Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2013

From the Census Bureau:

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Thus, this Facts for Features contains a section for each.

18.2 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races.

5.8 million
The Asian alone or in combination population in California in 2011. The state had the largest Asian population, followed by New York (1.7 million). The Asian alone-or-in-combination population represented 57 percent of the total population in Hawaii.

Percentage growth of the Asian alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, which was more than any other major race group.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Older Americans Month: May 2013

From the Census Bureau:

A meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens resulted in President John F. Kennedy designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter's proclamation changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older through ceremonies, events and public recognition.

41.4 million
The number of people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2011, up from 40.3 million on April 1, 2010 (Census Day). In 2011, this group accounted for 13.3 percent of the total population.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Predicting National Suicide Numbers with Social Media Data

From the Public Library of Science:

Suicide is not only an individual phenomenon, but it is also influenced by social and environmental factors. With the high suicide rate and the abundance of social media data in South Korea, we have studied the potential of this new medium for predicting completed suicide at the population level. We tested two social media variables (suicide-related and dysphoria-related weblog entries) along with classical social, economic and meteorological variables as predictors of suicide over 3 years (2008 through 2010). Both social media variables were powerfully associated with suicide frequency. The suicide variable displayed high variability and was reactive to celebrity suicide events, while the dysphoria variable showed longer secular trends, with lower variability. We interpret these as reflections of social affect and social mood, respectively. In the final multivariate model, the two social media variables, especially the dysphoria variable, displaced two classical economic predictors – consumer price index and unemployment rate. The prediction model developed with the 2-year training data set (2008 through 2009) was validated in the data for 2010 and was robust in a sensitivity analysis controlling for celebrity suicide effects. These results indicate that social media data may be of value in national suicide forecasting and prevention.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Congressional Bill Could Ax American Community Survey

On April 18, 2013, Congressman Jeffrey Duncan (R-South Carolina) introduced a bill, H.R. 1638, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, also known as the "Census Reform Act of 2013," would repeal the authority to conduct certain censuses, including the American Community Survey (ACS).
To view the bill in its entirety, please click here and search for bill number H.R. 1638.

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 ACS Customer Services Center on 1 (800) 923-8282.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Death Sentences and Executions 2012

Top five executing countries were China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and USA...

Despite some disappointing setbacks the global trend towards ending the death penalty continued last year, said Amnesty International, as it released new global figures on executions and death sentences.

The figures...show that there were at least 682 confirmed executions around the world last year, two more than in 2011. Meanwhile, there were at least 1,722 newly-imposed death sentences in 58 countries, compared to 1,923 in 63 countries in 2011. This meant that at least 23,386 people were under sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2012.

Twenty-one countries are confirmed as having carried out executions in 2012 - the same number as in 2011 - but Amnesty pointed out that this is significantly down from levels a decade ago (28 countries carried out executions in 2003). Last year Latvia became the 97th country in the world to remove the death penalty for all crimes, and Amnesty’s figures show that more than two-thirds of the world’s countries (140) are now “abolitionist in law or practice”. Last year also saw a major academic study in the USA which rejected arguments that the death penalty is a deterrent against crime, a finding that Amnesty welcomed as it called on the one in ten countries still conducting executions to abandon the practice.

However, there were reverses in 2012 and Amnesty expressed strong concern at a resumption of executions in several countries - India, Japan, Pakistan and Gambia - that had not used the death penalty for some time.

From Amnesty International: press release and report [PDF].

Monday, April 22, 2013

The huge geothermal power potential of the U.S.

Geothermal is a stable & plentiful source of clean energy available all around the world, including in the United States (especially in the West). But that industry is still in its infancy and very little of that resource's potential is being tapped (a bit over 10 gigawatts worldwide, with about 3 of those in the U.S. and 2 in the Philippines).

More HERE.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Statistical agencies in other countries

In doing research, you may want to check with each country's statistical agency. The Census site has a list of links for many countries.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2012 High School Graduates

In October 2012, 66.2 percent of 2012 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2012 were more likely than enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work (69.6 percent compared with 38.2 percent)

More HERE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Multinational Companies: Employment, Sales, and Capital Expenditures for 2011

Worldwide employment by U.S. multinational companies (MNCs) increased 1.5 percent in 2011 to 34.5 million workers, with the increase primarily reflecting increases abroad. In the United States, employment by U.S. parent companies increased 0.1 percent to 22.9 million workers, compared with a 1.8 percent increase in total private-industry employment in the United States.2 The total employment by U.S. parents accounted for roughly one-fifth of total U.S. employment in private industries. Abroad, employment by majority-owned foreign affiliates of U.S. MNCs increased 4.4 percent to 11.7 million workers.

Worldwide capital expenditures by U.S. MNCs increased 16.7 percent in 2011 to $706 billion. Capital expenditures in the United States by U.S. parent companies increased 17.1 percent to $514 billion. Capital expenditures abroad by their majority-owned foreign affiliates increased 15.4 percent to $192 billion. As shown in table 1, capital expenditures have varied widely in recent years.

Sales by U.S. parent companies increased 9.4 percent in 2011 to $10,696 billion. Sales by their majority-owned foreign affiliates increased 15.8 percent to $5,985 billion.3

More from BEA here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Website with Six Decades of Age-Specific Net Migration Estimates

A new database, developed with funding from NIH-NICHD and USDA-ERS, was just released. Richelle Winkler and Kenneth M. Johnson were Co-PI’s on the project. They did the 2000-2010 age specific net migration estimates for all U.S. counties by age-race and sex. The technical documentation for this is available from the website. Here is a link to the first overview of the findings, which was just released as a Carsey Brief.

The coolest part of the new release is a new website at the Applied Population Lab at the Univ of Wisconsin-Madison. It combines their new estimates with similar estimates done by five teams of demographers for the last five decades. So, users have access to six decades of age-specific net migration data for every U.S. county. In addition to being able to download any or all of the data, users can also use simple on-line tools to chart data for up to three counties over six decades or to map the data. Jim Beaudoin at APL UW-M did all the web design for the new site.

This may be invaluable to researchers, planners and policy-makers. Kenneth Johnson suggests you try it— "but be forewarned, it is addictive to data junkies like us."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Which States Accepted the Most Refugees in 2012?

The states play a key role in the U.S. government’s promise of protection to people...escaping repressive and war-torn countries.

Millions of federal dollars flow every year through the states and a network of relief organizations to help refugees find housing, health care and jobs.

During this fiscal year, for example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement will spend $372 million on transitional and medical services and another $153 million on social services.

In the refugee assistance program, two other war-torn countries follow Bhutan with the most refugees settled in the United States last year, according to state-by-state figures from the Office of Refugee Resettlement:

More than 14,000 refugees came from Burma, also known as Myanmar, which until 2011 had been ruled by a military junta accused of widespread human rights violations, with the most arriving in Texas and New York.

After 10 years of war, some 12,000 refugees came from Iraq, most going to California and Michigan.

Fewer than 450 refugees came from Afghanistan, again most of them heading to California.

Texas accepted the most refugees last year, more than 5,900. On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii and Montana each accepted just one. A refugee from Burma arrived in Hawaii and an Iraqi went to Montana, according to HHS.

More HERE.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

2012 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections

The Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections (STC) provides a summary of taxes collected by state for 5 broad tax categories and up to 25 tax subcategories. These tables and data files present the details on tax collections by type of tax imposed and collected by state governments.

Friday, April 12, 2013

U.S. ranks near bottom of UNICEF report on child well-being

The United States ranked in the bottom four of a United Nations report on child well-being. Among 29 countries, America landed second from the bottom in child poverty and held a similarly dismal position when it came to “child life satisfaction.”

Keeping the U.S. company at the bottom of the report, which gauged material well-being, overall health, access to housing and education, were Lithuania, Latvia and Romania, three of the poorest countries in the survey.

UNICEF said in a statement on the survey that child poverty in countries like the U.S. “is not inevitable but is policy-susceptible” and that there isn’t necessarily a strong relationship between per capita GDP and overall child well-being,

More HERE or HERE>

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Census Bureau’s Popular Population Clock Can Now be Shared, Downloaded and Embedded

The U.S. Census Bureau has released an updated version of the population clock, one of the most widely visited features on the census.gov website. The enhanced clock provides the public with a quick and interactive overview of the population in the United States and the world, and now it also can be shared, downloaded and embedded on other websites. This release coincides with the beginning of the Population Association of America’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

“As part of the celebration of 2013 as the International Year of Statistics, the Census Bureau is celebrating the role of statistics in everyday life through new, interactive and easily accessible data tools such as the population clock,” said Victoria Velkoff, the assistant division chief in charge of estimates and projections in the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “The introduction of the updated ‘pop clock’ will further broaden the public’s appreciation for and grasp of population statistics.”

About the Population Clock and Population Estimates

The population clock displays continuously updated projections of the total U.S. population, including the rate of births, deaths and net migration for the United States. For the first time, the clock also provides an age and sex population pyramid and a graph showing the population of U.S. regions. Both new features allow users to see how these measures have changed over time. Additionally, users can interact with tables displaying the most populous states, cities and counties in the United States. The clock provides not only a continuously updated world population total but also a list of the 10 most populous countries, with easy access to more world population statistics.

An important enhancement allows users to embed the population clock on their own website for quick reference. Using the “Download and Share” buttons, users can download the clock or copy code to embed the clock directly on their own website. Visitors can also share the clock via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The clock is based on a series of short-term projections for the resident population of the United States. This includes people whose usual residence is in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These projections do not include members of the armed forces stationed overseas, their dependents, or other U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.
The projections are based on a monthly time series of population estimates starting with the April 1, 2010, resident population count derived from the 2010 Census.

The “Country Ranking” tool provides a quick and easy method to view the most populous countries in the world for any given year. The data for this tool are drawn from the Census Bureau’s International Data Base, which offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with a population of 5,000 or more.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UN Documentation Research Guide: updated and expanded

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the appointment of Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General, the United Nations Library has prepared several new research guides, including a research guide about Hammarskjöld.

In addition, a new UN Documentation Research Guide has been launched with expanded and updated information.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Map of America’s female mortality rates

From the Washington Post:

The map, via health researcher Bill Gardner, shows the change in mortality rate for females in each county in the United States between 1992 and 2006. In 43 percent of counties... mortality rates are rising...

Kindig and Cheng looked at a number of factors that might give some context for why female morality went up in some counties but down in others. A somewhat surprising finding was that the availability of medical care — measured by the number of primary care providers or percentage of uninsured — didn’t really make a difference.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Asian-American population in New York State growing fastest outside of NYC

The newly released report, Asian Americans of the Empire State: Growing Diversity and Common Needs, from the Asian American Federation finds that the Asian population in New York State grew fastest outside of New York City. The number of Asian residents in the suburban counties surrounding New York City grew by 47 percent and those in counties outside of the New York City metro area grew by 56 percent. With the population growth upstate came increased diversity. Burmese Americans went from being too small to be reported to the sixth largest Asian group in upstate counties in 2010.

Unemployment rates in the Asian community were mostly at or below the general population, indicating Asians were active participants in our economy. Additionally, without the growth in the Asian population, New York's total population would have declined in the last decade.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Secure Is Your DNA?

From BackgroundChecks.org:

DNA is so tiny, only a few microns across, that we often don’t spend much time thinking about how much of our most personal and private information it contains. Yet each individual’s DNA also offers an intimate look into family history, risk for illness, behavior, internal clock, propensity for thrill seeking, and countless other aspects of a person’s life, personality, behavior, and place in the world. Accessing this treasure trove of genetic information has some amazing benefits, but it also comes with some serious concerns.

While DNA may be small, it’s packed with information that has the potential to cause some pretty big problems. Uncontrolled access to this information, whether in a medical or law enforcement setting, could set individuals up for violations of privacy and discrimination, and as genetic testing becomes more common and inexpensive, the issues surrounding the protection of genetic information will become ever more pressing concerns in the larger public discourse.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Attitudes toward Gay Marriage

From the American Consumers Newsletter:

Support for gay marriage hovers just below the 50 percent mark, according to the 2012 General Social Survey. Forty-nine percent of American aged 18 or older now agree that gays and lesbians should have the right to marry. Support for gay marriage has climbed rapidly over the past few decades. In 1988, only 12 percent of the public supported the right of gays and lesbians to marry.

One factor behind the rising support for gay marriage is generational replacement.... Changing attitudes also play an important role in the growing support for gay marriage...
A Pew Center poll shows similar tracking.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Child Care Costs on the Upswing

Child care costs have nearly doubled in the last quarter century while the percentage of families who pay for child care has declined, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011. The percent of family income spent on child care has stayed constant between 1986 (the first time these data were collected) and 2011, at around 7 percent, for families who paid for child care even though the cost of child care has increased over time...

Families with an employed mother and children younger than 15 paid an average of $143 per week for child care in 2011, up from $84 in 1985 (in constant 2011 dollars).

The median wage for a full-time child care worker did not increase over the last 20 years. The median wage for a child care worker in 2011 was $19,098, not different from $19,680 in 1990 (in constant 2011 dollars).

More from the Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb13-62.html HERE>

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tax Refund Thefts On The Rise

You're not the only one waiting for your tax refund. Scammers are looking for it too. In fact, every year there are more and more scams designed to steal tax refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says these kinds of thefts have increased substantially in the last few years. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of investigations opened by the IRS grew from 224 to 898, according to the latest figures.

Find out more about tax refund scams, how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NYS Labor Department new lead agency for NYSDC

In the recent slew of budget bills enacted was the authorization to officially transfer the Lead Agency of the New York State Data Center to the NYS Department of Labor. This has been passed by the Senate and by the Assembly. It is believed that as of April 1, Labor will officially be the new Lead Agency, succeeding the NYS Department of Economic Development. This is universally seen as a good outcome by the current state data affiliates.

The Department of Labor has had vast experience and active participation in the NYSDC program from the very beginning, over 30 years ago.

Here's the wording in State Senate bill S02607/State Assembly bill A03007, signed by Governor Cuomo on March 29:


Section 1. Section 21 of the labor law is amended by adding a new subdivision 14 to read as follows:

Section 2. Subdivision 17 of section 100 of the economic development law is REPEALED.

Section 3. This act shall take effect immediately.