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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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2012 Business Dynamics Statistics

September 30, 2014 Comments off

2012 Business Dynamics Statistics
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The Business Dynamics Statistics provide annual statistics on establishments, firms, and job creation and job destruction from 1976 to 2012 by firm age and size. These statistics are crucial to understanding current and historical U.S. entrepreneurial activity. The statistics come from a collaboration between the Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies, the Small Business Administration, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an American nonprofit organization that focuses on entrepreneurship.
For the first time, this data will be available in the . The API allows more access and easier customization of data products. Developers could use the statistics available through the API to create a variety of apps and tool.

Further information on the Business Dynamics Statistics release can be found at <http://www.census.gov/ces/dataproducts/bds/data.html>.

The Business Dynamics Statistics visualization tools can be found at <http://www.census.gov/ces/dataproducts/bds/visualizations.html>.

Economic Growth Widespread Across Metropolitan Areas in 2013

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Economic Growth Widespread Across Metropolitan Areas in 2013
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Real GDP increased in 292 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas in 2013, led by widespread growth in finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, nondurable-goods manufacturing, and professional and business services, according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Natural resources and mining also spurred strong growth in several metropolitan areas. Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7 percent in 2013 after increasing 2.6 percent in 2012.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2013, the poverty rate declined from the previous year for the first time since 2006, while there was no statistically significant change in either the number of people living in poverty or real median household income. In addition, the poverty rate for children under 18 declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. The 45.3 million people living at or below the poverty line in 2013, for the third consecutive year, did not represent a statistically significant change from the previous year’s estimate.

Median household income in the United States in 2013 was $51,939; the change in real terms from the 2012 median of $51,759 was not statistically significant. This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive annual declines.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2013 calendar year was 13.4 percent; this amounted to 42.0 million people.

Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses Completed

September 13, 2014 Comments off

Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses Completed
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The new tables for New Single-Family Houses Completed include data on age-restricted developments, presence of homeowner’s association, foyer, framing, sewer and water systems and laundry. These tables show data back to 2009.

Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2014: Sept. 15–Oct. 15

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2014: Sept. 15–Oct. 15
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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 monthlong 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.

New U.S. Department of Commerce Reports Demonstrate Exports Continue Helping Spur U.S. Economy and Supporting Jobs

September 8, 2014 Comments off

New U.S. Department of Commerce Reports Demonstrate Exports Continue Helping Spur U.S. Economy and Supporting Jobs
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce today released new data highlighting for the first time the number of jobs supported by goods exports from each of the 50 states, as well as a report on goods exports from the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in 2013. The Commerce Department research shows that U.S. goods exports supported 7.1 million jobs whereas overall goods and services exports – which totaled $2.3 trillion — supported more than 11.3 million American jobs in 2013.

At the same time, U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1.4 trillion in goods to the world in 2013, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all U.S. goods exports. Texas exports supported more jobs – an estimated 1.1. million – than were supported by the exports from any other single state. Houston topped metropolitan area rankings for a second consecutive year with $115 billion in goods exports.

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