Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Data are Coming!

Good news for all of the data-minded readers out there! While we're all anxiously awaiting the release of the Census 2010 data, we can begin to enjoy the first wave of releases from the American Community Survey.

The American Community Survey replaced the traditional long-form questionnaire that was sent to a smaller subset of households through Census 2000. The ACS sample includes about 3 million housing and group quarter units in the US, including representation from every county. The survey asks about professions, earnings, health insurance, modes of transportation, and housing costs. Census 2010 gives us the actual count of the population on April 1, 2010, but it's the ACS that describes how that population lives - the portrait of America. The 2009 ACS 1-Year Estimates are now available in the American Fact Finder for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

The highlights?

Median Household Income - Real median household income in the United States fell between 2008 and 2009 — decreasing by 2.9 percent from $51,726 to $50,221.

Poverty - Thirty-one states saw increases in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2008 and 2009.

Health Insurance - In 2009, the uninsured rate for children under 19 in the United States was 9.0 percent, and the uninsured rate in the states ranged from 18.4 percent in Nevada to 1.5 percent in Massachusetts.

Industry and Occupation - Work hours fell in 46 of the 50 most populous U.S. metro areas between 2008 and 2009.

Home Values - After adjusting for inflation, the median property value decreased in the United States by 5.8 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Rental Housing Costs - Housing cost burdens ranged from a low of 23.2 percent of renting households in the Casper, Wyo., metro area to a high of 62.8 percent of renting households in the College Station-Bryan, Texas, metro area.

Education — Science and Technology - The estimated number of people in the United States 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher was 56.3 million. Of this group, 20.5 million, or 36.4 percent, held at least one science and engineering degree.

Even more exciting than newly updated 1-Year Estimates; for the first time ever we will be able to get regularly-updated county- and place-level information for ALL US COUNTIES AND PLACES, including those with fewer than 20,000 people, through 5-year estimates. The first release of these 5-year estimates is scheduled for December, 2010. This is a big deal to those of us who regularly use data to describe populations and solve problems, as the best data we have right now for those smaller areas are 10 years old. You can imagine what kind of problems this can cause. Think about how much has changed in your own personal life over the last 10 years. 10 years ago, would you have been able to accurately predict where you are today? Population estimates and extrapolation can only take us so far.

HealthLandscape is continuously uploading data to the newly added 2009 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates section, so be sure to check back regularly for new additions.

Figure 1. Journey to Work: Percent of Population Using Public Transportation

Figure 2. Educational Attainment: Percent of Population with Graduate Degrees

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Health Insurance Coverage by County, 2007

New data available in HealthLandscape!

The US Census Bureau's Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) for 2007 are estimates of health insurance coverage for all counties. This dataset includes county-level estimates on the number of people and the percentages of people with and without health insurance coverage for ages 18 to 64 years. For more information, see, SAHIE.

The Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) program was created to develop model-based estimates of health insurance coverage for counties and states. The program builds on the work of the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program.

SAHIE released 2007 county estimates of people with and without health insurance coverage by:

• Ages 0-18; 0-64; 18-64; 40-64; and 50-64;

• Sex;

• People of all incomes and people at or below 200 percent or 250 percent of the poverty threshold; and

• Measures of uncertainty of the estimates.

This research is partially funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). The CDC has a congressional mandate to provide screening services for breast and cervical cancer to low-income, uninsured, and underserved women through the NBCCEDP. Most state NBCCEDP programs define low-income as 200 or 250 percent of the poverty threshold.

Figure 1. Percent of Population Uninsured by County, 2007

Figure 2. Percent of Population at or Below 200% of Poverty Uninsured by County, 2007

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Labor Force Size and Unemployment, 2009

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program is a federal-state cooperative effort in which monthly estimates of total employment and unemployment are prepared. These estimates are key indicators of local economic conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for the concepts, definitions, technical procedures, validation and publication of the estimates that state employment security agencies prepare under agreement with BLS.

A wide variety of customers use these estimates. Federal programs use the data for allocations to states and areas, as well as eligibility determinations for assistance. State and local governments use the estimates for planning and budgetary purposes and to determine the need for local employment and training services. Private industry, researchers, the media, and other individuals use the data to assess localized labor market developments and make comparisons across areas.

The concepts and definitions underlying LAUS data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the household survey that is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. State monthly model estimates are controlled in "real time" to sum to national monthly labor force estimates from the CPS. These models combine current and historical data from the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program.

For more information, see the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Home Page.

Figure 1. Unemployment Rate by County, 2009

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BEA Regional Economic Profile, 2008

The Regional Economic Profile (Table CA30) provides general economic data that are derived from other, more detailed tables (CA05, CA05N, CA25, CA25N, and CA35). Estimates are organized by both place of residence and place of work. The place of residence profile includes estimates of total personal income, population, and per capita personal income. The place of work profile includes estimates of total earnings, total employment, and average earnings per job. For more information, see BEA Regional Economic Accounts.

Figure 1. Personal Income (Thousands of Dollars), 2008

Figure 2. Number of Non-Farm Proprietors, 2008

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