All Things Census

11.30.11

Re-Counting Poverty

The November 2011 issuance by the U.S. Census Bureau of a new Supplemental Poverty Measure has rekindled interest in questions that have been raised at various times over the nearly half century since the first official measures were published. Are the poverty measures used for so many years really so flawed they need a total overhaul? If so, why weren’t they fixed sooner? How and why did the new alternative recently unveiled by Census emerge from the pack?  What are the politics? What’s the social science? What core values are put in play by the choices we as a society make about how to measure poverty? Read more

11.22.11

Cohabiting Couples and Their Money

The Census Bureau recently released results from its alternative measure of poverty, which uses a wider range of factors than the official metric to account for people’s living expenses and the money or other resources they have to pay them. Most of the reaction to the alternative measure focused on its overall impact on poverty rates, but the new metric also is notable for breaking with tradition in the way it assumes cohabiting couples share their money. Read more

11.08.11

Comparing Two Census Measures of Poverty

The Census Bureau has just published the results from its new alternative measure of poverty, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, and they differ notably from the poverty rates shown by the official measure that’s been used since the 1960s. A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center compares results under both measures for key demographic groups. Read more

10.03.11

Multi-generational Living During Hard Times

The number of Americans living in multi-generational households shot up from 2007 to 2009, the years of the Great Recession, to a record 51.4 million people. A new report from the Pew Research Center reports on the demographics and economics of these households, and concludes that moving into a multi-generational households appears to “lift people out of poverty.”  Read more

09.28.11

Latino Children in Poverty

For the first time, Latinos are the single largest group of poor children, outnumbering whites, according to census data analyzed in a new Pew Hispanic Center report on Hispanic childhood poverty. Read more

09.27.11

Census Bureau: Flaws in Same-Sex Couple Data

The Census Bureau announced today that more than one-in-four same-sex couples counted in the 2010 Census was likely an opposite-sex couple, and identified a confusing questionnaire as a likely culprit. The bureau released a new set of “preferred” same-sex counts, including its first tally ever of same-sex spouses counted in the census. Read more

09.22.11

Census Bureau Releases 2010 American Community Survey Data

The Census Bureau today released data for communities, states and the nation from the 2010 American Community Survey, which enriches and expands on the basic demographics from the 2010 Census. Among the subjects it includes are education, immigration, income, poverty, commuting and housing. Read more

09.14.11

Canada Census Exceeds Online Target

More than half of the questionnaires returned in Canada’s 2011 Census (54.4%) were completed online, exceeding the government’s target of 40%, according to a Canadian Press report published in the Globe and Mail newspaper. The success of the online option may offer lessons for U.S. Census Bureau officials, who say they will offer an online option in the 2020 Census. Read more

09.12.11

Adding Context to the Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty Report

The Census Bureau reported today that the nation’s poverty rate grew to 15.1% in 2010, an increase for the third year in a row, and that median household income declined in 2010. Pew Research Center reports have documented the impact of the Great Recession and shaky recovery on Americans’ wealth, work lives, personal finances and emotional well-being–finding, for example, that more than half of working Americans report a job-related hardship. Recent public opinion surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press have found that Americans are wary of providing increased spending for the poor and needy.

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09.08.11

Using Census Data To Track Change Since 9/11/2001

Census Bureau data can be a useful tool to track trends in population size and characteristics since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The Wall Street Journal, using data for census tracts, compared figures from Census 2000 and Census 2010 to report on growth in the past decade in lower Manhattan, once the site of the twin World Trade Towers. It’s now one of New York City’s fastest-growing residential areas. NY1, a web-based news site, did a similar report in July, reporting that single men and young families were among the top demographic groups moving in. Read more