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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Disparities in STEM Employment by Demographics and Education

From Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, & Hispanic Origin

Industry, government, and academic leaders cite increasing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce as a top concern. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine describe STEM as “high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs . . . that lead to discovery and new technology,” improving the U.S. economy and standard of living.

In 2007, Congress passed the America COMPETES Act, reauthorized in 2010, to increase funding for STEM education and research. One focus area for increasing the STEM workforce has been to reduce disparities in STEM employment by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Historically, women, Blacks, and Hispanics have been underrepresented in STEM

From The Relationship Between Science & Engineering Education and Employment in STEM Occupations

A question one might ask is whether increased training in science and engineering yields more STEM workers. This report explores the links between educational attainment, science and engineering training in college, and employment in a STEM occupation. Several pathways may increase the STEM workforce. Science and engineering training in college could result in subsequent STEM employment. Alternatively, or in addition, the number of STEM workers without a bachelor’s degree in a science and engineering field could grow.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

World Statistics Pocketbook, 2013 edition

The World Statistics Pocketbook, 2013 edition is an annual compilation of key statistical indicators prepared by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Over 50 indicators have been collected from more than 20 international statistical sources and are presented in one-page profiles for 216 countries or areas of the world. This issue covers various years from 2005 to 2012. For the economic indicators, in general, three years - 2005, 2010 and 2011 - are shown; for the indicators in the social and environmental categories, data for one year are presented.

The topics covered include: agriculture, balance of payments, education, energy, environment, food, gender, health, industrial production, information and communication, international finance, international tourism, international trade, labour, migration, national accounts, population and prices. The technical notes contain brief descriptions of the concepts and methodologies used in the compilation of the indicators as well as information on the statistical sources for the indicators. Reference to primary sources of the data is provided for readers interested in longer time-series data or more detailed descriptions of the concepts or methodologies. Direct link to United Nations Statistics Division PDF document

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BLS Releases Consumer Expenditures: 2012

Average expenditures per consumer unit in 2012 were $51,442, an increase of 3.5 percent from 2011 levels, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This surpassed the spending peak recorded in 2008, after which the effects of the recession led to a low of $48,109 in 2010. The 2012 calendar year increase in spending outpaced the 2.1-percent increase in prices for goods and services during the same period, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). This contrasts with 2010-2011, when the increase in average expenditures mirrored the increase in prices. Read more here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

European Social Statistics: 2013 edition

The pocketbook European Social Statistics provides a comparative overview of the social statistics available in Europe. The most recent data are presented here showing the situation in the 27 Member States and at the European and Euro area levels (EU-27 and EA-17 aggregates) where relevant as well as in EFTA (including Iceland, which is also a candidate country) and candidate countries when available (Montenegro, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey). This pocketbook, intended for both generalists and specialists, is divided into seven parts.

Each of the seven chapters focuses on an area of social conditions. Within each chapter, a range of policy-relevant indicators, as well as more descriptive data, are presented in tables and graphs and accompanied by a short commentary.

Direct link to PDF document from Eurostat.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hispanic college enrollment rate surpasses that of whites

A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that after several years of gains, college enrollments in the U.S. fell between 2011 and 2012. But for one group—Hispanics—college enrollments were up, reflecting Hispanic population growth along with a growing share of young Latinos prepared for college. The new Census Bureau data also shows Hispanic students reached other milestones in 2012, continuing recent upward trends in educational attainment and college attendance.

For the first time, a greater share of Hispanic recent high school graduates are enrolled in college than whites. College enrollment rates among 18- to 24-year old Hispanics who had completed high school continued their upward march in 2012. According to the Census Bureau, 49% of young Hispanic high school graduates were enrolled in college. By comparison, 47% of white non-Hispanic high school graduates were enrolled in college. These findings reflect those of a May Pew Research Center report that showed the share of Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college immediately after high school surpassed whites in 2012.

While the share of recent Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college has surpassed that of whites, the same is not true among all young people ages 18 to 24. Because Hispanics have a higher high school dropout rate than whites, the share of all Hispanics ages 18 to 24 in college lags than of whites – 37.5% among Hispanics compared with 42.1% among whites.

Friday, September 6, 2013

N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption

The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.

Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

READ MORE from the New York Times

Thursday, September 5, 2013

21 Percent of Married-Couple Households Have at Least One Foreign-Born Spouse

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that 11.4 million married-couple households, or 21 percent of all married-couple households in America in 2011, had at least one spouse born in another country. About 13 percent (7.3 million) of households had two foreign-born spouses, and 7 percent (4.1 million) had one native-born and one foreign-born spouse.

These statistics come from Married-Couple Households by Nativity Status: 2011, a brief that analyzes data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“The number of mixed-nativity married-couple households corresponds with the increase in immigration to the United States over the last several decades,” said Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Foreign-Born Population Branch. “As the immigrant population has grown, so has the chance that a native-born person will meet and marry a foreign-born spouse.”

There were approximately 56 million married-couple households in the United States in 2011.

Of the households where husband and wife were both foreign-born residents, about 61 percent included at least one naturalized citizen spouse, including 41 percent where both were naturalized U.S. citizens and 20 percent where only one spouse was naturalized.

Other highlights from the brief:

--Among the mixed-nativity married-couple households — households with one native-born and one foreign-born spouse — the foreign-born spouse was more likely to be the wife (55 percent) than the husband (45 percent).

--Foreign-born spouses in mixed-nativity married-couple households were more likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens (61 percent) than noncitizens (39 percent).

--Foreign-born spouses in mixed-nativity married-couple households were most likely to have been born in Latin America and the Caribbean (40 percent), followed by Europe (26 percent) and Asia (23 percent).

--Foreign-born husbands in mixed-nativity married-couple households were more likely than foreign-born wives to have been born in Latin America and the Caribbean. In contrast, foreign-born wives were more likely than foreign-born husbands to have been born in Asia.

--Among all states, Hawaii (16 percent) had the highest percentage of married-couple households that were of mixed nativity, while Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia (2 percent in each state) had the lowest percentages.

This nativity status brief, based on data collected from the American Community Survey, focuses on married-couple households, defined as households including a householder with a spouse present. Households consisting of a married householder with an absent spouse or an unmarried householder with an unmarried partner present were not included in this analysis. In addition, married couples in which neither spouse is a householder were not included.

The American Community Survey is an ongoing statistical survey sent to about 3 million households across the country each year. The survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and homebuilders. The survey is the only source of local statistics for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities. Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people. Questions about jobs and the economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said such information would allow Congress to “adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community,” and over the decades allow America “an opportunity of marking the progress of the society.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1 in 5 Households Experience Hardships in Meeting Basic Needs

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2011, 22 percent of households experienced one or more possible “hardships” in fulfilling their basic needs in the previous 12 months. These hardships included difficulty meeting essential expenses, not paying rent or mortgage, getting evicted, not paying utilities, having utilities or phone service cut off, not seeing a doctor or dentist when needed or not always having enough food. Among all households, 9 percent experienced exactly one of them, 7 percent experienced two of the hardships and 6 percent endured three or more.

These statistics come from Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States: 2011, a report based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The report measures well-being based on housing conditions, neighborhood conditions, community services, possession of specific types of appliances and electronic goods, the ability to meet basic needs and the expectation of help in meeting these needs ─ if necessary ─ from friends, family and the community. These measures are compared both across demographic groups and over time.

This Census Bureau report covers the period from 2005, before the recent recession, to 2011, or about two years after the recession ended. During this period, several measures of financial difficulty showed signs of worsening. The number of households with unmet essential expenses increased from 16.4 million to 20.0 million (from 14 percent to 16 percent of all households), and the number of households experiencing food shortages rose from 2.7 million to 3.4 million (2 percent to 3 percent). The number of households with unpaid rent or mortgage payments increased 2.7 million to 9.6 million (6 percent to 8 percent).

Most households (86 percent) expected to obtain help from friends, family or community agencies if they were to have trouble fulfilling any of their basic needs. However, when such needs did arise, few actually received such help. For instance, when a householder had trouble making rent or mortgage payments, only 5 percent received assistance from friends, 17 percent from family members and 10 percent from other sources.

One measure of well-being is the possession of electronic goods. For example, the report shows that in 2011, 28 percent of households had only a cellular phone (no landline), up from less than 1 percent in 1998, when these data were first collected. Among householders younger than 30, the rate was 65 percent. In contrast, one in 10 of all households had a landline phone only, down from six in 10 in 1998. Overall, cell phone ownership grew sharply, with only 36 percent of households owning one in 1998, but 89 percent doing so in 2011.

Other highlights:

The number of American households that could not meet basic expenses increased by 16 percent (from 16.4 million to 19.1 million) from 2005 to 2011. During that same period, the number unable to pay their rent or mortgage increased by 39 percent.

Among all householders in 2011, only 64 percent had all six of the following appliances and electronic goods: clothes washer, clothes dryer, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and a landline or cell phone.

While 71 percent of non-Hispanic white households had this full set of six appliances and electronic goods, only 44 percent of Hispanic householders did so.

Southern householders were more likely to have a full set of appliances and electronic goods (69 percent) as well as uniformly positive neighborhood conditions (77 percent) than those in the rest of the nation.

The percentage of households with a microwave climbed from 82 percent in 1992 to 97 percent in 2011. Similarly, the percentage with a computer jumped from 21 percent to 78 percent over the period. Landline phones followed the opposite trend; the share of households with landlines fell from 96 percent in 1998 to 71 percent in 2011.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

After a Recent Upswing, College Enrollment Declines

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released today, college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million (467,000) from one year earlier. This decline, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment, follows a period of substantial growth ─ 3.2 million ─ between 2006 and 2011.

These statistics come from School Enrollment: 2012. As the nation’s students begin a new school year, the Census Bureau releases its annual set of tables on the characteristics of children and adults enrolled in school at all levels ─ from nursery to graduate school. Among the characteristics examined are age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, nativity and foreign-born parentage.

This decline in college enrollment was driven by older students ─ that is, those 25 and older. Their enrollment fell by 419,000, while the enrollment of younger students declined by 48,000.

Hispanics didn’t follow the trend, as the number enrolled in college grew by 447,000 from 2011 to 2012. Meanwhile, non-Hispanic white enrollment declined by 1.1 million and black enrollment by 108,000. From 2006 to 2012, the percentage of all college students who were Hispanic rose from 11 percent to 17 percent. The percentage who were black also rose (from 14 percent to 15 percent), but the percent of non-Hispanic white students declined from 67 percent to 58 percent.

“This increase in the number of Hispanics enrolled in college can be attributed to the combination of an increase in the adult Hispanic population and their climbing likelihood of being enrolled,” said Julie Siebens, a statistician in the Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch.

The tables released today cover specific topics such as enrollment by grade, the attendance status of nursery school students and characteristics of their mothers, the type of school college students attend (two-year, four-year, etc.) and whether they attend full or part time, students taking vocational courses and the enrollment status of recent high school graduates. The information was collected in the October 2012 Current Population Survey.

Also released today was School Enrollment in the United States: 2011, a report that examines the characteristics of people enrolled in school at all levels using statistics from the Current Population Survey, American Community Survey and federal sources outside the Census Bureau. It covers some topics not typically covered in Census Bureau reports, such as Head Start, charter schools, home schooling and receipt of financial aid.

Although most of the statistics are national-level, some state-level data from the American Community Survey are presented. Updated 2012 American Community Survey statistics on school enrollment covering states and all geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more will be published in September.

Other national highlights from the 2012 Current Population Survey tables:

--In 2012, 78 million people, or 26.4 percent of the population 3 or older, were enrolled in school.

--In 2012, there were 19.9 million college students, including 5.8 million enrolled in two-year colleges, 10.3 million in four-year colleges and 3.8 million in graduate school.

--In 2012, there were 4.2 million students enrolled in private elementary and high schools (first through 12th grade), down from 4.8 million in 2005.

--Non-Hispanic white children in 2012 comprised 53 percent of elementary school students, down from 58 percent in 2005. Hispanic children made up 24 percent of elementary students in 2012, up from 20 percent in 2005. Black children comprised 15 percent of elementary students in 2012, down from 16 percent in 2005.

--Students who were born in another country or whose parents were foreign-born comprised 32 percent of all those enrolled in school at all levels in 2012.

--While most students are under 25, there were 804,000 students age 50 and older enrolled in schools at all levels in 2012.