
View individual supporting chapters, reference documents, and downloadable files

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Census Bureau Report Shows Shared Households Increased 11.4 Percent from 2007 to 2010

The report, Sharing a Household: Household Composition and Economic Well-Being: 2007-2010 [PDF], analyzes data on household composition and income from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey. The report reveals that adults joined or combined their households in greater numbers and in higher proportions following the most recent recession than they did prior to the recession.

In spring 2007, there were 19.7 million shared households — defined as a household with at least one “additional” adult. An additional adult is a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is neither the householder, the spouse nor the cohabiting partner of the householder. By spring 2010, the number of shared households had increased to 22.0 million while all households increased by only 1.3 percent.

More info HERE.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bad news: Broadcasting Yearbook ceased publication. The GOOD news...

"A passing of a major institution in the broadcast biz: The Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook, formerly the Broadcasting Yearbook, was a dog-eared fixture on many broadcasters’ desks since probably before WWII." I found this book extremely useful in finding information about television, radio and cable, but the "2010 issue was the last.

"Over recent years, nearly all public and university libraries that held collections of Broadcasting weekly and yearbook issues have eliminated those resources upon analysis of usage; they were generally neither digitized nor microfilmed. Most libraries disposed of the Broadcasting issues." True, though painful. However -

"Because real information such as contained in publications like Broadcasting, Radio Daily, Television/Radio Age and R&R is needed by researchers and hobbyists alike, [David Gleason is] creating a 'virtual library' online with Broadcasting magazines and yearbooks and other industry publications... in an effort to preserve the availability for study and information retrieval of these diminishing resources."

Find The Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook HERE and other items HERE.

"Please treat this material as you would treat any library resorce and do not copy, print or misuse the material. By using this site you consent to respecting these usage guidelines. "

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ports around the world

World Port Source provides interactive satellite images, maps and contact information for 4,571 ports in 196 countries around the world. Quickly find any port using the regional map of the world. Or, if you're looking for a bit of fun, see if you can guess the day's Port of Call.

For instance, for New York State, here is a map, displaying relative size of the ports, and here are links to contact information.

For the largest ports in the Western Hemisphere, also check out the Seaports of the Americas AAPA Directory, with great detail about major ports such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Port of Albany.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Census Bureau released 2011 housing units estimates

The Census Bureau released 2011 housing units estimates for the nation, states and counties.

It is important to note that the methodology for this series is different than before. From the methodology description:

"Our method of producing housing unit estimates is different this year than in years past. The Vintage 2011 housing unit estimates do not rely on the usual components of housing change (building permits, non-permitted builds, mobile home shipments, and housing loss), which we used last decade to produce the housing unit estimates. Instead, we created the Vintage 2011 estimates by extrapolating the average monthly change in housing units at the county level, then summing these estimates to create estimates for the states and nation. To produce subcounty housing unit estimates, we distributed the extrapolated county estimates down to each subcounty area within a county based on 2010 Census proportions.
We chose not to use the components of change model for 2011 since we are presently evaluating the 2010 housing estimates relative to the 2010 Census results, and considering improvements to the existing housing unit method for the new decade. We expect to return to the components of change model for the 2012 estimates."

This means that a version of the usual methodology will be used next year. Every series start from the last Census and the numbers in the just released estimates will be replaced with numbers using the 'old' methodology next year.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

From the US Department of State:

The world changed immeasurably over the course of 2011. Across the Middle East, North Africa, and far beyond, citizens stood up to demand respect for human dignity, more promising economic opportunities, greater political liberties, and a say in their own future. Often they faced tremendous odds and endured violent responses from their governments. The resulting upheavals are still unfolding today in places like Syria, where the regime has brutalized its own people. In Burma, after years of repression, the government has taken preliminary steps to allow reforms to begin. This year’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices chronicle these dramatic changes and the stories of the people defending human rights in almost 200 countries around the world.

Congress mandated these country reports more than three decades ago to help guide lawmakers’ decisions on foreign military and economic aid, but they have evolved into something more. Today, governments, intergovernmental organizations, scholars, journalists, activists, and others around the world rely on these reports as an essential update on human rights conditions around the world – where we have seen progress, where progress has come too slowly or at great cost, and all too often, where it has been rolled back.

Section-by-section links in PDF format

Link to web version for additional functionality, such as viewing topics across multiple countries

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Census Bureau Releases New Version of TIGERweb

The U.S. Census Bureau announces the release of a new version of TIGERweb, a Web-based map viewer from the agency's Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER) database.

TIGERweb allows users to view and query census geographic areas and features such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes and other larger bodies of water. It currently displays boundaries, names and codes for 2010 Census legal and statistical geographic areas, such as counties, cities, towns and townships, census tracts and urban areas. In addition, TIGERweb contains population and housing unit counts from the 2010 Census for each of the geographic areas.

For more info, go

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Health and Insurance Status, Health Care Use, and Expenditures for Male Veterans, 2008

In 2008, there were 21.5 million veterans in the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, of which 20.2 million were men, accounting for 18.1 percent of the adult male population. Based on data from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC), this Statistical Brief compares the health status, use of health care services, insurance status, and health care expenditures for veterans to that for non-veterans in 2008. Because these measures vary greatly with age and the average age is substantially higher for veterans than non-veterans, estimates are shown separately for elderly (65 and older) and non-elderly (ages 18–64) men.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Condition of Education: 2012

To help policymakers and the public monitor the progress of education in the United States, Congress has mandated that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) produce an annual report, The Condition of Education. This year’s report presents 49 indicators of important developments and trends in U.S. education. These indicators focus on participation in education, elementary and secondary education and outcomes, and postsecondary education and outcomes. The report also uses a group of the indicators to take a closer look at high school in the United States over the last twenty years. Since 1990, there have been many demographic and policy changes that have affected our high schools.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Using the New American Fact Finder, Version 1.1

American FactFinder (AFF) is the Census Bureau’s primary dissemination tool for many Census Bureau Programs, including:
Decennial Census
American Community Survey
Population Estimates
Economic Census of the United States
Economic Census of the Island Areas
Survey of Business Owners
Commodity Flow Survey
County & ZIP Code Business Patterns
Nonemployer Statistics
Annual Survey of Manufacturers

These programs listed above account for more than 60 datasets and publish data for over 12 million different geographies.
To accommodate this large amount of data, AFF follows a topic based approach. You build a search by selecting keywords and filters from different search menus. As you add additional keywords and filters, the search results become limited to only the tables that meet the criteria. Once you have refined the search results to a suitable level, you can either download or view one or more tables. The table(s) will display the data selected.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Unique Building Identifier file is designed to capture the complete inventory of multifamily buildings on which funds from subsidized housing programs have been spent. This file is intended to capture all multifamily units ever subsidized by either HOME or LIHTC, without duplication. The buildings in the file are unique according to their address and are identified by a key variable based on the building’s location, the programs under which the building has received subsidy, and date on which the subsidy began. This data set has been requested by organizations interested in preservation of the affordable housing stock, and should be useful to researchers both Federal and non-Federal.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New York State Urbanized Area Maps: Area and Density

The Program on Applied Demographics (PAD) brings skills in demographics, economics, statistics, data gathering and data analysis together to provide a variety of organizations with data, information and advice. PAD works closely with the New York State Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Census Bureau and other organizations to assist them in their activities.

Check out this series of maps delineating population concentrations in the urban areas across the state.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Voting Hot Report: State-Level Maps and Graphs on Voting

The Census Bureau released a menu-driven, interactive Web page permitting users to access for any state a series of graphs showing percentages of adults who voted and registered in every congressional and presidential election between 1996 and 2010. In addition to graphs showing voting and registration trends over the period, users may choose a given election year and find separate graphs showing voting and registration by one of the following characteristics: age, sex, educational attainment, and race and Hispanic origin. Some analysis of the 2010 election is provided as well, as are thematic maps of states showing percent voting during each election. The statistics come from the Current Population Survey. To access this page, go to the Voting and Registration page and click on “Voting Hot Report.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1940s New York City - a seriously cool website

Back in 1997, a copy of a 250-page document was purchased from a local bookstore. It was "NYC Market Analysis", published by four newspapers in 1943, "with photos, maps, data about each [city] offers a unique window into New York [City] from another era.

"The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center is making the 1943 profiles available to provide context for the 1940 Census records and to offer a research aid to historians and anyone else interested in learning more about New York from the 1940s..."

The Welcome to 1940s New York website displays a map of New York divided into the 116 neighborhoods that are covered in the 1943 Market Analysis.

Monday's New York Times highlights the project along with some neat then-and-now photos and Census stats.

The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center website has more background, and Steven Romalewski, Director, CUNY Mapping Service, has blogged about the project.

I thank Steve for previewing this site at the State Data Center affiliates meeting last week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How Much Time College Students Spend Studying Varies By Major

From the press releases:

Findings show that on average, full-time college students study 15 hours a week. However, study time differed by academic majors, with seniors in engineering averaging about 19 hours per week, while their peers in the social sciences and business averaged five fewer hours per week.
Faculty expectations for study time by field corresponded closely to what students reported, but there were exceptions. Social sciences faculty, for example, expected four more hours per week than the average social sciences senior reported. Students who devoted at least 20 hours per week to studying did not always attend class fully prepared.
These findings, released by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), raise questions about areas where a mismatch may exist between the work asked of students and what they believe necessary to succeed, and also whether faculty expectations for study time may need to be recalibrated.

Note that 2012 will be the last year of the current survey. At some point even the best surveys must be revised and updated, affecting multi-year analyses such as trend studies or pre-post designs. Many measures on the current survey, including benchmarks and individual survey items, are likely to change in 2013. This means trend lines will be interrupted and multi-year results will be less comparable across the two versions.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Metro areas with the Most College-Educated Residents

As another college graduation season draws to a close, the New York Times reports the results of a small analysis Brookings conducted on college degree attainment rates in metropolitan areas. They examined the share of adults age 25 and over in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas who held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010, versus in 1970. (The Times’ website provides a table with the key data.)

NYC is #10, Albany/Schenectady/Troy is #20, Rochester is tied for #22.

Friday, June 1, 2012

40% of Americans Who Rely on Public Transit Live in Rural Areas

From Treehugger:

Apparently, 40% of Americans who rely on public transit live in rural areas and small towns. And those folks—which include large numbers of elderly, disabled, and low income riders—typically have very few options for getting around...

That eye-opening figures come from a new report, Reconnecting America, that takes an in-depth look at how small towns are working to improve those transit systems, usually buses, to serve more people more efficiently.