Friday, September 25, 2015

Did You Receive a Letter from the Census Bureau?

The next Census Survey won’t take place until 2020. But, the Census Bureau recently sent out a letter to 1.2 million households asking them to fill out the 2015 National Contest Test.

The goal of the test is to improve questions and participation by testing out Internet options. If you received this letter, it’s not a scam and you are required by law to fill it out. By responding, you are helping to improve the survey and test out some cost saving measures for the Census.

For more information, read the 2015 National Contest announcement and the section on frequently asked questions concerning the test.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Applying for U.S. Citizenship? Fees Are Now Payable via Credit Cards

Paying fees for U.S. naturalization paperwork just got a little easier. Effective September 19, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept credit cards as a way to pay for your naturalization application (Form N-400, $595) and your biometrics fee ($85). In the past, only checks or money orders were accepted.

When paying by credit card, you will also need to fill out form G-1450, authorizing the use of your card for the transaction. Be sure to attach it to your application form for mailing.

Learn more about becoming a U.S. Citizen through naturalization.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Does green label = green product? It should.

How do you decide which products to buy? Price tags, product labels and ads likely play a part in your choice. They tell you about ingredients, how much product you get for the price, and whether a product has qualities that matter to you — like being environmentally safer. Since labels, ads and product claims influence our spending choices, it’s important they give us accurate and complete information.
The FTC sets guidelines for truth in advertising, including green advertising, and holds companies accountable for the claims they make. According to the FTC’s Green Guides, if a marketer puts a green seal or certification on products, it has to explain what the seal or certification is based on and it has to be specific. For example, a marketer could say the product is ‘biodegradable’ or ‘recyclable.’ It’s not enough for a seal to just say ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly;’ in fact, that could be deceptive. After searching online, the FTC found 32 marketers and five certifiers using seals with vague or incomplete wording, and sent letters warning them to review their ads.
You can read more from the FTC about green advertising claims, shopping green and making choices that are good for the environment.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Changes in the Arctic

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. On January 21, 2015, President Obama issued an executive order for enhancing coordination of national efforts in the Arctic. The United States assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council on April 24, 2015, and will serve in that capacity for two years.

Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade have focused scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the Arctic, the economies and cultures of peoples in the region, and national security.

The five Arctic coastal states—the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark (of which Greenland is a territory)—are in the process of preparing Arctic territorial claims for submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Russian claim to the enormous underwater Lomonosov Ridge, if accepted, would reportedly grant Russia nearly one-half of the Arctic area. There are also four other unresolved Arctic territorial disputes.

More from FAS

Friday, September 18, 2015

Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 20-26, 2015

The Buckeye Singles Council started “National Singles Week” in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 20-26 in 2015) as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed or divorced, unless otherwise noted.
Single Life
107 million
Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2014. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.            
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2014, Table A1 <>
Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women in 2014; 47 percent were men. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2014, Table A1  <>

Thursday, September 17, 2015

UNHCR Refugee Resettlement Trends 2015

It is estimated that 1,150,300 refugees globally are now in need of resettlement. This marks a 50 per cent increase in resettlement needs compared with the total projected resettlement needs estimated for 2012. Over the last year there has been dramatic growth in mass displacement, which has reached levels unprecedented in recent history. This upsurge is directly reflected in the number of refugees projected to be in need of resettlement, which has reached one million for the first time since reporting of resettlement needs began over 30 years ago.

The direct correlation between the resettlement needs and the size of the global refugee population can be seen over the last five years when the global resettlement needs have consistently amounted to around 8 per cent of the total refugee population. In 2015 UNHCR offices have calculated that the projected resettlement needs for 2016 are 22 per cent higher than the anticipated needs for the previous year. Similarly, the global refugee population increased by 23 per cent last year, i.e. with the same rate of growth as resettlement needs.

In 2014, new and unresolved conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine were the cause of mass displacement. However, sharp rises in forced displacement and resettlement needs in recent years are largely due to the Syrian conflict, which has created millions of displaced persons and put a huge strain on host countries and their resources. Resettlement needs have also increased in recent years since UNHCR has estimated the resettlement needs of protracted refugee situations in Africa with greater accuracy (refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan).

More from UNHCR

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a month-long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) of the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Sept. 15 is the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
55 million
The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2014, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population. Source: 2014 Population Estimates <!year~est72014>
1.15 million
Number of Hispanics added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014. This number is close to half of the approximately 2.36 million people added to the nation’s population during this period. Source: 2014 Population Estimates, National Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic origin <>, See first bullet under “Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Global Peace Index 2015

This is the ninth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks the nations of the world according to their level of peacefulness. The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and ranks 162 independent states, covering 99.6 per cent of the world’s population. The index gauges global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation.

In addition to presenting the findings from the 2015 GPI and its eight-year trend analysis, this year’s report provides an updated methodology to account for the economic impact of violence on the global economy. The report also contains a new analysis on Positive Peace and describes its relationship to development and other significant and positive societal outcomes. A detailed thematic analysis of the three aforementioned domains of the GPI is also included.

Last year the global GPI score remained stable. However, while the average level of global peacefulness was stable, a number of indicators and countries did deteriorate while others improved. Four out of the nine geographical regions experienced an improvement in peace: Europe, North America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central America and the Caribbean. The other five regions became less peaceful. The most substantial changes in the Index occurred in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where several countries suffered from an upsurge in violence related to sectarian strife and civil conflicts, resulting in the region being ranked as the least peaceful in the world.

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Census Web Tool Helps Business Owners Make Data Driven Decisions

Census Business Builder
New Census Web Tool Helps Business Owners Make Data Driven Decisions
 The U.S. Census Bureau released Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, a new Web tool that allows business owners and entrepreneurs to easily navigate and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new business or adding to an existing one.
The Census Business Builder was developed with user-centered design at its core and incorporated feedback from customers and stakeholders, including small business owners, trade associations and other government agencies.
The tool combines data from the American Community Survey, the economic census, County Business Patterns and other economic surveys to provide a complete business profile of an area. Business statistics include the number of establishments, employment, payroll and sales. American Community Survey statistics include population characteristics, economic characteristics and housing characteristics.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Twin Rivalry: When Minneapolis and St. Paul Battled over Population

As of the most recent U.S. census (2010), Minneapolis is home to about 380,000 people while St. Paul has about 285,000 residents. But Minneapolis wasn’t always so much larger than its twin. In 1860, just a few years after Minnesota became a state, St. Paul had 10,000 residents to Minneapolis’s 5,000. But in 1872, Minneapolis annexed the neighboring city of St. Anthony, and by the 1880 census, things were different. St. Paul had grown to 41,000 residents — it had quadrupled its population over the twenty-year period — but Minneapolis was growing faster. With nearly 47,000 people living there, Minneapolis was in the lead.

Suddenly, the supremacy of St. Paul — even though it was the state’s capital — was in question. Population was booming in the region and from 1880 to 1890 and both cities saw immense growth. Which of the Twin Cities had more people became a point of pride for residents of both, and both cities’ efforts to be the bigger twin involved attracting more residents. But instead of stopping there, both sides tried to manipulate the 1890 census.

How? By padding the vote totals and, to ensure that the other side didn’t do the same, by arresting the other side’s census takers.

More from Now I Know

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Power of Attorney and Your Responsibilities

Managing your finances can be hard. Managing the finances of a relative or a friend  can be even harder. You want to honor your loved one’s wishes and respect his or her boundaries, but at the same time you need to act in his or her best interest. It can be hard to know where to begin or whom to trust. Not only are there legal obligations that come with this responsibility, but the added emotional stress of caring for a family member or friend  can feel overwhelming.

So let’s start with the basics: What is a power of attorney? What does it mean for you, and what should you look out for? Being informed, prepared, and alert will help make a difficult situation as comfortable as possible for all  involved.

Be Informed: What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a written document in which one person gives legal authority to another to make decisions about his or her money or property. If you’ve been named to manage money or property for someone else under a power of attorney, you are the fiduciary. It doesn’t matter if you’re managing a small amount of money or a lot, or if you’re a family member or not – you’re now legally responsible for managing  that money or property for the benefit of that person, known as the principal.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Motor vehicle crash deaths differ widely among the 50 states and DC

There were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013 in which 32,719 deaths occurred. This resulted in national motor vehicle crash death rates of 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.11 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from a low of 3.1 in the District of Columbia to a high of 22.6 in Montana.

More from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

National Grandparents Day 2015: Sept. 13

In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since to honor our nation’s grandparents. The Census Bureau presents statistics about their role in our society.
7.2 million
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under 18 years old were living with them in 2013. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table B10050 <>
Grandparents as Caregivers
2.7 million
The number of grandparents responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2013. Of these caregivers, 1.7 million were grandmothers and 1.0 million were grandfathers. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table B10056 <>

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Women Three Times as Likely to Use Pinterest

Pinterest quickly attracted a substantial audience of committed users, and marketers are more interested in it than ever with the promise of social commerce on the horizon. But women are still the site's main audience, with male internet users in the US avoiding the network en masse.

Based on April 2015 polling from the Pew Research Center, 44% of female internet users in the US are also users of Pinterest. But among male internet users, that share drops to just 16%.

See more at: eMarketer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

2013 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance data

The Census Bureau is releasing a new selection of data products on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2013. These products include:
·          A full set of 2013 income and poverty tables using only the redesigned income questions <>
·          A selection of 2013 health insurance coverage tables using the full 2014 CPS ASEC sample <>
·          A 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) public use file for the sample that received the redesigned income questions <>
These new products reflect the redesigned income questions, which were first included in a portion of the 2014 survey sample for the 2013 estimates. The source of the original 2013 estimates released last year was the portion of the sample that received the questions consistent with previous years.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Preserving the American Dream in the face of change

In 2015, too many American families struggle with stagnant wages, precarious work, insecure retirement, crushing college debt, and more. We look at the yawning income gap and we know it is wrong and it is unsustainable. Our shared values tell us so—no matter where we fall on the political spectrum. But this next truth is less clear to many: the economy is not like the weather; it doesn’t just happen to us and it is not out of our control. Elected leaders make deliberate decisions about what this economy will be like. Elected leaders determine who wins and who loses.
The most important way we can raise wages is restoring workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain collectively.
Politics can play a valuable role in American life as a tool for justice and the common good. But so much money is flooding into the political system from the very rich that our democracy is in danger. We risk becoming a nation whose leaders areselected rather than elected. Meanwhile, the politics of division has spurred suspicion and anger among America’s working people. As a result, too often we engage in culture wars instead of uniting to put all our strength into harnessing change to benefit us all.
In other words, we face a classic American dilemma. As Benjamin Franklin put it, we must all hang together or we will surely hang separately. That’s the crossroads.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Multiple jobholding in states in 2014

In 2014, the multiple-jobholding rate (the percentage of individuals who hold more than one job) in individual states varied considerably from the national average of 4.9 percent, a rate that has been unchanged since 2010.  In all, 22 states had multiple-jobholding rates significantly higher than the national average, 11 states had significantly lower rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not significantly different from the U.S. average.
Figure 1. Multiple-jobholding rates by state, annual averages, 2014

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Labor Day 2015: Sept. 7

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “working men’s holiday” on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century — and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers. 
Who Are We Celebrating?
157 million
Number of people 16 and over in the nation’s labor force in June 2015. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-1 <>
Our Jobs
Largest Occupations May 2014                                                       Number of employees
Retail salespeople                                                                                                4,562,160

Friday, September 4, 2015

World Population Clock Updated with New Features

The U.S. Census Bureau recently updated its popular World Population Clock Web tool with features and information for 228 countries. In addition to featuring the 10 most populous countries, already available in the clock, it now includes country profiles with trade and population statistics, such as total population, population per square kilometer, and goods exported from and imported to the United States. Additional features include graphics on population projections and top exported goods by U.S. state or territory.
Along with the updated clock, another new tool, the International Map Viewer, is now available. This tool shows the four most commonly requested demographic measures for foreign countries using statistics from the International Data Base — total population, growth rate percent, life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rate — by clicking on a world map.
Graphic | JPG | PDF |                              Blog
Public Information Office                 
World Population Clock

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to School: 2015-2016

Summertime is winding down and vacations are coming to an end, signaling that back-to-school time is here. It’s a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends and making new ones, and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan newspapers and websites looking for sales on a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials. This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.
Back-to-School Shopping
$8.2 billion  
The estimated amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2014. Sales at bookstores in August 2014 were estimated at $1.6 billion. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <>
For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2013, there were 27,340 family clothing stores, 7,047 children and infants clothing stores, 25,100 shoe stores 6,998 office supply and stationery stores, 7,064 bookstores and 8,102 department stores. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 County Business Patterns, NAICS: 448140, 448130, 448210, 453210, 451211, 45211<|44814|448210|451211|4521|453210>
78 million
The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2013 — from nursery school to college. They comprised 25.9 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fastest growing occupations

When looking for labor projections, look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are Fastest growing occupations, 2012 and projected 2022 and Occupations with the most job growth for the same time frame.

For state data, check for Short Term Occupational Projections (to 2016) and Long Term Occupational Projections (to 2022).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When Do Parents Give into Kids' Pleas for Devices?

From eMarketer Daily: Kids are most likely to receive a large majority of digital devices—from gaming consoles to digital music players to tablets—between ages 8 and 11. To get their hands on a PC or smartphone though, they have to wait until they hit the 12-to-14 age range.