Friday, November 30, 2012

More Adults Living in Shared Households, More Receiving Food Stamps, Public Asistance Unchanged

In 2011, 17.9 percent of people 18 and older lived in someone else’s household, up from 16.0 percent in 2007, prior to the start of the economic recession, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Specifically, 41.2 million adults in 2011 lived in a household in which they were neither the householder, the householder’s spouse nor the householder’s cohabiting partner. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of these additional adults increased by 1.9 million, from 17.3 percent to 17.9 percent of adults.

This information comes from Poverty and Shared Households by State: 2011, which explores the growth in households that contain an “additional adult” (a resident 18 and older who is neither the householder, the householder’s spouse, nor the householder’s cohabiting partner). This brief also provides information at the state level between 2007 and 2011 and examines whether or not household sharing is influenced by economic circumstances.

In recent years, shared households have increased as a proportion of all U.S. households. In 2007, prior to the start of the economic recession, 19.8 million or 17.6 percent of households were shared. Nationally, shared households peaked in 2010 at 22.2 million or 19.4 percent of all households and declined to 22.0 million or 19.2 percent of households in 2011.

In the District of Columbia, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York and Nevada, 20 percent or more of the population 18 and older lived in someone else’s household in 2011, the highest shares among the states and the state equivalents.

The number and percentage of these additional adults increased in 40 states between 2007 and 2011 with larger increases in the South. Florida experienced a 4.4 percentage point increase to lead all states, followed by Nevada (3.9 percentage points).

In 2011, more than one in three young adults 18 to 24 were residents in someone else’s household; the same was true of more than 30 percent of those 25 to 34. For the latter group, the share of additional adults increased by 4.5 percentage points since 2007, compared with a 1.7 percentage-point increase for those 18 to 24.

States in which more than one-third of young adults 25 to 34 were additional adults included California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.

Almost half of all additional adults were children of the householder. Additional adults can also be parents of the householder (9.6 percent), siblings (8.1 percent) and other relatives (16.0 percent). Nonrelatives accounted for the remaining 19.2 percent. The share of additional adults who were children of the householder increased by 1.7 percentage points between 2007 and 2011, while the percentage who were parents or nonrelatives declined.

Many of the adults sharing a household with relatives would have been in poverty if they had been living on their own. The official poverty rate for additional adults (based on family income) in 2011 was 15.8 percent. However, their individual poverty rate was 55.5 percent. (This “individual” poverty measure looks at what the poverty rate would be if the additional adults lived alone.)

Food Stamp/SNAP Receipt

A second brief released Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households by State: 2010 and 2011, presents American Community Survey statistics for households at national and state levels. The brief shows that in 2011, 14.9 million households, or 13 percent, reported receiving such benefits during the past 12 months, up from 11.9 percent in 2010. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia experienced a rise in participation, with the District of Columbia, Alabama and Hawaii among the states with the largest increases. In 2011, Oregon had the highest participation rate (18.9 percent).

Public Assistance Receipt

The third brief, Public Assistance Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households: 2010 and 2011, analyzes American Community Survey data at the national and state levels. According to the brief, 3.3 million households, or 2.9 percent, in 2011 reported receiving some form of public assistance benefits at some point in the previous 12 months. For the first time in several years, there was no significant increase in the number or percentage of American households receiving public assistance benefits relative to the previous year.

Also, for the first time in several years, the percentage of households receiving public assistance declined in some states. Four states (Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire and Utah) and the District of Columbia had lower participation rates in 2011 compared with 2010. However, seven states (Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia) had increases between 2010 and 2011 in participation rates.

Seventeen states — concentrated in the West and Northeast — and the District of Columbia had a higher participation rate in the percentage of households receiving public assistance than the national average. Conversely, 24 states had lower participation rates than the U.S. average, with 11 of them in the South and nine in the Midwest.

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results are used by everyone from retailers and homebuilders to town and city planners. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities. Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation's people, and questions about our economy were added under President Madison in 1810.

Robert Bernstein

Public Information Office


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Learn more about the Economic Census

From the Census Bureau blog:

To help you learn more about the economic census, the Bureau has an updated website available that helps answer what the economic census is, why it is important, and how the data are used. is a valuable resource for business owners and business leaders to understand the vital role they play in the 2012 Economic Census. The site contains resources for respondents, such as examples of economic census forms, videos, key dates, and FAQs, and a link to the Business Help Site, with access to our electronic reporting software.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Music From Across America


Music isn’t just a combination of notes and sounds from instruments. It is a reflection of the people who create it. Because of the many ethnic groups in America, we find rich diversity in music in our country. Music reflects community, culture and history. Using the Music Across America website , students will learn about musical instruments and the geographic and cultural context of music. The site’s activities encourage students to think about and express their own personal responses to music.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Google Updates Transparency Report

From Google Official Blog:

We’re updating the Transparency Report with data about government requests from January to June 2012.

This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.

Social Security Retirement Estimator

The Retirement Estimator gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. Please keep in mind that these are just estimates. We can’t provide your actual benefit amount until you apply for benefits. And that amount may differ from the estimates provided because:

Your earnings may increase or decrease in the future.
After you start receiving benefits, they will be adjusted for cost-of-living increases.
Your estimated benefits are based on current law. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 75 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits.
Your benefit amount may be affected by military service, railroad employment or pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax.

Who Can Use the Retirement Estimator

You can use the Retirement Estimator if:

You have enough Social Security credits at this time to qualify for benefits and
You are not:
Currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
Waiting for a decision about your application for benefits or Medicare;
Age 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record; or
Eligible for a Pension Based on Work Not Covered By Social Security.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Women’s earnings, 1979–2011

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Between 1979 and 2011, the earnings gap between women and men narrowed for most age groups. The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio among 25- to 34-year-olds grew from 68 percent in 1979 to 92 percent in 2011, for example, and the ratio for 45- to 54-year-olds increased from 57 percent to 76 percent.

In 2011, among the age groupings of those 35 years and older, women had earnings that ranged from 75 percent to 81 percent of those of their male counterparts. Among younger workers, the earnings differences between women and men were not as large.

At each level of education, women aged 25 years and older have fared better than men with respect to long-term earnings growth. Although both women and men without a high school diploma have experienced declines in inflation-adjusted earnings since 1979, the drop for women was significantly less than that for men: a 10-percent decrease for women—as opposed to a 33-percent decline for men.

Friday, November 23, 2012

US abortions fall five percent, according to the CDC

From here:

According to the latest report from the CDC, U.S. abortions fell by five percent during the recession and its aftermath, a phenomenon that most likely, insist some researchers, owing to the greater diligence with which women use contraception during tough economic times...

Experts such as Duke University assistant professor in public policy and economics Elizabeth Ananat told the AP that the recession most likely led many women to believe that they simply couldn't afford to get pregnant.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Snack Retrospective

Here’s a glance at some of the breakthroughs, events, products and happenings that took place in the snack food industry within Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s 100-year existence and even a ‘tidbit’ before.

According to the website,, we consume more than 4.3 billion lb. Of snack food a year, which could be why snacks may soon end up becoming America’s favorite meal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Home Inspection Fee Calculator

If you buying a house, you need to get an inspection. Rates tend to run from $200 to over $500. Here's a good rule of thumb for inspectors. I also appreciate the specificity of this calculator.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cesarean Rates for Your Local Hospital

From Our Real Village:

Expecting women are encouraged to investigate area hospitals before choosing where to birth. Sounds simple enough but the information is rarely readily available. A handful of great resources currently exist that made significant progress in gathering this information, the OurBodies blog, the Unnecessarean, and the Birth Survey. This article offers expecting families and birth professionals a comprehensive list of resources to find c-section information by hospital across America.

Here are the New York State statistics on Hospital Maternity-Related Procedures and Practices Statistics.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Myths re Copyright Law & Where to Start to Fix It

Intellectual property lawyer Paul Rapp got hold of a Congressional committee paper designed to "analyze current US Copyright Law by examining three myths on copyright law and possible reforms to copyright law that will lead to more economic development for the private sector and to a copyright law that is more firmly based upon constitutional principles." Unfortunately, the powers that be have put a kibosh on it. Those of us concerned about intellectual property rights and innovation, which should be everyone, should read it, and ask your members of Congress to push for these commonsense changes.

Myth 1: "The purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator of the content." That's NOT what it says in the Constitution. "Most legislative discussions on this topic, particularly during the extension of the copyright term, are not premised upon what is in the public good or what will promote the most productivity and innovation, but rather what the content creators 'deserve' or are 'entitled to' by virtue of their creation."

Myth 2: "Copyright is free market capitalism at work.
"Copyright violates nearly every tenet of laissez faire capitalism. Under the current system of copyright, producers of content are entitled to a guaranteed, government instituted, government subsidized content-monopoly.
"It is guaranteed because it is automatic upon publishing.
"It is a system implemented and regulated by the government, and backed up by laws that allow for massive damages for violations. These massive damages are not conventional tort law damages, but damages that are vastly disproportionate from the actual damage to the copyright producer."

Myth 3: "The current copyright legal regime leads to the greatest innovation and productivity...
"With no copyright protection, it was perceived that there would be insufficient incentive for content producers to create new content – without the ability to compensate them for their work. And with too much copyright protection, as in copyright protection that carried on longer than necessary for the incentive, it will greatly stifle innovation. In addition, excessive copyright protection leads to what economists call 'rent-seeking' which is effectively non-productive behavior that sucks economic productivity and potential from the overall economy.
This Goldilocks-like predicament – not too little and not too much – was what our Founding Fathers had in mind with the phrase 'securing for limited Times.'"

Read the whole thing HERE because it is an important issue, in terms of the economy, innovation, and free expression.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Census Bureau Releases 2011 New Supplemental Poverty Measure Research Findings

The Census Bureau, with support from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released its second annual report, The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2011, describing research on a new supplemental poverty measure. This measure extends information provided by the official poverty measure, released Sept. 12, by explicitly including benefits from many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals.

Today’s report compares 2011 supplemental poverty estimates to 2011 official poverty estimates for numerous demographic groups at the national level. In addition, for the first time, the report presents supplemental poverty estimates for states, using three-year averages. At the national level, the report also compares 2010 supplemental poverty estimates with 2011 estimates and examines the effect of excluding individual resource or expenditure elements.

According to the report, the supplemental poverty measure rate was 16.1 percent last year, which was higher than the official measure of 15.0 percent. Neither the supplemental measure nor the official poverty rate was significantly different from the corresponding rate in 2010.

There has been a continuing debate about the best approach to measure income and poverty in the United States since the publication of the first official U.S. poverty estimates in 1964. In 2009, an interagency group asked the Census Bureau, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to develop a new, supplemental measure to allow for an improved understanding of the economic well-being of American families and how federal policies affect those living in poverty.

“There are several important differences between the official and supplemental poverty measures,” said Kathleen Short, a U.S. Census Bureau economist and the report’s author. “For instance, the supplemental measure uses new poverty thresholds that represent a dollar amount spent on a basic set of goods adjusted to reflect geographic differences in housing costs. The official poverty thresholds are the same no matter where you live.”

There are two other major differences as well. The official measure includes only pre-tax money income. Income for the supplemental measure adds the value of in-kind benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, school lunches, housing assistance and refundable tax credits like the earned income tax credit. Additionally, supplemental poverty measure resources deduct from income necessary expenses for critical goods and services such as taxes, child care and other work-related expenses, and contributions toward the cost of medical care and health insurance premiums or medical out-of-pocket costs.

Estimates for States

Using three-year averages (2009-2011), the U.S. poverty rate was 15.8 percent using the supplemental poverty measure and 15.0 percent using the official measure. However, the picture in individual states varied considerably.

There are 15 states or equivalents for which the supplemental rates were higher than the official statewide poverty rates: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

For another 26 states, supplemental rates were lower than the official statewide poverty rates: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Rates in the remaining 10 states were not statistically different using the two measures.

Comparing Poverty Rates for Different Demographic Groups

Unlike the current official poverty measure, the supplemental poverty measure can show the effects of tax and transfer policies on various subgroups. According to the report:

--Including in-kind benefits results in lower poverty rates for some groups. For instance, the supplemental poverty rate was lower for children than the official rate: 18.1 percent compared with 22.3 percent.

--Subtracting necessary expenses from income results in higher poverty rates for other groups. The supplemental poverty rate for those 65 and older was 15.1 percent compared with only 8.7 percent using the official measure. Medical out-of-pocket expenses were an important element for this group.

--Even though supplemental poverty rates were lower for children and higher for those 65 and older than under the official measure, the rates for children were still higher than the rates for 18- to 64-year-olds and people 65 and older. The 15.5 percent supplemental rates for 18- to 64-year-olds was not statistically different from the 15.1 percent rate for people 65 and older.

--Supplemental poverty rates were higher than the official measure for all race groups and for Hispanics, with one exception: blacks, who had a supplemental poverty rate of 25.7 percent and an official rate of 27.8 percent.

--Primarily because of geographically adjusted poverty thresholds, supplemental poverty rates differed by region. Supplemental poverty rates were higher than official rates for the Northeast and West, lower in the Midwest and not statistically different from the official measure in the South. These results reflect differences in housing costs.

The measures presented in this report used the 2012 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement with income information that referred to calendar year 2011 to estimate supplemental poverty measure resources.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who Bought Your Politician?

Ask politicians whether campaign contributions influence their decisions, and they’ll tell you certainly not.

Ask any citizen, and they’ll likely give the opposite answer.

With that in mind, WIRED is re re-introducing a web-based embeddable widget — for anybody to use — that lists the top 10 donors and their contributions to any member of the House and Senate, their opponents, and the presidential candidates. Wired updated the widget in conjunction with Maplight, the Berkeley, California-based nonprofit dedicated to following money and politics.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

America Recycles Day - How You Can Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

November 15 is America Recycles Day. Whether you're at home, on the go, in the office, or at school, there are many opportunities to go green by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Find out what you can do to help make a difference in our environment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teacher and School Employee Pay Updated on SeeThroughNY

A searchable online database of earnings for 366,640 employees of New York State school districts outside New York City was posted today at, the transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

Long Island schools had the highest average pay by region at $73,949. The Mohawk Valley has the lowest average pay at $36,394. Seven regions average pay increased over the four-year period while only the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley have decreased average pay over that period, which includes the worst period of the recession.

For the full release online or to download the pdf with tables and charts, click here.
To access the database on SeeThroughNY, click here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Internet Users by Language

Internet World Stats is an International website that features up to date world Internet Usage, Population Statistics, Travel Stats and Internet Market Research Data, for over 233 individual countries and world regions.

Because of the importance of this research, and due to the lack of other sources, Internet World Stats publishes several tables and charts featuring analysis and details for the top ten languages and also for the detailed world languages in use by country.

Friday, November 9, 2012

National Reading and Writing Assessments

In order to determine how our students are doing in a variety of school subjects across the U.S and in comparison with students from other nations, educational assessments are administered every year. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. The NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education. They develop national and state reports on educational progress.

The NCES performed a national computer-based writing assessment, administered to students in grades 8 and 12 throughout the United States, in 2011. Here are the writing assessment results. They also performed a reading assessment in 2011, and in the winter of 2013, the NCES will administer a reading assessment to student in grades 4, 8, and 12. You can learn more about the 2011 reading assessment results and check out the schedule and methodology for the 2013 assessments.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Veterans Day: November 11


Veterans Day is an American federal holiday honoring military veterans. It is also a holiday in many countries around the world every November 11, where it is Armistice or Remembrance Day. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

Today Veterans Day honors veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice. Veterans Day is always on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.

[However, since it DOES fall on a Sunday, Monday, the 12th of November is considered a federal holiday.]

Facts for Features: Veterans Day from the Census Bureau.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Sociologist’s Compendium of World Statistics

From HERE:

Sociological statistics are ever-changing, influenced constantly by new studies and advancing technologies. For sociologists and students who need socio-oriented data, trying to keep up on the latest research can be a challenge. You can take some of the stress away from the stat-search by tapping into our pool of links to the most complete, professional statistic resources the web has to offer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NOAA aquatic bots break the ice on climate research

From GNC Tech:

Over the years, NOAA has sent various data-taking probes deep into the Arctic Ocean looking for answers about climate change. In this latest, extreme test of technology endurance, the agency's swimming robots deliver high science at low cost.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2012

From the conservative-leaning Cato Institute, written by Chris Edwards, October 9, 2012 (White Paper).

"The recovery from the recent recession has been very sluggish, and the nation's governors have struggled with the resulting budget deficits, unemployment, and other economic problems in their states. Many reform-minded governors elected in 2010 have championed tax reforms and spending restraint to get their states back on track. Other governors have expanded government with old-fashioned tax-and-spend policies.

"That is the backdrop to this year's 11th biennial fiscal report card on the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2010. It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records—governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Handbook of New York State and Local Taxes, October 2012 Edition

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Census Bureau Geography website redesigned & reorganized

The Geography section of the U.S. Census Bureau's website has been updated and reorganized to help you better find geography information from the Census Bureau.

The initial phase of the website update includes reorganizing information on the site into seven categories:
About Us
Maps & Data
GSS Initiative

Many links on the website are changing. In the initial release, the new webpages and the existing webpages are running simultaneously. Not all webpages have been moved to the new design/organization at this time. Some of the older information will be archived. Over the next several months Census will continue to move pages into the updated organization and put in additional redirects to automatically take you from the old pages to the new ones.

If you have any questions about the website please contact