Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Multiple jobholding in states in 2012

The annual average multiple-jobholding rate for the United States was 4.9 percent in 2012, although rates varied by state.

In 2012, South Dakota recorded the highest multiple-jobholding rate of any state, 9.5 percent, followed by Vermont, 8.6 percent, and Nebraska, 8.5 percent.1 Four additional states had multiple-jobholding rates of 8.0 percent or above. Most of the states with high multiple-jobholding rates in 2012 have had consistently high rates over the time span during which estimates have been available. Florida had the lowest multiple-jobholding rate of any state in 2012, 3.4 percent. Four other states recorded rates below 4.0 percent. The annual average multiple-jobholding rate for the United States was 4.9 percent in 2012, unchanged from 2011 and 2010. No state had a statistically significant over-the-year change in its multiple-jobholding rate.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Air Pollution in USA: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map

The pollution indices and color codes available on this web site follow the EPA graduation.

Also available: maps for selected cities in Asia: China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Vietnam, Israel; Australia; the Americas: Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile; Europe: France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Poland, Belgium, Netherland, Spain, United Kingdom, Denmark, Lithuania, Hungary, Russia.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Find information about what's new on American FactFinder

Can't keep track of what new information is available on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder portal? Go to NEWS AND NOTES. You'll see:

Dec 17, 2013
The 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-year estimates are now available for every state, county, city, town, place, American Indian Area, Alaska Native Area, and Hawaiian Home Land, as well as for census tracts. Block group estimates are available only in the ACS Summary File. This is the first 5-year data release to include health insurance coverage, disability, marital history, and veterans' service-connected disability status and ratings.

Sep 26, 2013
Data from the 2012 Census of Governments: Organization are now available. The data include detailed information about the number and types of governments that exist, including school districts and special districts. Statistics are shown at the national level, for individual states, and for county-level areas. More information on the 2012 Census of Governments, including other data products, is available at http://www.census.gov/govs/cog2012/.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 50 Equal United States of America

Here's a cool map from artist and urban planner Neil Freeman, who engaged in a thought experiment to rectify a serious problem with the electoral college: namely, that California has 66 times the population of Wyoming but only 18 times the electoral votes. Of course, this size disparity is an even bigger problem in the Senate, though Freeman's radical plan would remedy both—by redrawing the 50 states to make them all equipopulous.

You'll definitely want to click through to Freeman's site to see his impressive full-size map (and there's an even more detailed version that you can buy in poster form). Freeman also explains how he came up with these states.

More from the Daily Kos.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Manners Quiz by Delia Ephron

YOU arrive for Christmas dinner. Your mother has left your father for a woman and you are meeting her for the first time. What do you do?

Your Uncle Eric loves Fox News. Your sister Jen listens only to NPR. Which of these are appropriate dinner table conversations?

Your niece Emily gets one temporary job after another, but the minute the company has to hire her permanently and give her benefits they fire her. What do you say to her?

Answers to these and other tricky questions at the New York Times.

Monday, December 23, 2013

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

What does the way you speak say about where you’re from?

Click and answer all the questions to see your personal dialect map from the New York Times.

(I'm most like someone from Yonkers, NY; Newark/Paterson, NJ; and Tulsa, OK!)

At this writing, the quiz may be slow to generate the map because of great demand!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Americans Waged War Against the Giving of Useless Xmas Gifts...in 1912

Every year around this time, amid the dull din of a hurried holiday rush, it's not uncommon to hear shoppers bemoan that the true spirit of the season is slipping away (perhaps even as their carts teem with bound-to-be-forgotten gifts). But a century ago, folks were likewise fed-up with the culture of mindless consumerism. And in one of the most fascinating, little-known chapters of American history -- they waged a war that even Presidents would join.

More from Treehugger.

(No need to kvetch aboutthe word Xmas.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hell on wheels: The state with America's worst drivers revealed (It's not New York)

Which states strike fear in the heart of every motorist for having the least skilled, most distracted drivers on the road?

New data from CarInsuranceComparison.com used statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drink Driving to rank America's drivers, state by state.

And the winner of the dubious honor of America's worst drivers?

(New York was 22nd worst, BTW.)

Read more from the Daily Mail.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best Small Cities for Starting Over (one in NYS)

Do you need a change of pace but the big city life is too fast for you? For a smaller setting that still offers plentiful job opportunities and chances to meet other singles, we have the list for you.

Smaller cities have the advantage of smaller crowds with attractions, stores, and restaurants that are within close reach. They may not have major corporations as an anchor, but these small cities have a lot of innovation, growth, and charm to keep you interested and fulfilled in your new life.

A city experiencing population growth signifies that it is a desirable area for people looking to move, whether for social or economic reasons. This statistic, combined with some of the others we used for this study, also indicates when a particular place has a strong job market, affordable housing, and entertainment attractions.

Next, we looked at each city’s income growth and unemployment rate, both of which shed light on the all-important economic conditions of an area. Not only are the cities in our top 10 witnessing lower unemployment rates, they’re also seeing salary increases, which is good news for residents.

Finally, for those who are looking for love (usually a good reason to start over!), we factored in the percentage of unmarried adults in each city, making it easier to find your match. And with your new job, you should have plenty of extra cash to wine and dine the new person in your life.

See the results from Credit Donkey HERE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Curse you! How America Swears

We know, at this point, how the nation tweets. But what about how the nation swears?

The Ukrainian-based web development firm Vertaline, aiming to answer that question, scanned tweets posted from across 462 specific locations in the U.S. The team then isolated particular phrases from those tweets -- one of those phrases being, yep, "fuck you," which they tracked between July 14 and July 24, 2012. They then created a dynamic heatmap that portrays the density of the F-bomb-laden tweets as they were distributed geographically throughout each day of their date range, measured once per hour.

Article from The Atlantic.

There's a relatively long tradition, in the field of data visualization, of tracking the way we swear. This makes sense. Not only is it fun to track, but cursing is also conveniently specific as a data set; you've got your f-bombs and your double hockey sticks and your bodily functions, and, factoring in their permutations, you're good to go. Plus, you don't need much sophisticated sentiment analysis to ensure that your data are accurate: An f-bomb is pretty much an f-bomb, regardless of the contextual subtleties. As a result of all this, we, the public, get treated to sweary heat maps. And more sweary heat maps. And sweary interactive maps. There's just something about big data and sailor-cursing that complement each other—like peanut butter and mothereffing jelly.

Traditionally, those maps are based on text—on swears that are typed into Facebook or, even more publicly, Twitter. Making a map of the sweariest states requires simply gathering geocoded posts, isolating the swears, and going from there.

The least-courteous states? Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, and ... Ohio.
A new map, though, takes a more complicated approach. Instead of using text, it uses data gathered from ... phone calls. You know how, when you call a customer service rep for your ISP or your bank or what have you, you're informed that your call will be recorded? Marchex Institute, the data and research arm of the ad firm Marchex, got ahold of the data that resulted from some recordings, examining more than 600,000 phone calls from the past 12 months—calls placed by consumers to businesses across 30 different industries. It then used call mining technology to isolate the curses therein, cross-referencing them against the state the calls were placed from.

The findings from The Atlantic, again.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Consumers rage against lousy customer service

From Arizona State University:

A new customer-rage study shows more American consumers than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services we buy. Also, despite companies’ big-money efforts to create customer-care programs, we’re less happy with the service received when we complain. The study shows 56 million American households experienced at least one problem during the past 12 months, and about $76 billion in revenue was at stake for the businesses involved.

"The moral of the story: Don’t invest in improving your customer service unless you’re going to do it right," says Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the Center for Services Leadership at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which helped design the survey. "If a company handles your complaint well, then you typically become a more loyal customer. However, if they don’t, then you become 12 percentage points less brand loyal than if you never complained at all."

This independent study is based on one originally conducted by the White House in 1976. The 2013 version is the sixth study wave, offering a clear comparison of customer satisfaction over the years.

From NBC News:

Customers are angrier than ever and no wonder: they're losing. The good news is with a few inside tips, they can get the satisfaction they deserve.

According to the 2013 Customer Rage Survey, customers are complaining more since 2011. And the tables have tipped: more than half the time consumers complain, they don't get results.

But as long as you have a reasonable complaint, there's no reason to just sit back and take it.

The four key consumer frustrations cited in the report -- too few customer service reps, too many automated phone menus, spending too much time dealing with the problem, and having to contact the company four times to get a result -- each have solutions.

*But here's something consumers can do.*

"Need to contact a company? Or have them call you? Get customer service faster and easier."

Go to GetHuman.com. Companies have more phone numbers and contact options than ever. GetHuman shows you how to get through fastest.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Homicide is only part of the gun violence issue—the smaller part

From Slate:

Since the massacre at Newtown, Conn., Slate has scoured the Web for information on gun-related deaths and adding them to this interactive. As the months unfolded, it became clear that even though thousands of people were being added to our database, we were missing thousands more. Now that we’re hitting the one-year mark, the full extent of that deviation is clear: The CDC counts about 32,000 people killed with guns each year, while Slate’s database only has one-third of that. Why the huge discrepancy?

Earlier this month Slate launched an effort to categorize the gun deaths in our system. That effort verified the source of the discrepancy: suicides.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Infographic Focuses on Participation in Government Programs

Participation in government benefits programs, both means-tested and non-means-tested, grew during the recent downturn. A new "How Do We Know?" infographic from the Census Bureau, "Changes in Use of Government Programs from 2008 to 2011", uses results from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to show changes over that period in households that receive benefits, as well as participation in specific non-means tested and means-tested programs.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

World Births and Deaths, Simulated in Real-Time

If you hover over a particular country you can watch its births and deaths separately.

Also downloadable as an app!

From Google Drive.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Corruption remains a global threat

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world. The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem. Hover on the map above to see how your country fares. The world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions. - See more at: #sthash.spN3CEEx.dpuf

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fun with statistics! from the Census Bureau

I watched these fun Statistics in Schools videos. One addresses "how a picture can help you answer the three basic questions of statistical analysis: 'how big is it?', 'what difference does it make?', and 'are you sure that's just not dumb luck?'"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Place data by county on the Census web page

From a self-described Census geek:

Places within County (or Town)

The Census Bureau uses a three digit Summary Level as a way to identify a certain level of geography. A few Summary Levels to remember are:
040 – State
050 – County
060 – Subcounty (City/Town in NY)
070 – Place/Reminder (or part)

These summary levels are very hierarchical and make up the higher level. So all counties make a state, all subcounties make a county, and all level 070 make up a subcounty. If a place is split by two towns, this place will have two records at level 070, one for each town. The city of Geneva is the only city with two 060 records (one in Ontario and one in Seneca County).

There are some additional summary levels related to places tabulated in AFF and things get very complicated:
155 – County (or part) with Place
159 – Place (or part) with County
160 – Place with State
To see summary levels in AFF you have to go to the Name tab, collapse the Geographic Type in the Filter Options and expand the Summary Level. Level 155 and 159 are normally hidden from view, but shown when you select All Summary Levels in the grey bar above the results.

If you select level 155 you can narrow your results and select Within State and Within County. You end up with a list of places and part of places that are within each County. If a place crosses county boundaries this summary level will give you the results for the part!

Summary level 159 works similar, but instead of a list of counties to select from, you get a list of places and counties to select from. This is not very handy and results are identical to level 155.
Level 160 is a collection of records for places as places do not cross State boundaries. This level is very much equivalent to selecting “City or Town” from the Geographic Type and the places returned using the method Dale described as per Bob’s suggestion returns places with this Summary Level.

So if you want data on the complete places (villages, CDP’s and Cities) that are fully or partially within a county, use level 160. If you are interested in the parts that are within a county use level 155 and if you want to split the places by towns, use level 070.

The Estimates Universe is comparable, but slightly different as it does not contains CDP’s (CDP = Census Designated Places). The Census Bureau assigned a different set of summary levels to this universe. Instead of level 160, 155 and 070, places can be found using Summary levels 162, 157 and 071. That is if the sub county estimates were available using AFF. At the moment these estimates are only available in downloadable format.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The National Center for Charitable Statistics

Nonprofit data "at your fingertips."

The NCCS "mission is to develop and disseminate high quality data on nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society."


Thursday, December 5, 2013

How Many Homeschoolers in America?

This the most current information on homeschooling families in the U.S. The list of homeschooled kids by state is a work in progress and is updated annually with additional home education statistics as they are found. Home school statistics can be fraught with errors.

Here are statistics for New York State, though the New York City data are noticeably missing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

JOIN the American Community Survey Data Users Group

The American Community Survey Data Users Group (ACS DUG) is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to access, analyze, interpret, and present data from the American Community Survey. ACS DUG is not managed by the Census Bureau but rather is driven by data users. The Census Bureau participates in many of the meetings. Data users are strongly encouraged to join the ACS DUG. It does not cost anything and is a great resource.

ACS Data Community is an online community that allows people to more easily connect with one another, share ideas, and collaborate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Infographic Profiles Young Adults Without Health Insurance

In 2012, 27 percent of young adults (ages 19 to 34) lacked health insurance, although the rate varied widely from state to state, according to a new Census Bureau infographic, “The Young and Uninsured in 2012.” The infographic looks at the characteristics of this group and their uninsured rate in states and the largest metropolitan areas. The analysis uses American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2012.

Internet address

Monday, December 2, 2013


AllConferences.com is a Global Online Conference Directory showcasing over 100,000 conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibits, expos and seminars.

Friday, November 29, 2013

2013 Web Index Report

Targeted censorship of Web content by governments is widespread across the globe. Moderate to extensive blocking or filtering of politically sensitive content was reported in over 30 percent of Web Index countries during the past year.

Legal limits on government snooping online urgently need review. 94% of countries in the Web Index do not meet best practice standards for checks and balances on government interception of electronic communications.

The Web and social media are leading to real­world change. In 80 percent of the countries studied, the Web and social media had played a role in public mobilisation in the past year, and in half of these cases, had been a major catalyst.

Rich countries do not necessarily rank highly in the Web Index. The Philippines, with a per capita income of $4,410 per year, is more than 10 places ahead of Qatar, the world’s richest country, with an average income over 20 times greater than the Philippines. Saudi Arabia is outperformed by 10 of the sub-­Saharan African countries in the Index. Switzerland, the world’s third wealthiest nation, is only one place ahead of Estonia. The study shows that once countries surpass a GDP threshold of US$12,000 per capita, the link between wealth and Web Index rank weakens significantly.

The rights and priorities of women are poorly served by the Web in the majority of countries researched. Locally relevant information on topics such as sexual and reproductive health, domestic violence, and inheritance remain largely absent from the Web in most countries. Only 56 percent of Web Index countries were assessed as allocating ‘significant’ resources to ICT training programmes targeting women and men equally.

Read the Full Report (PDF) from World Wide Web Foundation.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Canadian Charities Listings

From the Hill Library:

Questions on companies or industries located outside of the U.S. are always challenging, even in those best-case scenarios where everything is in English. While we are pretty familiar with sources of information in the U.S., we are often starting from scratch when looking into foreign sources.

And so we were happy to find a reliable source for nonprofit filings in Canada. Here in the U.S. we generally look to the GuideStar database or the National Center for Charitable Statistics for access to nonprofits' 990 filings. In Canada it's the Canada Revenue Agency that maintains a list of registered charities, called the Charities Listings. This database allows people to confirm that an organization is a registered charity, and also provides access to the Registered Charity Information Return, which, like the 990 form in the U.S., provides information on a charity's activities and finances.

Charities and nonprofits play a big part in the Canadian economy, with 7.8% of the GDP and 10.5% of the labor force, according to Imagine Canada, and so it's nice to have a resource that provides the official filings of these organizations. The Canada Revenue Agency is now just one more reason why we love Canada.
In the advanced search section, you can find what charities are registered in Canada that are based in other countries. There are 24 US firms that are registered charities in Canada, according to the database.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Census App Helps Users Find Local Statistics on the Go

The U.S. Census Bureau this week released dwellr, a new mobile app that delivers on-the-go access to key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics for thousands of places across the nation.
Powered by American Community Survey statistics, dwellr can pull up a list of U.S. locations that matches users’ preferences for such variables as city size, geographic region, job type and income. Users can also learn more about where they are by a simple tap of the screen that reveals educational levels, housing values and commute times.
“With dwellr, people considering a move, homebuyers, travelers and military families can easily access and explore information on U.S. towns and cities based on data compiled through the American Community Survey,” Census Bureau Director John Thompson said. “With dwellr and our previously released America’s Economy app, the Census Bureau is using 21st century technology to accomplish our centuries-old mission to measure America and make the results accessible to the public anytime, anywhere on any device.”
The customizable demographic and community variables featured in dwellr include:
• • city size
• • commute type
• • housing value
• • income
• •
• • educational attainment and
• • demographic variables including age, race, marital status and family type
The mobile app is now available for download through the Apple app store and Google Play store for Apple iPhones and iPads and Android phones and 10-inch tablets. Privacy protection is built into the app, and all information is stored only on the user’s device.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 5 Cyber Monday Safety Tips

What to Know Before Shopping Online This Holiday Season

The internet makes holiday shopping so easy—no fighting for parking spaces at jam-packed malls, no waiting in endless lines to get to the register.

But even if you consider yourself a pro, shopping online isn't without risks. These tips from USA.gov can help you protect yourself and your finances as you hunt for that perfect gift:

1. Use a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit card payments can be withheld if there's a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won't have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. But with a debit card, you can't withhold payments—the store is paid directly from your bank account. And if your card is stolen, you could be liable for up to $500, depending on when you report it.

2. Find out if the public WiFi hotspot you're using at a coffee shop or bookstore is secure. If it's not, your payment information could be compromised over the network.

3. It's risky not to read the terms of service agreement before you buy online. You could inadvertently sign up for subscriptions or get hit with additional fees or restrictions. Terms of service are often in small print or presented right when you are anxious to purchase.

4. Be careful if you're buying event tickets online as gifts. Some venues may practice restricted ticketing, requiring the same credit card used in the online purchase to be shown to get into the event.

5. Use caution buying digital assets like books and music—they can't be given away as gifts if they've been downloaded to your account. You should either purchase a gift card for the book or music site, or check with the company. Some services have ways to "gift an item" but it varies depending on the provider.

Monday, November 25, 2013

America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 76 percent of American parents living with children under 18 are married. Another 16 percent have no partner present, and 8 percent cohabit with a partner.

Among parents living with an unmarried partner, two-thirds (66 percent) share a biological child with their partner.

This information comes from America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2013, tabulations released using data from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The table package provides a current portrait of the composition of families and households and shows historical changes in living arrangements in the United States. New this year is a table that profiles American parents living with their children.

The table shows that living arrangements are different for mothers than for fathers. Fathers living with their children are much more likely to have a spouse present (86 percent) than mothers (67 percent), while 25 percent of mothers with children under 18 have no partner present, compared with only 6 percent of fathers.

“Mothers are more likely than fathers to be raising a child without a partner present and fathers are less likely to live with their children,” said Jamie Lewis, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. In 2013, 36.6 million mothers and 28.7 million fathers resided with children under 18. This includes both married and unmarried parents.

Other highlights:

Sixty-six percent of households in 2013 were family households, compared with 81 percent in 1970. Family households include two or more people (one of which is the householder) living under the same roof related by blood, marriage or adoption; it does not have to include anyone who is married.

Between 1970 and 2013, the share of households that were married couples with children decreased by about half from 40 to 19 percent; the proportion of married couples without children dipped slightly, from 30 to 29 percent.

The proportion of one-person households increased by 10 percentage points between 1970 and 2013, from 17 percent to 27 percent.

Between 1970 and 2013, the average number of people per household declined from 3.1 to 2.5. During the same period, the average number of children per family decreased from 1.3 to 0.9.

The median age at first marriage in 2013 was 29.0 for men and 26.6 for women, up from 23.2 for men and 20.8 for women in 1970.

In 2013, 48 percent of children living with a mother only, had a never-married mother, up from 7 percent in 1970.

Seven percent of American households are maintained by a cohabiting couple. More than one-third (37 percent) of cohabiting-couple households contain children under 18.

Most children under 18 (64 percent) live with married parents; 96 percent of children under 18 live with at least one parent.

Black (55 percent) and Hispanic children (31 percent) are more likely to live with one parent than non-Hispanic white (20 percent) or Asian children (13 percent).

Children living with neither parent (47 percent) or with a mother only (45 percent) are most likely to be below poverty, followed by those living with a father only (21 percent), and those living with two parents (13 percent). The estimates for children living with neither parent and those with a mother only are not significantly different.

Of the 73.9 million children in the United States in 2013, approximately 7.1 million (10 percent) lived with a grandparent. Of children living with a grandparent, 20 percent did not have a parent present.

Forty percent of married parents with children under 18 had at least a bachelor’s degree.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Warm Feelings for Christians

Just how warmly do Americans feel toward religious groups? A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute asked respondents to rate religious groups using a "feeling thermometer" with a scale ranging from 1 (coldest) to 100 (warmest). A temperature of 51 or higher means the respondent feels warmer toward a group. A temperature of 1 to 49 means the respondent feels colder toward a group. If the feeling is neither warm nor cold, the rating would be 50. Here are the temperatures...

74.6 degrees for Christians
67.8 degrees for Jews
64.8 degrees for Catholics
43.0 degrees for atheists
42.4 degrees for Muslims

Interestingly, Americans on the whole feel cold toward atheists (43.0) but more warmly toward "non-religious people," whose temperature on the feeling thermometer was a higher 56.1.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

How can I get historical total population data?

If you have looked at the American FactFinder page from the Census Bureau but cannot find the population data you seek, because it's too old:

One source: The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2012.

Another source are the scanned copies of old Census publications. There may be more data in these reports than available through NHGIS, for smaller places.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Census Bureau Releases New Interactive Visualization of Jobs, Businesses and Other Key Economic Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau released a new interactive tool designed to visualize the key economic findings found in the statistical agency’s most recent Business Dynamics Statistics report released in July. The Business Dynamics Statistics Visualization Tool spans four decades of information about America’s economy – providing key insights on job creation and loss during the most recent recession. Economic measures such as employment, number of establishments and number of firms can be analyzed for a single year or multiple years from 1977 to 2011.

The tool has three major components: an interactive thematic map for the 50 states, interactive bar charts that give side-by-side comparisons of states and business sectors as well as time series data comparisons over a range of time.

“We are providing a new and easy way for users to look at key economic trends about America’s economy by visualizing statistics over time,” said Thomas Louis, the associate director for research and methodology and chief scientist at the Census Bureau. “The latest Business Dynamics Statistics report shows older firms dominate the economy, new firms are entering the economy slowly, and there has been an overall decline in job creation in recent years.”

In partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Census Bureau has produced annual data series for the Business Dynamics Statistics since 2008. Go HERE for more information on the Business Dynamics Statistics program.

Find guidance on how to use the visualization tool.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The State of the Nation's Housing

American Consumers Newsletter's Cheryl Russell describes: This annual publication examines current trends in housing markets and looks at the future of homeownership and rental housing. This year's report also examines the demographic trends driving the housing market--such as the slowdown in household formation, growing diversity, income stagnation, and the aging population.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage and divorce: patterns by gender, race, and educational attainment

Many changes in the last half century have affected marriage and divorce rates. The rise of the women’s liberation movement, the advent of the sexual revolution, and an increase in women’s labor force participation altered perceptions of gender roles within marriage during the last 50 years. Cultural norms changed in ways that decreased the aversion to being single and increased the probability of cohabitation.1 In addition, a decrease in the stigma attached to divorce and the appearance of no-fault divorce laws in many states contributed to an increase in divorce rates.

Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)—a survey of people born during the 1957–1964 period—this study examines the marriage and divorce patterns for a cohort of young baby boomers up to age 46. In particular, the study focuses on differences in marriage and divorce patterns by educational attainment and by age at marriage. This work is descriptive and does not attempt to explain causation or why marriage patterns differ across groups.

Read data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday, November 15, 2013

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2010-2012 ACS 3-Year Estimates

The 2010-2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 3-Year Estimates, the most relied-upon source for up-to-date socioeconomic information every year, has been released. The data cover a three-year period from 2010 to 2012 and more than 40 topics, such as educational attainment, income, health insurance coverage, occupation, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs.

The estimates are available in detailed tables for the nation, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, every metropolitan area, and all counties and places with populations of 20,000 or more.

Visit the Census Bureau's American FactFinder to find statistics for your area. Get more information about the ACS Data Release Schedule, new ACS products, documentation, and a list of new tables for the 2010-2012 ACS 3-Year release.

In addition, the Census Bureau released a brief titled Home Value and Homeownership Rates: Recession and Post-Recession Comparisons From 2007-2009 to 2010-2012, which uses the ACS 3-year estimates to focus on homeownership rates and home values for smaller areas.

The ACS provides reliable statistics that are indispensable to anyone who has to make informed decisions about the future. These statistics are required by all levels of government to manage or evaluate a wide range of programs, but are also useful for research, education, journalism, business and advocacy. If you have questions about this survey, please call the Customer Services Center on 1 (800) 923-8282.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The 40-Year Slump

From The Prospect:

Since 1947, Americans at all points on the economic spectrum had become a little better off with each passing year. The economy’s rising tide, as President John F. Kennedy had famously said, was lifting all boats. Productivity had risen by 97 percent in the preceding quarter-century, and median wages had risen by 95 percent. As economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted in The Affluent Society, this newly middle-class nation had become more egalitarian. The poorest fifth had seen their incomes increase by 42 percent since the end of the war, while the wealthiest fifth had seen their incomes rise by just 8 percent. Economists have dubbed the period the “Great Compression.”

This egalitarianism, of course, was severely circumscribed. African Americans had only recently won civil equality, and economic equality remained a distant dream. Women entered the workforce in record numbers during the early 1970s to find a profoundly discriminatory labor market. A new generation of workers rebelled at the regimentation of factory life, staging strikes across the Midwest to slow down and humanize the assembly line. But no one could deny that Americans in 1974 lived lives of greater comfort and security than they had a quarter-century earlier. During that time, median family income more than doubled.

Then, it all stopped.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daylight Saving Time Is Terrible: Here's a Simple Plan to Fix It

From The Atlantic:

Daylight saving time ended Nov. 3, setting off an annual ritual where Americans (who don’t live in Arizona or Hawaii) and residents of 78 other countries including Canada (but not Saskatchewan), most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand turn their clocks back one hour. It’s a controversial practice that became popular in the 1970s with the intent of conserving energy. The fall time change feels particularly hard because we lose another hour of evening daylight, just as the days grow shorter. It also creates confusion because countries that observe daylight saving change their clocks on different days.

It would seem to be more efficient to do away with the practice altogether. The actual energy savings are minimal, if they exist at all. Frequent and uncoordinated time changes cause confusion, undermining economic efficiency. There’s evidence that regularly changing sleep cycles, associated with daylight saving, lowers productivity and increases heart attacks. Being out of sync with European time changes was projected to cost the airline industry $147 million a year in travel disruptions.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013

From the World Economic Forum [PDF]

The press release:

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 finds 86 out of 133 countries improved their global gender gap between 2012 and 2013, with the area of political participation seeing the greatest progress.

Iceland has the narrowest gender gap in the world, followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Data indicates overall slight gains in gender parity mask the emergence of twin-track paths towards economic equality in many countries and regions....

The eighth annual edition of the Report ranks 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality. Of the 133 countries that were measured in both 2012 and 2013, 86 actually improved their gender gap during this time. Overall, the Report finds Iceland the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running. It, along with Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd) and Sweden (4th), has now closed over 80% of its gender gap. These countries are joined in the top 10 by the Philippines, which enters the top five for the first time, Ireland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Denmark (8th), Switzerland (9th) and Nicaragua (10th).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

NYS Counties SNAP (Food Stamps) Historical Benefits 1970-2010

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) increased SNAP benefits across the board as a way of delivering high “bang-for-the-buck” economic stimulus and easing hardship in response to the economic downturn. ARRA increased SNAP maximum monthly benefits by 13.6 percent beginning in April 2009.

ARRA provided that SNAP benefit levels would continue at the new higher amount until the program’s regular annual inflation adjustments to the maximum SNAP benefit exceeded those set by ARRA. The maximum SNAP benefit levels for each household size, which are set each October 1, are equal to the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) from the preceding June scaled to each household size. The TFP is the cost of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food plan for a family of four to purchase and prepare a bare-bones diet at home. At the time ARRA was enacted, food price inflation was expected to be high and the TFP cost was expected to exceed the ARRA level in fiscal year 2014. Food price inflation, however, turned out to be lower than expected over the 2009 to 2013 period, resulting in the pushing out of the date that the TFP was expected to exceed the ARRA level.

More HERE.

Also, monthly NYC (not borough) and county SNAP actuals for households, persons and benefits are available from January 2002 forward in spreadsheet form on Open Data NY. The data are also broken out by Temporary Assistance (cases consisting entirely of cash assistance and/or Supplemental Security Assistance recipients) and non-TA.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eleven “Americas” in one

If you understand the United States as a patchwork of separate nations, each with its own origins and prevailing values, you would hardly expect attitudes toward violence to be uniformly distributed. You would instead be prepared to discover that some parts of the country experience more violence, have a greater tolerance for violent solutions to conflict, and are more protective of the instruments of violence than other parts of the country. That is exactly what the data on violence reveal about the modern United States.

Most scholarly research on violence has collected data at the state level, rather than the county level (where the boundaries of the eleven nations are delineated). Still, the trends are clear. The same handful of nations show up again and again at the top and the bottom of state-level figures on deadly violence, capital punishment, and promotion of gun ownership.

Consider assault deaths. Kieran Healy, a Duke University sociologist, broke down the per capita, age-adjusted deadly assault rate for 2010. In the northeastern states—almost entirely dominated by Yankeedom, New Netherland, and the Midlands—just over 4 people per 100,000 died in assaults. By contrast, southern states—largely monopolized by Deep South, Tidewater, and Greater Appalachia—had a rate of more than 7 per 100,000. The three deadliest states—Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, where the rate of killings topped 10 per 100,000—were all in Deep South territory. Meanwhile, the three safest states—New Hampshire, Maine, and Minnesota, with rates of about 2 killings per 100,000—were all part of Yankeedom.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines

We rely on computers to fly our planes, find our cancers, design our buildings, audit our businesses. That's all well and good. But what happens when the computer fails?

Automation, for all its benefits, can take a toll on the performance and talents of those who rely on it. The implications go well beyond safety. Because automation alters how we act, how we learn, and what we know, it has an ethical dimension. The choices we make, or fail to make, about which tasks we hand off to machines shape our lives and the place we make for ourselves in the world. That has always been true, but in recent years, as the locus of labor-saving technology has shifted from machinery to software, automation has become ever more pervasive, even as its workings have become more hidden from us. Seeking convenience, speed, and efficiency, we rush to off-load work to computers without reflecting on what we might be sacrificing as a result.

MORE from The Atlantic.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

U.S. Corporations are Hoarding Wealth at Highest Rate Since 1971

From Sociological Images:

The dominant firms in the U.S. and other major capitalist counties are happily making profits, but they aren't interested in investing them in new plants and equipment that increase productivity and create jobs. Rather they prefer to use their earnings to acquire other firms, reward their managers and shareholders, or increase their holdings of cash and other financial assets.

The increase in profits has swamped the increase in investment over the relevant time period; in fact, investment in current dollars has actually been falling.

Looking at the ratio between these two variables helps us see even more clearly the growth in firm reluctance to channel profits into investment. The investment ratio (investment/profits) was 62% in 1971, peaked at 69% in 1979, fell to 61% in 2000 and 56% in 2008, and dropped to an even lower 46% in 2012.

According to Michael Burke, if U.S. firms were simply to invest at the level they did in 1979, not even the peak, the increase in investment in the American economy would exceed $1.5 trillion, close to 10% of GDP.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Moving Off the Road: A State-by-State Analysis of the National Decline in Driving

From the PIRG Education Fund

After 60 years of almost constant increases in driving, since 2004 Americans have decreased their per-capita driving for eight years in a row.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Airline Rules: You May Be Able to Use Electronic Devices from Gate-to-Gate

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given airlines the ability to expand the use of personal electronic devices for passengers on board. That means you could soon be able to listen to your music or read books on an e-reader from gate-to-gate on your flight.

Individual airlines will have the ability to determine when it is safe for passengers to use their electronic devices.

Learn more about the decision from the FAA.

Downtown Rebirth: Documenting the Live-Work Dynamic in 21st Century U.S. Cities

From the Center City District (CCD)

Downtowns across the US are thriving. Cities are diversifying their economies and land use, restoring and enlivening public spaces. During the last three decades, city centers have been adding arts, culture, dining, education, medical and research institutions, along with hospitality, leisure, and sports venues.

Places once shunned as empty and unsafe at night are being redeveloped at higher density and are thriving after dark.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Solitary confinement's invisible scars

From the Guardian:

As kids, many of us imagine having superpowers. An avid comic book reader, I often imagined being invisible. I never thought I would actually experience it, but I did.

It wasn't in a parallel universe – although it often felt that way – but right here in the Empire State, my home. While serving time in New York's prisons, I spent 2,054 days in solitary and other forms of isolated confinement, out of sight and invisible to other human beings – and eventually, even to myself.

After only a short time in solitary, I felt all of my senses begin to diminish. There was nothing to see but gray walls. In New York's so-called special housing units, or SHUs, most cells have solid steel doors, and many do not have windows. You cannot even tape up pictures or photographs; they must be kept in an envelope. To fight the blankness, I counted bricks and measured the walls. I stared obsessively at the bolts on the door to my cell.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Military Members and Veterans - Watch Out for Scams

There are a number of scams currently circulating that target members of the military and veterans, such as fake military charities, identity theft targeting active service members, and veteran pension scams.

In general, all of these scams try to take advantage of military members by offering to provide a service and then taking your money, while you get nothing in return.

You can learn more about specific scams by visiting the Scams Targeting Service Members or Veterans section of StopFraud.gov.

If you've been the victim of a scam, there are a few ways to file a complaint:

File a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call them at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or 1-202-326-2222.

File a complaint about Internet-related fraud issues with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

StopFraud.gov offers information about how to report financial fraud.

Monday, October 28, 2013

ThomasNet now provides assistance to meet supplier diversity requirements

ThomasNet is "Engineers' and buyers' choice for finding trusted suppliers. The only free platform designed for sourcing components, equipment, MRO products, raw materials and custom manufacturing services.

I use it often.

Now ThomasNet.com offers help to meet supplier diversity requirements
*Find Suppliers by Ownership.
*1,000's of Diversity Certified/ Registered Suppliers categorized as,
Woman Owned
African American
Hispanic American
HubZone and more

Friday, October 25, 2013

America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude

For a country that features the word United so prominently in its name, the U.S. is a pretty fractious place. We splinter along fault lines of income, education, religion, race, hyphenated origin, age and politics. Then too there’s temperament. We’re coarse or courtly, traditionalist or rebel, amped up or laid-back. And it’s no secret that a lot of that seems to be determined by — or at least associated with — where we live.

Now a multinational team of researchers led by psychologist and American expat Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has sought to draw the regional lines more clearly, literally mapping the American mood, with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament.

Read more from TIME.

BTW, I'm "from Pennsylvania," which isn't that far from my hometown of Binghamton, NY.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Least Popular American Baby Names According to Early Records

From Mental Floss:

Like a lot of people, I have been entranced for the past few days by this animated map of the most popular baby names for girls by state over the past 52 years. It shows how the country shifted from Mary to Lisa before giving over completely to Jennifer, after which the Jessica/Ashley and Emily/Emma battles eventually resolved into the current dominance of Sophia. The map was created by Reuben Fischer-Baum of Deadspin using baby name data from the Social Security Administration. The SSA website gives the top 1000 boy and girl names (as reported on social security card applications) for each year from 1880 onward. This brief historical tour of the most popular names got me curious about the least popular names.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Census Bureau Announces Revised Economic Indicator Calendar

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Census Bureau today announced revisions to its release calendar for the 2013 economic indicators that have been delayed because of the recent lapse in federal funding.

The following are revised dates for delayed economic indicators data:

Housing Vacancies and Homeownership

October [originally scheduled for 10/29/13] 11/05/13

Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MARTS)*

September [originally scheduled for 10/11/13] 10/29/13

October [originally scheduled for 11/14/13] 11/20/13

November [originally scheduled for 12/12/13] No Change

Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales (MTIS)*

August [originally scheduled for 10/11/13] 10/29/13

September [originally scheduled for 11/14/13] 11/20/13

October [originally scheduled for 12/12/13] No Change

Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS)*

August [originally scheduled for 10/9/13] 10/25/13

September [originally scheduled for 11/8/13] 11/15/13

October [originally scheduled for 12/10/13] No Change

Quarterly Services Survey

3rd Quarter 2013 [originally scheduled for 12/4/13] 12/12/13

FT900 International Trade Release (Indicator)

August [originally scheduled for 10/8/13] 10/24/13

September [originally scheduled for 11/5/13] 11/14/13

October [originally scheduled for 12/4/13] No Change

Quarterly Financial Report Manufacturing, Mining, Wholesale Trade & Service Sectors

3rd Quarter 2013 [originally scheduled for 12/9/13] No Change

Quarterly Financial Report Retail Trade

3rd Quarter 2013 [originally scheduled for 12/16/13] No Change

New Residential Construction

September [originally scheduled for 10/17/13] 11/26/13

October [originally scheduled for 11/19/13] 11/26/13

November [originally scheduled for 12/18/13] No Change

New Residential Sales

September [originally scheduled for 10/24/13] 12/4/13

October [originally scheduled for 11/27/13] 12/4/13

November [originally scheduled for 12/24/13] No Change

Construction Spending (VIP)

August [originally scheduled for 10/1/13] 10/22/13

September [originally scheduled for 11/1/13] 12/2/13

October [originally scheduled for 12/2/13] No Change

Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders Full Report

August [originally scheduled for 10/3/13] 11/4/13 [with Sept report]

September [originally scheduled for 11/4/13] No Change

October [originally scheduled for 12/5/13] No Change

Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders Advance Report

September [originally scheduled for 10/25/13] No Change

October [originally scheduled for 11/27/13] No Change

November [originally scheduled for 12/24/13] No Change

The Census Bureau has also posted anticipated dates for the remaining statistical data products expected to be released in 2013. To view the full revised release calendar through the end of 2013, visit Census Bureau’s release calendar.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Status of Government Websites During Shutdown (and some options)

With the federal government now shut down, many government services and agencies are closed, suspended or otherwise curtailed. The following list describes the status of select government web resources and some possible alternatives.
Note: The Internet Archive grabbed copies of a number of federal agency websites just before they were taken offline due to the lapse in appropriations. You can access the archives through the links on this blog entry.

More info HERE.

Monday, October 14, 2013

How New Yorkers (the City) Really Feel About Each Other

A Business Insider-SurveyMonkey Audience poll asked New Yorkers to pick which neighborhoods have the best food, the best bars, and the most attractive people, among many other things.

A few months ago, we ran a poll that asked Americans what they thought of other states — which were the drunkest, hottest, and had the silliest accents.

Since New Yorkers came up as rudest last time we asked, we figured they would be blunt with us, so we tried the whole thing over again, asking about New York City neighborhoods.

We asked 414 New Yorkers — someone who lives and/or works in New York City — to answer 24 questions about the neighborhoods. Below we've mapped the percentage of people who named each area for different questions.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another alternative for finding ACS Census data

If you or your colleagues need census data during this government data outage, head to http://beta.censusreporter.org/.

They have migrated the ACS 2011 1, 3, and 5 year data and the new ACS 2012 data into their system. The 2011 release is up and running, and they are working on formatting the 2012 data now. You can browse for facts and figures or just easily get at the tables you want to download.

The interface is undergoing some polishing work as they work in the open and gear up for our beta release, but the site is mostly there.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Free Access to Social Explorer During Government Shutdown

The current shutdown in Washington is limiting the access that scholars and researchers have to vital materials, including the US Census website. To that end, Oxford University Press and the Social Explorer team will open up access to Social Explorer – the premier US Census demographics website – through October 18. Social Explorer provides access to the US Census data from 1790 to 2010 and to the American Community Survey from 2005 through 2012.

For access to Social Explorer, simply email onlinereference@oup.com to request a username and password.

About Social Explorer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJfh7h1IpjY

Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change. In addition to its comprehensive data resources, Social Explorer offers features and tools to meet the needs of demography experts and novices alike. From research libraries to classrooms to government agencies to corporations to the front page of the New York Times, Social Explorer helps the public engage with society and science.

Missouri Census Data Center now offering access to 2012 ACS data as profile products

The Missouri Census Data Center had created data set versions of the 2012 1-year ACS base/summary tables. And MCDC has completed using those detailed tables in order to create ACS Profiles and ACS Trends report products (use the first and third links from the “Quick Links” box on the home page for access to the menu pages). We have done considerable work on the code we use to create these derived variables, trying to avoid using tables with a higher probability of having suppressed values.

You can also get access to these data in a single data set, usmcdcprofiles in the acs2012 data directory. Access this data set with 7750 geographic summaries (rows) and 1057 data items (variables/columns). The latter include the margin-of-error values and calculated percentage variables for all variable that are counts (so you get, for example, Poor, Poor_moe and PctPoor (as well as PovUniverse). There are numerous ways to access this data set (which might require you to skim the Dexter Quick Start Guide – linked to from the Dexter query form):
1. You can navigate the old fashioned way(s). Click sequence:
a. American Community Survey home page - http://mcdc.missouri.edu/pub/data/acs/Readme.shtml - from the Navy blue navigation box on our home page.
b. Access Data from the section index at the top of the page .
c. Acs2012 data directory link.
d. Usmcdcprofiles.sas7bdat data set. (Alternately, choose Datasets.html followed by the usmcdcprofiles link in col. 1 of that page).
2. Access the ACS Profiles report application and choose 1-year periods/2012 from the Select Period drop-down. Complete your specs by completing selecting an area type, and subsequent choices that vary based on area type (aka “summary level”). Run the report. (Alternatively, just click on the “Sample Profile Report” link which appear just below the 1. Select period: line. From the generated report page note the gray Other formats box at upper right and the link labeled Extract data via Dexter at the bottom of that box. This will invoke Dexter and pre-select the data directory and data set.
3. Go to the Whatsnew page (link again is in navy blue navigation box at upper left of mcdc home page) and note the article posted 10-07-2012. In the first paragraph it provides you with a direct link to the “link to the Dexter access” to the relevant data set.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013

From the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

A total of 842 million people in 2011–13, or around one in eight people in the world, were estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to conduct an active life. This figure is lower than the 868 million reported with reference to 2010–12. The total number of undernourished has fallen by 17 percent since 1990–92.

Developing regions as a whole have registered significant progress towards the MDG 1 hunger target. If the average annual decline of the past 21 years continues to 2015, the prevalence of undernourishment will reach a level close to the target. Meeting it would require considerable and immediate additional efforts.

Growth can raise incomes and reduce hunger, but higher economic growth may not reach everyone. It may not lead to more and better jobs for all, unless policies specifically target the poor, especially those in rural areas. In poor countries, hunger and poverty reduction will only be achieved with growth that is not only sustained, but also broadly shared.

Despite overall progress, marked differences across regions persist. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, with modest progress in recent years. Western Asia shows no progress, while Southern Asia and Northern Africa show slow progress. Significant reductions in both the estimated number and prevalence of undernourishment have occurred in most countries of Eastern and South Eastern Asia, as well as in Latin America.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Teacher and school employee pay from SeeThroughNY

An updated searchable online database of earnings for 384,186 employees of New York State school districts outside New York City was posted at www.SeeThroughNY.net, the transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Since 2008, average pay for members of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System has risen 11 percent statewide, the newly posted data indicates.

Read and download the full report here.

Visit the database on SeeThroughNY here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The State of the Future report

The world is getting richer, healthier, better educated, more peaceful, and better connected and people are living longer, yet half the world is potentially unstable. Food prices are rising, water tables are falling, corruption and organized crime are increasing, environmental viability for our life support is diminishing, debt and economic insecurity are increasing, climate change continues, and the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen dangerously.

There is no question that the world can be far better than it is—IF we make the right decisions. When you consider the many wrong decisions and good decisions not taken—day after day and year after year around the world—it is amazing that we are still making as much progress as we are. Hence, if we can improve our decision-making as individuals, groups, nations, and institutions, then the world could be surprisingly better
than it is today.

Now that the Cold War seems truly cold, it is time to create a multifaceted compellingly positive view of the future toward which humanity can work. Regardless of the social divisions accentuated by the media, the awareness that we are one species, on one planet, and that it is wise to learn to live with each other is growing, as evidenced by the compassion and aid for Haiti, Pakistan, and Japan; the solidarity with democracy
movements across the Arab world; the constant global communications that connect 30% of humanity via the Internet; and the growing awareness that global climate change is everyone’s problem to solve.

More HERE.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Portrait of Jewish Americans

From Pew Research:

American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, according to a major new survey by the Pew Research Center. But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion.

The percentage of U.S. adults who say they are Jewish when asked about their religion has declined by about half since the late 1950s and currently is a little less than 2%. Meanwhile, the number of Americans with direct Jewish ancestry or upbringing who consider themselves Jewish, yet describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or having no particular religion, appears to be rising and is now about 0.5% of the U.S. adult population.1

The changing nature of Jewish identity stands out sharply when the survey’s results are analyzed by generation.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

AboutTheData.com - what Big Data has on YOU

From Advertising Age:

Data giant Acxion is aiming to quell concerns [about data mining, and privacy] with a little transparency ...

Acxiom's solution - the just-launched website AboutTheData - invites visitors to enter their names, addresses and the last four digits of their social security numbers to access a portal that the company has gathered on them. This includes age, estimated income, residence, ethnicity, marital status, and which categories of product purchases ... a consumer has made via mail order.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

U.S. Federal Government Shutdown

Due to a lapse in funding, the U.S. federal government has shut down.

During the shutdown, updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.gov. You can also get answers to government questions by calling 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636), 8 AM - 8 PM (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.

The federal government will remain shut down until Congress and the President pass a funding bill.

See also Government shutdown: What’s closed, what’s open?

For you data users, know that websites affected by this shutdown are all census.gov websites, including:
• www.census.gov
• American Factfinder
• ftp2.census.gov
• ask.census.gov
• blogs.census.gov
• respond.census.gov
• www.fcsm.gov
• www.fedstats.gov
• www.mapstats.gov

Monday, September 30, 2013

Measures of gasoline price change

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

It is particularly important that gasoline price changes be measured accurately and reliably. Fortunately, gasoline is one of the few consumer goods for which there are many sources of price data.

The Beyond the Numbers article, Measures of gasoline price change, examines three measures of gasoline prices: the BLS Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) U.S. city average for all types of gasoline, the BLS CPI average price series for all types of gasoline, and the Energy Information Administration Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices for all grades of gasoline.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

UK Census Will Be Replaced by Annual Survey If Proposal Is Approved

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is proposing that the once-a-decade census, which began in 1801, be replaced by a more fluid questionnaire. This would survey smaller samples of the population every year, in part to avoid statistical surprises such as the unexpectedly big population growth uncovered by the 2011 census. Under the proposal – one of two ideas mooted after the last full census in 2011 – a changing group of 4% of the population of England and Wales would complete census questionnaires every 12 months, with their answers added to existing national data, such as employment and health records, to create an accurate statistical snapshot. Read more here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

U.S. Health Map

With Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation‘s interactive map, you can explore health trends in the United States at the county level for both sexes in:
• Life expectancy between 1985 and 2010
• Hypertension in 2001 and 2009
• Obesity from 2001 to 2011
• Physical activity from 2001 to 2011

Learn more here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Personal Income Tax: Analysis of 2010 Personal Income Tax Returns

This report describes the prominent features of New York's personal income tax, with particular emphasis on the 2010 tax year. It also includes taxpayer profiles consisting of number of taxable returns, sources of income, federal adjustments, New York modifications, deductions, dependent exemptions, tax liability and credits by NYAGI class, filing status and return type. In addition, it includes separate sections on income, itemized deduction amounts, exemptions, available credits and information on refundable credits. Finally, it compares statistics for 2010 with those from the prior year for most of these items.

Accompanying this report are statistical tables that cover resident, part-year resident, and nonresident returns. The report also includes a description and statistical information from returns filed by fiduciaries of estates and trusts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HIV/AIDS Database Update

This compilation of data from 219 countries and areas on the prevalence of HIV infection and AIDS cases and deaths is updated to include new data for more than 100 countries. Major updates include new data for China, Ghana, Ethiopia, India and Cameroon. The database focuses on HIV/AIDS surveillance data for countries and areas with at least 5,000 population, with the exception of Northern America (including the United States) and U.S. territories. Public health surveillance involves the collection, analysis and use of data to provide public health prevention resources where needed.

[I had difficulty getting data from Firefox, but successfully used with Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.]

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prison System Problems

Profiting Off Prisoners

With some politicians arguing private prisons help states save money and other politicians arguing the system is rife with corruption, there can be no debate about this basic fact: The private prison system has surged in size since the U.S. began experimenting with private prisons in 1984. Between 1990 and 2009, the inmate population housed in private prisons grew by more than 1,600 percent.
(If you can't see infographic, go HERE.

Profiting Off Prisoners
Image compliments of Top Criminal Justice Degrees

Monday, September 23, 2013

TV and Media: Identifying the Needs of Tomorrow’s Video Consumers

Source: Ericsson Consumer Lab (link)

Key Findings:

Mobile devices make up an increasing share of TV and video viewing
>72 percent use mobile devices at least weekly for video viewing. 42 percent do this outside the home.

TV is becoming a multiscreen and multitasking activity
>75 percent multitask by using mobile devices while watching TV. 1 in 4 even watch multiple video sources at the same time.

Even late adopters are becoming advanced video users
>As many as 41 percent of 65–69 year olds studied stream on-demand/time shifted TV and video content, including YouTube, on a more than weekly basis.

Video-On-Demand (VOD) is increasingly used for relaxation viewing while linear and scheduled TV is shifting to appointment viewing
>The value of linear TV is becoming more focused on live sports, events and other content with high ‘here and now’ appeal. Social viewing continues to be closely linked to this kind of content.

User-Generated Content (UGC) is becoming increasingly important
> It is not only being used for entertainment, but also for education, how-to guides and watching product reviews. In fact, 82 percent use YouTube or a similar service at least monthly.

We are witnessing the birth of aggregated, pick-and-mix TV solutions
> The quest has begun to become the first easy to use, à la carte TV solution provider that aggregates consumer TV and video needs. Consumers rank having an à la carte TV offering as the fifth most important aspect of their viewing experience.

Friday, September 20, 2013

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Statistics

The Census Bureau is pleased to announce the release of the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year statistics, the most relied-on source for up-to-date social, economic, and housing information every year. The survey is the only source of local statistics for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as educational attainment, occupation, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs. The statistics are available for the nation, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, every metropolitan area, and all counties and places with populations of 65,000 or more.

To find statistics for your area, please visit the Census Bureau's American FactFinder.

To learn more about this release, visit our 2012 Data Release page.

In addition, the Census Bureau released a set of American Community Survey Briefs.
These short reports supplement detailed tables with additional analysis on three key topics. These include the following:
Poverty: 2000 to 2012
Household Income: 2012
Mitigating the Loss of Private Insurance with Public Coverage for the Under-65 Population: 2008 to 2012

The ACS provides reliable statistics that are indispensable to anyone who has to make informed decisions about the future. These statistics are required by all levels of government to manage or evaluate a wide range of programs, but are also useful for research, education, journalism, business and advocacy. If you have questions about this survey, please call the Customer Services Center at 1 (800) 923-8282.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miles and miles of transportation data

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), presents State Transportation Statistics 2012, a statistical profile of transportation in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This is the tenth 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.

Included in this State Transportation Statistics 2012 report is a brief description of the data sources used and a glossary of terms. Also contained in this publication is a summary table that displays the approximate timing of
future data releases and contact information for each state’s department of transportation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Center for Charitable Statistics

The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States. The NCCS website contains a variety of tools and reports to help you learn more about the nonprofit sector! So whether you want to find a nonprofit organization in your area, view IRS Form 990 images, analyze financial data on the sector, look at trends in charitable giving, or download data, NCCS is your nonprofit data hub.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2012, real median household income and the poverty rate were not statistically different from the previous year, while the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

Median household income in the United States in 2012 was $51,017, not statistically different in real terms from the 2011 median of $51,100. This followed two consecutive annual declines.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2012 was 15.0 percent, which represents 46.5 million people living at or below the poverty line. This marked the second consecutive year that neither the official poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the previous year’s estimates. The 2012 poverty rate was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the economic downturn.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage declined to 15.4 percent in 2012 ─ from 15.7 percent in 2011. However, the 48.0 million people without coverage in 2012 was not statistically different from the 48.6 million in 2011.

These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2013 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). The CPS-ASEC was conducted between February-April 2013 and collected information about income and health insurance coverage during the 2012 calendar year. However, the information on shared households pertains to the circumstances at the time of the survey. The CPS-based report includes comparisons with one year earlier. State and local results will be available on Thursday from the American Community Survey.


--Real median incomes in 2012 for family households ($64,053) and nonfamily households ($30,880) were not statistically different from the levels in 2011.

--A comparison of real household income over the past five years shows an 8.3 percent decline since 2007, the year before the nation entered an economic recession.

Race and Hispanic Origin

(Race data refer to people reporting a single race only; Hispanics can be of any race)

--Changes in real median household income were not statistically significant for race and Hispanic-origin groups between 2011 and 2012. (See Table A.)


--The West experienced an increase of 3.2 percent in real median household income between 2011 and 2012, while the changes for the remaining regions were not statistically significant. In 2012, households with the highest median incomes were in the West and the Northeast (with medians that were not statistically different from each other), followed by the Midwest and the South. (See Table A.)


--In 2012, households maintained by a naturalized citizen or a native-born citizen had higher median incomes than households maintained by a noncitizen. The real median incomes of households maintained by a native- or foreign-born person, regardless of citizenship status, in 2012 were not statistically different from their respective 2011 medians. (See Table A.)


--The changes in the real median earnings of men and women who worked full time, year- round between 2011 and 2012 were not statistically significant. In 2012, the median earnings of women who worked full time, year-round ($37,791) was 77 percent of that for men working full time, year-round ($49,398) ─ not statistically different from the 2011 ratio. The female-to-male earnings ratio has not experienced a statistically significant annual increase since 2007.

--The number of men working full time, year-round with earnings increased by 1.0 million between 2011 and 2012; the change for women was not statistically significant.

Income Inequality

--The Gini index was 0.477 in 2012, not statistically different from 2011. Since 1993, the earliest year available for comparable measures of income inequality, the Gini index has increased 5.2 percent. (The Gini index is a measure of household income inequality across the nation, with zero representing total income equality and one equivalent to total inequality.)

--Changes in income inequality between 2011 and 2012 were not statistically significant as measured by the shares of aggregate household income that each quintile received.


--In 2012, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.8 percent and 9.5 million. Neither level was statistically different from the 2011 estimates.

--In 2012, 6.3 percent of married-couple families, 30.9 percent of families with a female householder and 16.4 percent of families with a male householder lived in poverty. Neither the poverty rates nor the estimates of the number of families in poverty for these three family types showed any statistically significant change between 2011 and 2012.


--As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the consumer price index, the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2012 was $23,492.

(See for the complete set of dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition.)


--In 2012, 13.6 percent of males and 16.3 percent of females were in poverty. Neither poverty rate showed a statistically significant change from its 2011 estimate.

Race and Hispanic Origin

(Race data refer to people reporting a single race only; Hispanics can be of any race)

--The poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites was lower in 2012 than it was for other racial groups. Table B details 2012 poverty rates and numbers in poverty, as well as changes since 2011 in these measures, for race groups and Hispanics. None of these groups experienced a statistically significant change in their poverty rate between 2011 and 2012.


--In 2012, 13.7 percent of people 18 to 64 (26.5 million) were in poverty compared with 9.1 percent of people 65 and older (3.9 million) and 21.8 percent of children under 18 (16.1 million).

--No age group experienced a statistically significant change in the number or rates of people in poverty between 2011 and 2012, with one exception: the number of people 65 and older in poverty rose between 2011 and 2012.


--The 2012 poverty rate was not statistically different from 2011 for either the native-born, naturalized citizens, noncitizens, or the foreign-born in general. Table B details 2012 poverty rates and the numbers in poverty, as well as changes since 2011 in these measures, by nativity.


--The West was the only region to show a statistically significant change in its poverty rate, which declined from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 15.1 percent in 2012. The South was the only region in which the number in poverty changed, rising from 18.4 million in 2011 to 19.1 million in 2012. (See Table B.)

Shared Households

Shared households are defined as households that include at least one “additional” adult: a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is not the householder, spouse or cohabiting partner of the householder.

--In spring 2007, prior to the recession, there were 19.7 million shared households. By spring 2013, the number had increased to 23.2 million and their percentage of all households rose by 1.9 percentage points from 17.0 percent to 19.0 percent. Between 2012 and 2013, the number and percentage of shared households increased.

--In spring 2013, 10.1 million young adults age 25-34 (24.1 percent) were additional adults in someone else’s household. Neither of these were statistically different from 2012.

--It is difficult to precisely assess the impact of household sharing on overall poverty rates. Young adults age 25-34, living with their parents, had an official poverty rate of 9.7 percent, but if their poverty status were determined using only their own income, 43.3 percent had an income below the poverty threshold for a single person under age 65.

Health Insurance Coverage

--The number of people with health insurance increased to 263.2 million in 2012 from 260.2 million in 2011, as did the percentage of people with health insurance (84.6 percent in 2012, 84.3 percent in 2011).

--The percentage of people covered by private health insurance in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 63.9 percent. This was the second consecutive year that the percentage of people covered by private health insurance coverage was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate. The percentage covered by employment-based health insurance in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 54.9 percent.

--The percentage of people covered by government health insurance increased to 32.6 percent in 2012, from 32.2 percent. The percentage covered by Medicaid in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 16.4 percent. The percentage covered by Medicare rose over the period, from 15.2 percent in 2011 to 15.7 percent in 2012. Since 2009, Medicaid has covered more people than Medicare (50.9 million compared with 48.9 million in 2012).

--The percent of children younger than 18 without health insurance declined to 8.9 percent (6.6 million) in 2012 from 9.4 percent (7.0 million) in 2011. The uninsured rates did not show a statistical change for all other age groups: 19 to 25, 26 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 64 and people 65 and older.

--The uninsured rate for children in poverty (12.9 percent) was higher than the rate for children not in poverty (7.7 percent).

--In 2012, the uninsured rates decreased as household income increased from 24.9 percent for those in households with annual income less than $25,000 to 7.9 percent in households with income of $75,000 or more.

Race and Hispanic Origin

(Race data refer to those reporting a single race only; Hispanics can be of any race)

--The uninsured rate for Asians and Hispanics declined between 2011 and 2012, while the number of uninsured did not change significantly. For non-Hispanic whites and blacks, both measures in 2012 were not statistically different from 2011. (See Table C.)


--The proportion of the foreign-born population without health insurance in 2012 was about two-and-a-half times that of the native-born population. The uninsured rate declined for the foreign-born population between 2011 and 2012, while the 2012 rate was not statistically different from the 2011 rate for naturalized citizens and noncitizens. Table C details the 2012 uninsured rate and the number of uninsured, as well as changes since 2011 in these measures, by nativity.


--The Northeast had the lowest uninsured rate in 2012. Between 2011 and 2012, the uninsured rate decreased for the Midwest and the West, while there were no statistically significant differences for the remaining two regions. Similarly, the number of uninsured people declined in the Midwest and the West, while there were no statistically significant changes for the other two regions. (See Table C.)

Supplemental Poverty Measure

The poverty statistics released today compare the official poverty thresholds to money income before taxes, not including the value of noncash benefits. The Census Bureau’s statistical experts, with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in consultation with other appropriate agencies and outside experts, have developed a supplemental poverty measure to serve as an additional indicator of economic well-being by incorporating additional items such as tax payments and work expenses in its family resource estimates. It does not replace the official poverty measure and will not be used to determine eligibility for government programs.

Both the Census Bureau and the interagency technical working group that helped develop the supplemental poverty measure consider it to be a work in progress and expect that there will be improvements to the statistic over time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

World Happiness

Earth Institute - Columbia University World Happiness Report

We live in an age of stark contradictions. The world enjoys technologies of unimaginable sophistication; yet
has at least one billion people without enough to eat each day. The world economy is propelled to soaring
new heights of productivity through ongoing technological and organizational advance; yet is relentlessly
destroying the natural environment in the process. Countries achieve great progress in economic development
as conventionally measured; yet along the way succumb to new crises of obesity, smoking, diabetes, depression,
and other ills of modern life.

These contradictions would not come as a shock to the greatest sages of humanity, including Aristotle and
the Buddha. The sages taught humanity, time and again, that material gain alone will not fulfi ll our deepest
needs. Material life must be harnessed to meet these human needs, most importantly to promote the end
of suffering, social justice, and the attainment of happiness. The challenge is real for all parts of the world.
As one key example, the world’s economic superpower, the United States, has achieved striking economic and
technological progress over the past half century without gains in the self-reported happiness of the citizenry.
Instead, uncertainties and anxieties are high, social and economic inequalities have widened considerably,
social trust is in decline, and confi dence in government is at an all-time low. Perhaps for these reasons, life
satisfaction has remained nearly constant during decades of rising Gross National Product (GNP) per capita.