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American Housing Survey: 2013 Detailed Tables

October 20, 2014 Comments off

American Housing Survey: 2013 Detailed Tables
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The first findings from the 2013 American Housing Survey are now available in the form of dozens of detailed tables and a microdata file. The American Housing Survey is conducted biennially and, as in past years, provides current national-level information on a wide range of housing subjects. Topics unique to this survey include characteristics and physical condition of the nation’s housing units, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, and home improvement activities. Specific examples include the presence of appliances, respondents’ rating of their homes on a scale of 1 to 10, and the average cost of kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

Topics new to the American Housing Survey this year are disaster planning and emergency preparedness, public transportation, household involvement in neighborhood and community activities, and the prevalence of “doubled-up” households, such as those with an adult child living at home. Specific examples include having an adequate food or water supply in case of emergency, key amenities accessible via public transportation and neighbors willing to help one another.

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Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Poor Unchanged, Based on Supplemental Measure of Poverty

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Poor Unchanged, Based on Supplemental Measure of Poverty
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The nation’s poverty rate was 15.5 percent in 2013, down from 16.0 percent in 2012, according to the supplemental poverty measure released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2013 rate was higher than the official measure of 14.5 percent, but similarly declined from the corresponding rate in 2012.

Meanwhile, 48.7 million were below the poverty line in 2013 according to the supplemental poverty measure, not statistically different from the number in 2012. In 2013, 45.3 million were poor using the official definition released last month in Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013.

These findings are contained in the Census Bureau report The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2013, released with support from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and describing research showing different ways of measuring poverty in the United States.

The supplemental poverty measure serves as an additional indicator of economic well-being and provides a deeper understanding of economic conditions and policy effects.

Facts for Features: Halloween Oct. 31, 2014

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Halloween Oct. 31, 2014
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities, such as costumes, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

African-Born Population in U.S. Roughly Doubled Every Decade Since 1970, Census Bureau Reports

October 7, 2014 Comments off

African-Born Population in U.S. Roughly Doubled Every Decade Since 1970, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The foreign-born population from Africa has grown rapidly in the United States during the last 40 years, increasing from about 80,000 in 1970 to about 1.6 million in the period from 2008 to 2012, according to a U.S. Census Bureau brief released today. The population has roughly doubled each decade since 1970, with the largest increase happening from 2000 to 2008-2012.

The Foreign-Born Population from Africa: 2008-2012, a brief based on American Community Survey statistics, shows that the African foreign-born population accounts for 4 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population. No African country makes up the majority of these immigrants, but four countries — Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Ghana — make up 41 percent of the African-born total.

New From the GAO

October 2, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. 2020 Census: Census Bureau Can Improve Use of Leading Practices When Choosing Address and Mapping Sources. GAO-15-21, October 2.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-21
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666344.pdf

2. Compounded Drugs: TRICARE’s Payment Practices Should Be More Consistent with Regulations. GAO-15-64, October 2.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-64
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666338.pdf

College Enrollment Declines for Second Year in a Row, Census Bureau Reports

October 2, 2014 Comments off

College Enrollment Declines for Second Year in a Row, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

College enrollment declined by close to half a million (463,000) between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred. The cumulative two-year drop of 930,000 was larger than any college enrollment drop before the recent recession, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from the Current Population Survey released today. The Census Bureau began collecting data on college enrollment in this survey in 1966.

As the nation’s students and teachers return to the classroom, the Census Bureau has published School Enrollment in the United States: 2013, detailing national-level statistics on the characteristics of students, from nursery school to graduate school. The data were collected in the October School Enrollment Supplement to the 2013 Current Population Survey.

U.S. Census Bureau: Addressing Data Collection Vulnerabilities

September 30, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Census Bureau: Addressing Data Collection Vulnerabilities
Source: U.S House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Among the report’s findings:

  • The Census Bureau’s lack of recordkeeping and deficient data collection system fostered an environment in which data falsification could occur.
  • The suspected falsification procedures are inconsistent from region to region and from case to case. The system relies on paper-based forms, making it vulnerable to error and deliberate circumvention.
  • Data quality assurance efforts are fundamentally flawed. Regional offices are responsible for both data collection and quality control, which often have conflicting objectives.
  • Philadelphia Regional Office supervisors regularly emphasized the importance of obtaining survey response rates, with little to no mention of data integrity. Employees experienced significant pressure to achieve and improve their response rates by any means possible. Pressure to meet these requirements stemmed from both the Regional Office and Census National Headquarters.
  • The current mechanisms for data quality control are insufficient and could serve to discourage individuals from identifying and reporting suspected falsification.
  • The primary data quality assurance check—reinterview—remains in the original interviewer’s chain of command, effectively diminishing the objectivity of the process.
  • There are no clear guidelines available to all Census employees for straightforward reporting of suspected falsification.
  • There is no single master record of a case. The case-tracking systems make it difficult—sometimes impossible—to determine the full history and corresponding chain of custody of a particular case.
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