Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to NYC Open Data

This catalog supplies hundreds of sets of public data produced by New York City agencies and other City organizations. The data sets are now available as APIs and in a variety of machine-readable formats, making it easier than ever to consume City data and better serve New York City’s residents, visitors, developer community and all!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

30 Percent of Adults Receiving Government Assistance Have a Disability

Among the 46.0 million adults who received income-based government assistance in 2011, 30.4 percent of them had a disability, according to a report released from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report, Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011, offers information about the occurrence of disabilities among people 18 and older who received income-based government assistance. The information is based on data from the 2011 American Community Survey.

"On average, people with disabilities have lower employment and earnings; therefore, understanding what assistance people with disabilities receive may help governments better coordinate and administer their programs,” said Bernice Boursiquot, a Census Bureau statistician and co-author of the report.

People with a disability include those having vision, hearing, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care or independent living difficulties. Among recipients of public assistance, 18.2 percent had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, 14.6 percent had trouble leaving home to go shopping or visit the doctor without assistance, and 14.2 percent encountered trouble with memory, concentration, or making decisions.

Recipients received assistance in three forms: cash assistance (cash or money income), in-kind assistance (services, goods or vouchers) or both cash and in-kind assistance. Among people who received both cash and in-kind assistance, 58.3 percent had a disability. Among recipients of only cash assistance, 33.2 percent had a disability. Recipients of only in-kind benefits had the lowest disability rate at 22.6 percent.

This report also found that 22 states had disability rates above the national estimate of 30.4 percent among those receiving assistance. In comparison, 15 states had rates below the national estimate.

States west of the Appalachian Mountains had higher rates of disability among recipients of income-based assistance. In comparison, states in the Southwest and along the Eastern Seaboard had lower rates.

West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas were three of the top five states for disability prevalence in the total population, as well as in the total population receiving government assistance. In West Virginia, 26.8 percent of people with disabilities reported having ambulatory difficulty, defined as severe difficulties walking or climbing stairs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

America's richest cities in 2013

From MoneyWatch:

Real estate is all about location, location, location -- especially when you're wealthy. After all, when you can afford to live anywhere you want, you won't settle for anything less than perfection.

Recently released census data suggests which cities have the greatest appeal for rich people. These metropolitan areas have the highest percentage of households with high income (defined as income levels in the top 5 percent of national income distribution). That represents an annual household income of at least $191,469.

All average listing prices from

Friday, February 22, 2013

2012 Small Business Profiles for States and Territories

The Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories supply data on small businesses in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia... The usefulness of the publication is the great detail it provides about small businesses at the state level. The following topics are covered: the number of firms, demographics of business ownership, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition, and employment gains and losses by size of business.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. Transparency in government spending promotes fiscal responsibility, checks corruption, and bolsters public confidence.

In the past few years, state governments across the country have made their checkbooks transparent by creating online transparency portals. These government-operated websites allow visitors to view the government’s checkbook – who receives state money, how much, and for what purposes. Most of these websites are also searchable, making it easier for residents to follow the money and monitor government spending of many sorts. Today almost every state operates a transparency website with the state’s checkbook accessible to the public.

Over the past two years, the number of states that give citizens access to their state’s checkbook has increased from 32 to 46.

This report is U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Critical Materials: Present Danger to U.S. Manufacturing | RAND

By Richard Silberglitt, James T. Bartis, Brian G. Chow, David L. An, Kyle Brady

A high percentage of many raw and semi-finished materials critical to U.S. manufacturing are imported. China is the controlling producer of 11 of these materials and has instituted export restrictions that have led to two-tier pricing, creating pressure to move manufacturing to China. This report suggests the need for actions to mitigate the impact of such market distortions on the global manufacturing sector.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

China’s Army Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.

A growing body of digital forensic evidence — confirmed by American intelligence officials who say they have tapped into the activity of a unit of cyberwarriors in China’s army — leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies originate in and around a 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai.
An unusually detailed 60-page study, to be released Tuesday by Mandiant, an American computer security firm, tracks for the first time individual members of the most sophisticated of the Chinese hacking groups — known to many of its victims in the United States as “Comment Crew” or “Shanghai Group” — to the doorstep of the headquarters of a People’s Liberation Army unit.
While Comment Crew has drained terabytes of data from companies like Coca-Cola, increasingly its focus is on companies involved in the critical infrastructure of the United States — its electrical power grid, gas lines and waterworks.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2010

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

Over 118 million applications for firearm transfers or permits were subject to background checks from the inception of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 on March 1, 1994, through December 31, 2010. During this time period, about 2.1 million applications, or 1.8%, were denied. In 2010, 1.5% of the 10.4 million applications for firearm transfers or permits were denied by the FBI (approximately 73,000) or by state and local agencies (approximately
80,000). The denial rate for applications checked by the FBI (1.2%) was lower than the rate for checks by
state and local agencies.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Electoral college reform (fifty states with equal population)

The electoral college is a time-honored, logical system for picking the chief executive of the United States. However, the American body politic has also grown accustomed to paying close attention to the popular vote. This is only rarely a problem, since the electoral college and the popular vote have only disagreed three times in 200 years. However, it's obvious that reforms are needed.

The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence. The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This allows for Electoral College results that don't match the popular vote. To remedy this issue, the Electoral Reform Map redivides the fifty United States into 50 states of equal population. The 2010 Census records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States, which this map divides into 50 states, each with a population of about 6,175,000.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Most Frequent Procedures Performed in U.S. Hospitals, 2010

From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

Most hospitalizations involve one or more procedures, which can range from simple vaccinations to complex surgical procedures. The principal procedure is the procedure that is performed for definitive treatment (e.g., an appendectomy), but procedures can also be performed to make a diagnosis (e.g., tissue samples or exploratory surgery). Hospitalizations usually involve more than one procedure, which together constitute the all-listed procedures performed during a hospital stay.

This Statistical Brief presents data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) on the most common all-listed procedures performed during hospital stays in the United States in 2010, overall and by patient age. Changes between 1997 and 2010 in the number of stays and the rate of hospitalization in the population are presented for hospital stays with the most common procedures performed in 2010.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Geographic Concentration of High-Income Households: 2007–2011

Two questions present themselves when considering the geographic concentration of high-income households. First, where do most high-income households live? Second, where are the highest concentrations of high-income households?

More from the Census Bureau.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Traffic Count Data for New York State

The Traffic Data Report describes NYSDOT's Statewide Traffic Monitoring System and the tools used to collect, summarize, interpret and publish traffic data both on and off the State highway system.

For those wanting something more sophisticated, the Traffic Data Viewer (TDV) is an interactive map program that displays published traffic data graphically. On the interactive map individuals have control of displaying data for individual traffic stations , the type of data available, and the location of counters used to collect the data. Estimates of Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) are available graphically for segments of roadway that contain a traffic station. Traffic Volume Reports containing hourly data are also available for most traffic stations.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Census Bureau's New Infographic on America’s Foreign-Born Population

During the last 50 years, the foreign-born population of the United States has undergone dramatic changes in size, origins and geographic distribution. How do we know about America’s foreign-born? This new infographic provides a statistical snapshot of our foreign-born population from the American Community Survey and the decennial censuses.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Congressional district stats

A side note about the 2011 ACS estimates for the 113th Congress: the Census Bureau's "Easy Stats" website provides ACS estimates only one district at a time. The Bureau didn't provide data in bulk for all districts (which seems odd, since so many of us would want to analyze comparative statistics across multiple districts, and not be constrained by having to click through Easy Stats one district at a time).

But one of the refreshingly enterprising analysts who participates in the NICAR listserv - a terrific collection of individuals interested in meaningful analysis of Census and other statistical data sets -- wrote a Python script to collect all the 113th Congressional ACS data in one place. Here's the write up and here's a link to the resulting CSV file.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pew Report on Global Social Networking

Social networking has spread around the world with remarkable speed. In countries such as Britain, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic and Spain, about half of all adults now use Facebook and similar websites. These sites are also popular in many lower-income nations, where, once people have access to the internet, they tend to use it for social networking.

Meanwhile, cell phones have become nearly ubiquitous throughout much of the world, and people are using them in a variety of ways, including texting and taking pictures. Smart phones are also increasingly common – roughly half in Britain, the U.S., and Japan have one. Globally, most smart phone users say they visit social networking sites on their phone, while many get job, consumer, and political information.

More from Pew Research.
An element of our mission at the Library of Congress is to collect the story of America and to acquire collections that will have research value. So when the Library had the opportunity to acquire an archive from the popular social media service Twitter, we decided this was a collection that should be here.

In April 2010, the Library and Twitter signed an agreement providing the Library the public tweets from the company’s inception through the date of the agreement, an archive of tweets from 2006 through April 2010. Additionally, the Library and Twitter agreed that Twitter would provide all public tweets on an ongoing basis under the same terms.

The Library’s first objectives were to acquire and preserve the 2006-10 archive; to establish a secure, sustainable process for receiving and preserving a daily, ongoing stream of tweets through the present day; and to create a structure for organizing the entire archive by date.

More from the Library of Congress.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What You Need to Know about the 2013 Tax Season

When it comes to tax season, every year is a little different. Laws change, some benefits kick in while others end, and natural disasters can have an impact on your tax return.

The deadline for filing your taxes is April 15, 2013. While this is the normal deadline, there are some important new things you should know for the 2013 tax season.

Tax Season Started Late This Year

The 2013 tax season started about a week later this year due to tax law changes enacted by Congress at the beginning of January. Most people can file their individual income tax returns starting January 30, but you might have to wait until the end of February or March if you’re filing certain forms.

More HERE.