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American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014

May 22, 2015 Comments off

American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety/Urban Institute

On behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Urban Institute conducts a continuous survey to measure the driving behavior of the American public. The American Driving Survey is a national survey of persons 16 and over who drive of light vehicles (autos, SUVs, trucks) and reside in households with landline telephone service and/or cellular telephones. The survey commenced in May 2013 and is ongoing. The results of the first year’s data collection are presented in this report.

Survey | Deep Divide Between Black and White Americans on Criminal Justice System’s Racial Equality; Persists from Rodney King to Freddie Gray

May 12, 2015 Comments off

Survey | Deep Divide Between Black and White Americans on Criminal Justice System’s Racial Equality; Persists from Rodney King to Freddie Gray
Source: Public Religion Research Institute
From press release:

In the wake of protests following Freddie Gray’s death while in Baltimore police custody, a new survey released today finds a nearly 30-percentage point gap between black and white Americans’ perceptions of the fairness within the criminal justice system. Only 17 percent of black Americans agree that blacks and other minorities receive the same treatment as whites do in the criminal justice system, compared to 78 percent who disagree. By contrast, white Americans are nearly evenly divided—46 percent agree vs. 47 percent disagree. Looking at trends on this issue, the new survey shows that racial perception gaps today are only slightly smaller than those measured in 1992 by an ABC News/Washington Post poll at the time of the protests and riots that followed the Rodney King verdict. The new survey also finds that white Americans are nearly four times as likely as black Americans to say that police officers treat people equally (47 percent vs. 12 percent).

Demographic Characteristics of Business Owners and Employees: 2013

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Demographic Characteristics of Business Owners and Employees: 2013 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Business owner characteristics and the economic and business environment are changing. Small business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to business creation and growth in the American economy. Understanding the characteristics of business owners and how they differ from employees is important for measuring the overall economic well-being of the economy including the economic incentives for entrepreneurship. This issue brief examines business owner demographic characteristics in 2013 and compares these characteristics to those of employees in the U.S. economy.

Health Care — 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report

May 1, 2015 Comments off

2014 National Quality and Disparities Report
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Insurance rates improved substantially after individuals were able to obtain coverage through provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the gains in access to care were greater among black and Hispanic adults than whites, according to the 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report released today by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

This annual report on the nation’s health care includes a section on measures of access to care that for the first time cover a period after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. Data covering January to June 2014 show that the overall rate of “uninsurance”—a measure of access to care—decreased substantially to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 among those age 18 to 64 (from a high of 22.3 percent in 2010). Because the data run through June 2014, they capture enrollment gains only from the first open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The second open enrollment period began on November 15, 2014, and is not captured in the report.

The decline in uninsurance was greater among blacks and Hispanics, who historically have had higher uninsurance rates compared with whites. For blacks, the uninsurance rate decreased from 24.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent in the first half of 2014. During the same period, the uninsurance rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 33.2 percent for Hispanics, and the rate declined from 14.0 percent to 11.1 percent for whites.

The Nation’s Report Card: 2014 U.S. History, Civics, and Geography Assessments at Grade 8

April 29, 2015 Comments off

The Nation’s Report Card: 2014 U.S. History, Civics, and Geography Assessments at Grade 8
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Nationally, eighth graders’ average scores on the NAEP U.S. history, geography, and civics assessments showed no significant change in 2014, compared to 2010—the last assessment year. However, several student groups have made gains. In 2014, eighteen percent of eighth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in U.S. history, 27 percent performed at or above the Proficient level in geography, and 23 percent performed at or above the Proficient level in civics. Students performing at or above the Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter.

This interactive report presents average score and achievement level results of the nation’s eighth-grade students by gender, race/ethnicity, parental education levels, and other student groups. The report also describes classroom practices and students’ attitudes regarding these subjects, and features sample questions and student performance on those questions. Below is an overview of the results and the assessment content for the 2014 U.S. history, geography, and civics assessments.

Association between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality

April 28, 2015 Comments off

Association between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality
Source: PLoS ONE

Racial disparities in health are well-documented and represent a significant public health concern in the US. Racism-related factors contribute to poorer health and higher mortality rates among Blacks compared to other racial groups. However, methods to measure racism and monitor its associations with health at the population-level have remained elusive. In this study, we investigated the utility of a previously developed Internet search-based proxy of area racism as a predictor of Black mortality rates. Area racism was the proportion of Google searches containing the “N-word” in 196 designated market areas (DMAs). Negative binomial regression models were specified taking into account individual age, sex, year of death, and Census region and adjusted to the 2000 US standard population to examine the association between area racism and Black mortality rates, which were derived from death certificates and mid-year population counts collated by the National Center for Health Statistics (2004–2009). DMAs characterized by a one standard deviation greater level of area racism were associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause Black mortality rate, equivalent to over 30,000 deaths annually. The magnitude of this effect was attenuated to 5.7% after adjustment for DMA-level demographic and Black socioeconomic covariates. A model controlling for the White mortality rate was used to further adjust for unmeasured confounders that influence mortality overall in a geographic area, and to examine Black-White disparities in the mortality rate. Area racism remained significantly associated with the all-cause Black mortality rate (mortality rate ratio = 1.036; 95% confidence interval = 1.015, 1.057; p = 0.001). Models further examining cause-specific Black mortality rates revealed significant associations with heart disease, cancer, and stroke. These findings are congruent with studies documenting the deleterious impact of racism on health among Blacks. Our study contributes to evidence that racism shapes patterns in mortality and generates racial disparities in health.

See: The most racist places in America, according to Google (Washington Post)

CRS — Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile (March 31, 2015)

April 21, 2015 Comments off

Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

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