Friday, August 31, 2012

(Lots of) Transportation Statistics

State Transportation Statistics 2011

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), presents State Transportation Statistics 2011, a statistical profile of transportation in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This is the ninth annual edition of the State Transportation Statistics, and a companion document to the National Transportation Statistics (NTS), which is updated quarterly on the BTS website.
Like the previous editions, this document presents transportation information from RITA/BTS, other federal government agencies, and other national sources. A picture of the states’ transportation infrastructure, freight movement and passenger travel, system safety, vehicles, transportation related economy and finance, energy usage and the environment is presented in tables covering the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Tables have been updated with the most recently available data.

Government Transportation Financial Statistics 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Top 10 datasets on

With agencies continually opening datasets and releasing APIs to app developers, tracks its datasets according to a variety of criteria, from most accessed and highest rated, to oldest and newest. Here are the top 10 of the nearly 1,300 datasets currently listed under the “Most Relevant” category.

More HERE.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Health Insurance Coverage Estimates for Every County

The U.S. Census Bureau today released 2010 estimates of health insurance coverage for each of the nation’s roughly 3,140 counties. Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) are the only source for single-year estimates of health insurance coverage status for every county in the nation.

These estimates are available by sex, age groups, race and Hispanic origin (for states only), and income-to-poverty ratios. As in past years, the estimates pertain to those younger than 65 as a whole. However, for the first time, there are estimates of coverage at the county level for those in the 50 to 64 age group.

By 2014, changes to the law will extend certain Medicaid benefits to uninsured people falling into specific income groups, and SAHIE estimates will permit users to track the impact of the law on small counties. The estimates also enable local planners to determine, for instance, the counties in which low-income children are most likely to lack health insurance. The mapping tools available on the SAHIE website can also show regional trends in coverage, displaying for instance, that small counties with a high range of uninsured children are mostly in Texas, Nevada and Montana, and small counties with a low range of uninsured are mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.

The new inclusion of the 50 to 64 age category allows tracking of the insurance status of this population, which is more likely to consume health care compared with younger age groups. Knowing the number of uninsured at this older age group allows planners and health care officials to better prepare for the health care needs of this population.

SAHIE is partially funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others in the health care field. The CDC uses these statistics in support of its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, providing free cancer screenings to low-income, uninsured women.

“We use SAHIE data to more effectively gauge the level of need for breast and cervical cancer screening in various geographic jurisdictions across the country,” said Marcus Plescia, director of the CDC&8217;s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in Atlanta. “The information provided by SAHIE data is important to us in program planning and management, targeting and resource allocation decisions and evaluation.”

The estimates are based on statistical models combining data from a variety of sources, including the American Community Survey (ACS), Census Bureau population estimates, administrative records (such as aggregated federal tax returns and Medicaid participation records) and 2000 Census statistics.

At present, SAHIE is the only source of health insurance estimates for all counties. There are no county estimates derived from the Current Population Survey. In September, the Census Bureau will release health insurance coverage estimates for counties with a population of 65,000 or more from the 2011 ACS. The following month, similar estimates will be released for counties with a population of 20,000 or more from the 2009-2011 ACS. Starting next year, the five-year estimates from ACS will include statistics on health insurance coverage for all areas, regardless of size.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Country Reports on Terrorism 2011

Source: U.S. Department of State

The loss of bin Ladin and ... other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse. These successes are attributable, in large part, to global counterterrorism cooperation, which has put considerable pressure on the al-Qa’ida core leadership in Pakistan. But despite blows in western Pakistan, al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and its adherents remain adaptable. They have shown resilience; retain the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks; and, thus, constitute an enduring and serious threat to our national security.

As al-Qa’ida’s core has gotten weaker, we have seen the rise of affiliated groups around the world. Among these al-Qa’ida affiliates, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) represents a particularly serious threat. At year’s end, AQAP had taken control of territory in southern Yemen and was exploiting unrest in that country to advance plots against regional and Western interests.

Monday, August 27, 2012

2011-2012 Annual Statistical Report of NYS Tax Collections

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 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 2011-2012 (SFY 2011-2012) and some historical statistics. New York State's fiscal year is April 1 - March 31.

Monthly tax collection information is also available.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

State and Local Governments Employ 16.4 Million Full-Time Equivalent Employees in 2011

In March 2011, there were 16.4 million full-time equivalent employees working in state and local governments in the U.S., down 1.4 percent from 2010. According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of these employees (8.9 million) worked in education, followed by those working in hospitals (964,381), police protection (923,951) and corrections (717,940).

These estimates come from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll. The survey shows totals for state and local government full-time and part-time employment and details employment by government function at the national and state level. To arrive at the full-time equivalent employee calculation, the number of full-time employees is added to the number of hours worked by part-time employees divided by the standard number of hours for a full-time employee.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, from the CIA

This volume pulls together and republishes, with some editing, updating, and additions, articles written during 1978-86 for internal use within the CIA Directorate of Intelligence. Four of the articles also appeared in the Intelligence Community journal Studies in Intelligence during that time frame. The information is relatively timeless and still relevant to the never-ending quest for better analysis.

The articles are based on reviewing cognitive psychology literature concerning how people process information to make judgments on incomplete and ambiguous information. I selected the experiments and findings that seem most relevant to intelligence analysis and most in need of communication to intelligence analysts. I then translated the technical reports into language that intelligence analysts can understand and interpreted the relevance of these findings to the problems intelligence analysts face.

The result is a compromise that may not be wholly satisfactory to either research psychologists or intelligence analysts. Cognitive psychologists and decision analysts may complain of oversimplification, while the non-psychologist reader may have to absorb some new terminology. Unfortunately, mental processes are so complex that discussion of them does require some specialized vocabulary. Intelligence analysts who have read and thought seriously about the nature of their craft should have no difficulty with this book. Those who are plowing virgin ground may require serious effort.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Leisure Time Paradox

From the American Consumers Newsletter
by Cheryl Russell, Editorial Director, New Strategist Publications

You probably would scoff at the notion that you have more leisure time than your parents or grandparents did 40 years ago. But that's what time use studies show. Since 1965, men have gained 5.26 additional hours of leisure time per week. Women have an extra 3.56 hours compared to their counterparts in 1965. How come we don't feel more relaxed?

That question has been answered by an examination of trends in leisure time, published in Demography (August 2012). And the answer is: because the quality of our leisure time has declined. Simply put, we aren't having as much fun.

The analysis (by Almudena Sevilla, Jose I. Gimenez-Nadal, and Jonathan Gershuny) measures the quality of leisure time in three ways: pure leisure--or the amount of leisure time spent only in leisure activities with no accompanying non-leisure secondary activities (such as taking calls from your boss); co-present leisure (a better term might be social leisure)--or the amount of leisure time spent with a spouse or other adults but not children (who have a way of turning leisure into work); and leisure fragmentation--or the number of leisure intervals and their length.

The researchers discovered that our pure leisure time has declined, as has the time we spend in social leisure. "Despite general increases in leisure time, Americans report feeling increasingly harried now compared with 40 years ago," they note. "Our findings may help explain this paradox."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Connect NY-$25 Million High-Speed Internet Access Program

Governor Cuomo announced that today the state will begin accepting applications in the “Connect NY” program which provides $25 million in grant funding to promote broadband internet access across the state. The grants are made available through the Regional Councils and Empire State Development and will help expand high speed internet access in rural upstate and underserved urban areas of New York.

Expanding high-speed internet was identified last year as a priority by the Regional Councils in order to help local businesses expand their ability to reach customers and encourage broadband providers to improve internet access for local communities. Broadband internet grants, such as Connect NY, both spur investment by service providers in communities and help boost economic development in each region by expanding the ability of local businesses to reach consumers globally.

Applications will be reviewed and scored on the following metrics.

• Providing new service to areas with little or no Internet. Additional weight will be given for plans that provide more internet access to the local public through libraries, parks, and other community areas, help local health centers provide new online access to health records and services, and expand internet service in economically distressed areas.

• Creating a plan for educating local businesses and residents on how to use the internet.

• Building off existing internet networks to more efficiently expand high speed Internet service in communities that broadband in only some areas but not throughout the area.

• Receiving of the endorsement of the local Regional Council.

For more information and to read the full press release.

The application process will be open on August 22 and can be accessed by visiting the NYS Broadband website.

2,003 Deaths in Afghanistan

From the New York Times:

The chart shows deaths of identified United States service members directly involved in the war in Afghanistan. Rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire took the largest number of American lives earlier in the war. In 2008, deaths from improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, began to make up a larger share of combat deaths.

JULY 20, 2008
Nearly seven years after the start of the war, the death toll reaches 500
MAY 18, 2010
Less than two years later, the war kills another 500, bringing the death toll to 1,000
AUGUST 23, 2012
Death toll reaches 2,003

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not all ZIP code lists by county are alike

I looked for a couple websites that would give out ZIP codes by county. The first two I found were and

I tend to trust Melissa more.

Looking for ZIP Code 12309, primarily a ZIP Code in Schenectady, I wanted to see if the small portion in Albany County in that ZIP would show up. Yes in Melissa;, no in GetZIPS.

Remember that ZIP Codes are no respecter of county boundaries.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Find Out If a Social Media Account is from the Government

Every day, the federalgovernment uses social media services like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to communicate with you and provide easy access to government benefits and services.

But unlike most government websites, which are hosted on a .mil or a .gov domain, social media sites are hosted on commercial domains. Without the .gov or the .mil, it can be difficult to determine which social media accounts are official government sources of information and which are impersonators.

To help solve that problem, the federal government recently launched a social media registry in English and Spanish, where you can confirm the validity of a variety of government social media accounts.

Friday, August 17, 2012

U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations and Membership Study

This study, designed and carried out by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), compiled data on the number of congregations and adherents for 236 religious groups. Participants included 217 Christian denominations, associations, or communions (including Latter-day Saints, Messianic Jews, and Unitarian/Universalist groups); counts of Jain, Shinto, Sikh, Tao and National Spiritualist Association congregations, and counts of congregations and adherents from Bahá'ís, three Buddhist groupings, four Hindu groupings, four Jewish groupings, Muslims and Zoroastrians. The 236 groups reported a total of 344,894 congregations with 150,686,156 adherents, comprising 48.8 percent of the total U.S. population of 308,745,538 in 2010.

Here's further explanation. The easiest way to access the data is to go to the home page of The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) website.

For deeper analysis, which involves downloading, go to:
County File
Metro File
State File

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nonemployer Statistics: 2010

Annual report on businesses without paid employees in nearly 450 industries for the nation, states, counties and metropolitan areas. Most who own such businesses are self-employed and operate very small businesses (for example, real estate agents or beauticians) that may or may not be their primary source of income.
Total number of nonemployer firms in 2010 was 22,110,628.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Transportation Atlas Database

The National Transportation Atlas Database is a set of nationwide geographic databases of transportation facilities, transportation networks, and associated infrastructure. These datasets include spatial information for transportation modal networks and intermodal terminals, as well as the related attribute information for these features. Metadata documentation, as prescribed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, is also provided for each database. The data support research, analysis, and decision-making across all modes of transportation. They are most useful at the national level, but have major applications at regional, state, and local scales throughout the transportation community.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Happy Planet Index : 2012 Report

Source: New Economics Foundation (UK)

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) measures what matters. It tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future, i.e. sustainable well-being for all.

The third global HPI report reveals that this is largely still an unhappy planet – with both high- and low-income countries facing many challenges on their way to meeting this same overall goal. But it also demonstrates that good lives do not have to cost the Earth – that the countries where well-being is highest are not always the ones that have the biggest environmental impact.

The HPI is one of the first global measures of sustainable well-being. It uses global data on experienced well-being, life expectancy, and Ecological Footprint to generate an index revealing which countries are most efficient at producing long, happy lives for their inhabitants, whilst maintaining the conditions for future generations to do the same....

At heart, the HPI is a measure of efficiency. It calculates the number of Happy Life Years (life expectancy adjusted for experienced well-being) achieved per unit of resource use.

This year’s results:

Confirm that we are still not living on a happy planet, with no country achieving high and sustainable well-being and only nine close to doing so.

Highlight that eight of those nine countries are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Show the highest ranking Western European nation to be Norway in 29th place,just behind New Zealand in 28th place.

Place the USA in 105th position out of 151 countries.

Demonstrate how the scores of high-income countries are brought down considerably by their large Ecological Footprints.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Census Bureau Releases Its First Mobile App Providing Real-Time Statistics on U.S. Economy

The U.S. Census Bureau released its first-ever mobile application, “America’s Economy,” which will provide constantly updated statistics on the U.S. economy, including monthly economic indicators, trends, along with a schedule of upcoming announcements. The app, which is currently available for Android mobile device users, combines statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
America’s Economy is the first mobile app from the Census Bureau that provides smartphone and tablet users with the real-time government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions and assist economists, researchers, planners and policymakers. The economic indicators track monthly and quarterly trends in industries, such as employment, housing construction, international trade, personal income, retail sales and manufacturing.
The America’s Economy app has been developed as part of the Census Bureau’s Web Transformation Project and fulfills a key goal of President Obama’s recently announced Digital Strategy to provide federal employees and the general public with greater access to government information and services. The creation of this app is also consistent with the Census Bureau’s longtime mission of providing accurate statistics about the nation’s growth and changes using 21st century technology to make that information available more quickly and easily.
“The America’s Economy app will empower anyone needing information about the U.S. economy with timely statistics right on their mobile devices,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “The release of this app is an example of our commitment to giving taxpayers faster and easier access to the statistics we produce, including the Economic Census, that impact the lives of all Americans.”
The following 16 key economic indicators will be available as part of the initial release of the app:
Census Bureau
• Advance Monthly Retail Sales
• New Residential Construction
• New Residential Sales
• Construction Spending
• International Trade
• Advance Report Durable Goods
• Business Inventories
• Manufacturers’ Goods
• Monthly Wholesale
• Homeownership Rate
• Quarterly Services Survey
• QFR – Retail Trade
• QFR – Manufacturing
Bureau of Economic Analysis:
• Gross Domestic Product
• Personal Income and Outlays
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• Unemployment Rate
Users will be able to set alerts to receive notifications when economic indicators are updated. They can also add statistical release schedules to their personal calendars. When each indicator is released, users can also share the news on both Facebook and Twitter.
America’s Economy is available now for Android users and is expected be available for Apple smartphone and tablet users in the Apple App Store in the coming weeks. America’s Economy is the first of three planned apps from the Census Bureau that will be made available over the next several months. Each app will be available for Apple and Android smartphones.
Learn more about the economic data produced by the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics produces.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Results From 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Research

The U.S. Census Bureau released research from its 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, which provides a comparison of different census questionnaire design strategies for collecting census data on race and Hispanic origin.

The Census Bureau follows federal standards for collecting and presenting data on race and Hispanic origin established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in October 1997. This research tested questionnaire strategies with the goal of increasing the reporting in the race and ethnic categories as defined by OMB, decreasing nonresponse, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the results and eliciting responses for detailed race and ethnic groups.

The results will guide further research on the collection of race and ethnicity throughout the decade, informing OMB and Congress.

“The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to improving the accuracy and the reliability of census results by expanding our understanding of how people identify their race and Hispanic origin,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said.

This research is the largest quantitative effort ever on how people identify their race and ethnicity to start off the planning cycle for the once-a-decade census. The study mailed experimental questionnaires to a sample of 488,604 households during the 2010 Census, reinterviewed respondents and conducted 67 focus groups across the United States and in Puerto Rico with nearly 800 people.


The study tested several versions of an experimental combined question on race and Hispanic origin. The current OMB classification treats race and Hispanic origin as two separate and distinct concepts. During the 2010 Census, most households received a census form with separate questions for Hispanic origin and race in accordance with these guidelines. A sample of households received questionnaires with an experimental, combined question.

The results showed that a higher number of individuals were more likely to respond to a combined race and Hispanic origin question than to separate questions. The experimental combined questions had an item nonresponse rate, meaning the percentage of respondents leaving that question blank, of roughly 1 percent, compared with 3.5 percent to 5.7 percent for the race question and 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent for the Hispanic origin question.

The research also aimed to increase reporting in the OMB race and ethnicity categories. The “Some Other Race” category was created to be a small residual category, but as shown in the 2010 Census, “Some Other Race” alone was the third largest race group, after “White” alone and “Black” alone, with respondents of Hispanic origin comprising the vast majority of all people classified as “Some Other Race” alone. The population reporting “Some Other Race” alone was as high as 7.1 percent on the separate race question and roughly 0.2 percent on the combined questions. However, the percent of the population who identified as Hispanic was not significantly different across questionnaires, indicating that the total proportion of Hispanics was not reduced in a combined question approach.

Additionally, another major finding was that removal of the term “Negro” from the “Black, African Am., or Negro” response category did not change the distribution of the black population across the experimental questionnaires. Although 2000 Census results indicated that this term was still relevant to some respondents, this relatively small portion of respondents continues to decrease and, thus, the removal of the term did not have a negative impact on black population estimates.

Other Findings:

--The population reporting two or more responses was significantly larger with a combined question, in general, than with a separate question. Reinterview findings suggest that respondents may have been able to more clearly understand the opportunity to report more than one response in the combined format, thus increasing multiple-response reporting. Alternatively, focus group research suggests that the combined question respondents may have been interpreting the question as asking for race and origin.

--The experimental combined questions included write-in lines for all race groups. For the first time, people who answered “white” and “black” could further specify their origin. As much as 50 percent of people who reported as white gave detail when provided with a write-in line compared with only 1 percent to 2 percent in all other questionnaires. Similarly, of black respondents, more than 76 percent reported detail on each of the experimental combined questionnaires, compared with only 3 percent to 6 percent of all other questionnaires.

There was a decrease in Asian and Hispanic respondents providing more detailed responses on the combined questions that did not have checkboxes for specific origin groups. Detailed Asian reporting was 96.6 percent or higher on all other questionnaires, but as low as 92.6 percent when no checkboxes were provided. Detailed Hispanic origin reporting was 86.4 percent to 88.9 percent when specific origin checkboxes were provided within the combined question, but was lower on combined questionnaires that did not contain the specific origin checkboxes (77.7 percent to 80 percent). Detailed Hispanic origin reporting on separate questions was 92 percent or higher.

--There was no change in how people reported within the Asian, Other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic origin examples when different examples were used.

“The findings from this research provide promising strategies to address the challenges and complexities of race and Hispanic origin measurement and reporting issues in our rapidly diversifying society,” Groves said. “This is another step in an ongoing discussion about how we can better understand the changing diversity of our nation. The results will guide upcoming research as the Census Bureau looks toward the 2020 Census.”

Next Steps

These findings will serve as the basis for further research and for a wider discussion among statistical agencies.

Friday, August 10, 2012

State Pension Systems Assets Rise Nearly $325 Billion in 2011

The nation’s state-administered defined benefit retirement systems totaled $2.5 trillion in cash and investment holdings in 2011, a 14.6 percent increase from $2.2 trillion in 2010, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Earnings on investments were $410.6 billion, up from $291.1 billion in 2010.

These statistics come from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data, which provides an annual look at the financial activity and membership information for the nation’s 222 state-administered public-employee retirement systems, including revenues, expenditures, investment holdings, membership and beneficiaries. Statistics are shown for the nation and individual states. This information includes actuarial liability statistics, which project the total obligation required to cover costs for providing pensions to former and present employees.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Labor Force: Urban to Rural

Workforce Skills across the Urban-Rural Hierarchy
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No0. 552
Jaison R. Abel, Todd M. Gabe, Kevin Stolarick
February 2012

This paper examines differences in the skill content of work throughout the United
States, ranging from densely populated city centers to isolated and sparsely populated rural areas. To do so, we classify detailed geographic areas into categories along the entire urban-rural hierarchy. An occupation-based cluster analysis is then used to measure the types of skills available in the regional workforce, which allows for a broader measure of human capital than is captured by conventional measures. We fi nd that the occupation clusters most prevalent in urban areas—scientists, engineers, and executives—are characterized by high levels of social and resource-management skills, as well as the ability to generate ideas and solve complex problems. By contrast, the occupation clusters that are most prevalent in rural areas—machinists, makers, and laborers—are among the lowest in terms of required skills. These differences in the skill content of work shed light on the
pattern of earnings observed across the urban-rural hierarchy.

Key words: human capital, skills, occupations, urban-rural, earnings

This paper presents preliminary findings and is being distributed to economists
and other interested readers solely to stimulate discussion and elicit comments.
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessarily
reflective of views at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal
Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 Kids Count Data Book

From the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Each year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation publishes the KIDS COUNT Data Book, which tracks the well-being of our nation’s children, state by state. As we release this year’s Data Book, our 23rd, America’s children and families face a crossroad. After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our economy has begun to slowly recover. Unemployment has declined and state revenues are trending upward. But the recovery is fragile. Many families are still coping with hardship caused by a long and deep recession, and states and localities still face serious fiscal challenges.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forbes' List Of America's Coolest Cities

From HERE:

Houston is known for many things: Oil, NASA, urban sprawl and business-friendly policies. But the Texas city deserves to be known for something else: coolness.

The Bayou City may not be the first place you associate with being hip or trendy. But Houston has something many other major cities don’t: jobs. With the local economy humming through the recession, Houston enjoyed 2.6% job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response — particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33.

A dissenting opinion.

Monday, August 6, 2012

HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base

The concept of the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base was developed by the U.S. Census Bureau in consultation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1987. The Data Base was created to provide easy access to published results from the multitude of seroprevalence surveys and other studies that were being undertaken at the time. The Data Base continues to be updated annually by the Census Bureau with the support of USAID to meet the needs of policy makers and program planners around the world.

The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base is a compilation of information from widely scattered small-scale surveys on the AIDS pandemic and HIV seroprevalence (infection) in population groups in developing countries. The Data Base hosts information from medical and scientific literature, presentations at international conferences, and the press. Through the Data Base interface, available information for population groups in a selected country can be easily retrieved and displayed on the computer screen, and printed or saved to a .pdf or .csv file.

The current status of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and trends in the spread of HIV infection are critical issues for policy makers and program planners in developing countries and the international development community. Identifying "hot spots" in the spread of infection assists decision makers in effectively allocating scarce program funds. Programs of ongoing data collection from specific sites, known as sentinel surveillance systems, have provided much data on prevalence among specific population groups in many countries – pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, patients seeking healthcare from clinics, sex workers, intravenous drug users, and others. Beginning in 2001, HIV testing from population-based surveys, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), has provided important data from the general population.

The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base is maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and it is updated annually. The Census Bureau welcomes comments and suggestions from users and copies of articles or references to information that may have been overlooked.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage in the Private Sector

Health insurance provided by employers is a key source of coverage for both employees and their families. In 2011, half of private-sector employees enrolled in employer-sponsored health insurance took single, self-only coverage and the remainder took non-single coverage (a plan covering the employee and at least one other family member). According to the Insurance Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-IC), those employees with non-single coverage contributed both a larger dollar amount and a larger percentage of the total premium for their coverage than did employees with single coverage.
Non-single health insurance plans encompass two types of coverage: family coverage and
employee-plus-one coverage. When available for the same level of benefits, employee-plus-one plan premiums are less expensive than family plans. This Statistical Brief presents information on the selection and cost of single, employee-plus-one, and family health insurance coverage for current employees in the private sector in 2011.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First-Time Kindergartners in 2010-11

This brief report from the US Department of Education provides a demographic profile of the students who attended kindergarten in the United States in the 2010-11 school year using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011). The ECLS-K:2011 cohort includes students in public and private schools across the United States, students who attended part-day and full-day kindergarten programs, and students who were attending their first year of kindergarten as well as those who were repeating kindergarten. The analyses presented in this report focus on the 3.5 million students who were attending kindergarten for the first time in the 2010-11 school year. Approximately 5 percent of the students in the ECLS-K:2011 cohort were repeating kindergarten and are not represented in the findings in this report.

The ECLS-K:2011 is a longitudinal study that will follow a nationally representative sample of students from their kindergarten year to the spring of 2016, when most of them are expected to be in fifth grade. During the first year of data collection, when all children were in kindergarten, data were collected in both the fall and the spring. Approximately 18,200 children enrolled in 970 schools during the 2010-11 school year participated during the kindergarten year.

The study will provide information on students’ status at entry to school, their transition into school, and their progression through the elementary grades. The longitudinal nature of the ECLS-K:2011 data will enable researchers to study how a wide range of family, school, community, and individual factors are associated with educational, socioemotional, and physical development over time. Information is being collected from the students, their parents/guardians, their teachers, their school administrators, and their before- and after-school care providers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Americans With Disabilities: 2010

From the Census Bureau

The population of people with disabilities inhabit a distinct position in the U.S. economy, both for their contributions to the marketplace and roles in government policies and programs. People with disabilities bring unique sets of skills to the workplace, enhancing the strength and diversity of the U.S. labor market.1 In addition, they make up a significant market of consumers, representing more than $200 billion in discretionary spending and spurring technological innovation and entrepreneurship.2 People with disabilities also often rely on various government interventions to maintain their participation in the community. Federal programs like Social Security and Medicare and more than 60 smaller federal and state programs provide a wide array of income, health care, and other support services to individuals with disabilities across the United States. In 2008, the federal government spent an estimated $357 billion dollars on programs for working-age people with disabilities, representing 12 percent of total federal outlays.3 While there is little doubt about the large economic impact of people with disabilities, estimates of the size and characteristics of this population depend much on the definitions used to classify what it means to be disabled.