Census Data Access Impacted by Government Shut Down

Due to the lapse in government funding, census.gov and all online survey collection requests for the U.S. Census Bureau will be unavailable until further notice.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at http://www.usa.gov.

Websites affected by this shutdown are all census.gov websites, including:

Alternative Census Data Sources

During this outage there are a few alternatives options for accessing this data which include:

Connecticut State Data Center – Website includes 2010 Census, 2010 ACS 1,3,5 year, and 2011 ACS 1, 3, 5 year datasets for Connecticut.

NHGIS – Includes historical census data for the nation and includes the ability to download census data in shapefile format.

If you should have any questions about accessing data contact the Connecticut State Data Center at ctsdc@uconn.edu.

US Census Bureau tools

Several new tools have been made available by the US Census Bureau to aid in performing research. The following have been released recently:

My Congressional District App

  • Allows users to find basic demographic and economic statistics for every snapcongressional district in the US. Uses latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey.
  • Users can sort through stats in 5 key categories. Summary level statistics cover education, finance, jobs and housing, as well as basic demographic info. Can be downloaded and shared with others.
  • A selected district can be embedded on a user’s own webpage.

Tool for Assessing Statistical Capacity (TASC)

  • Sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Measures overall capacity of a country’s national statistical office to conduct population and housing censuses or surveys.
  • Tool aids them in identifying areas where improvement is needed and can help them justify the need for additional training or funding for hardware and software. It also provides an objective, quantitative assessment of areas of strength and improvement over time.
  • The TASC takes roughly four days to administer, with scores calculated from answers provided by the staff of these offices. Specific areas measured by the TASC include mapping, questionnaire content and testing, sampling, field operations, data processing, data analysis and evaluation, and data dissemination.
  • The Census Bureau’s International Programs Center for Technical Assistance is available to administer the TASC and provide technical support on a reimbursable basis that addresses the primary needs of the statistical office as identified by the scores. However, the TASC is available to any expert for assessing statistical capacity. The TASC toolkit can be downloaded online at

Census Bureau Interactive Language Map

  • The map pinpoints the wide array of languages spoken in homes across the nation, along with a detailed report on rates of English proficiency and the growing number of speakers of other languages.
  • The 2011 Language Mapper shows where people speaking specific languages other than English live, with dots representing how many people speak each of 15 different languages. For each language, the mapper shows the concentration of those who report that they speak English less than “very well,” a measure of English proficiency. The tool uses data collected through the American Community Survey from 2007 to 2011.
  • The languages available in the interactive map include Spanish, French, French Creole, Italian, Portuguese, German, Russian, Polish, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Arabic. After selecting one of these languages from the menu, users will see a national population density map, with each dot representing about 100 people who speak the language at home placed where these speakers are concentrated. The map also allows users to zoom in to a smaller geographic area, where each dot represents 10 people. The dots were placed in a random location within census tracts to protect the confidentiality of speakers.

Demographic bits and bytes II

The Census Bureau regularly releases various types of information and statistics. This post contains some of the statistics that have been released over the past few months.

“Unmarried moms”

UnmarriedWomenEdThe Bureau reports that about 6 in 10 recent moms in their early 20s are unmarried. The data, from the 2011 ACS, suggests that 62% of women age 20 to 24 who gave birth in the previous 12 months were unmarried. Compare this with 17% for women age 35 to 39. These numbers were also compared to education levels, which show that as education levels rise, the percent of births to unmarried women decline. The states with the highest percentages of unmarried mothers were Washington DC (51%), Louisiana (49%), Mississippi (48%) and New Mexico (48%). The states with the lowest percentages were Utah (15%) and New Hampshire (20%).  The writers of the report for the Census Bureau note that “..the increased share of unmarried recent mothers is one measure of the nation’s changing family structure…Nonmarital fertility has been climbing steadily since the 1940s and has risen even more markedly in recent years.”

 Per student education spending decreases

For the first time in nearly four decades, the amount of money spent per student in the US has decreased. The Census Bureau reports that this is the first time spending has decreased since it began collecting annual data in 1977. The 50 states and Washington DC spent $10,560 per student in 2011, which was down 0.4% from 2010.

Top state spenders: Spending

  • New York ($19,076)
  • District of Columbia ($18,475)
  • Alaska ($16,674)
  • New Jersey ($15,968)
  • Vermont ($15,925)

Lowest state spenders:

  • Mississippi ($7,928)
  • Arizona ($7,666)
  • Oklahoma ($7,587)
  • Idaho ($6,824)
  • Utah ($6,212)

Connecticut public schools received $796,156 in revenue from Federal sources during the 2011 Fiscal year – however the state with the highest revenue from federal sources was California at $9,990,221 with Texas in second at $7,818,075. Revenue from state sources for Connecticut in 2011 was $3,171,891 in total, while for California it was $37,690,834 with New York in second at $23,188,002. See this news release for more information about expenditures and revenue for public schools.

arab households in the us 2006-2010

Another news brief issued by the Census Bureau gives a “national-level portrait” of US household, and specifically those with Arab ancestries. The brief uses American Community Survey data to determine Arab ancestry. For example, the survey asks for “ancestry or ethnic origin.” From responses collected, the Census Bureau considers anyone who reported being “Algerian, Bahraini, Egyptian, Emirati, Iraqi, Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, Libyan, Moroccan, Omani, Palestinian, Qatari, Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Tunisian and Yemeni to be of Arab ancestry.”

The data itself shows that in the US, the population with Arab ancestry increased from 850,000 in 1990 to 1.2 million in 2000. The ACS data from 2006-2010 shows that an estimated 1.5 million people (0.5 percent of total population) with Arab ancestry now live in the US – a 76% increase since 1990. The number of households has also increased – from 268,000 in 1990 to 511,000 in 2010.


 economic characteristics of households in the US – 2011 (4th quarter)

And for all households in the US, the Census Bureau has released a set of tables that detail their economic characteristics for the 4th quarter of 2011. The available data ranges from median monthly household cash income to labor-force status, and receipt of benefits from selected means-tested noncash benefit programs.

Quarterly summary of state & local government tax revenue – 2013 (1st quarter)

The Census Bureau has released statistics for the first quarter of 2013 that detail the quarterly tax revenue statistics on property, sales, license, income and other taxes. Statistics are available for individual state governments as well as at the national level. Some of the categories broken down by state include various licenses, such as alcoholic beverages, hunting and fishing, and motor vehicles. Property, sales and gross receipts and income taxes are also included in the table.

Click here for an interactive visualizations of taxes collected by state

Click here for an interactive visualization of taxes collected by state

Computer and internet use in the US

The Census Bureau has also released information about internet use within households, as well as the impact of smart phones. The report was written using data collected in a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) in July 2011. The supplement includes questions “about computer ownership, internet use both inside and outside the home, and the additional devices that people use to go online.” According to the report, the Census Bureau has asked questions related to computer use since 1984, and internet ComputerUseuse since 1997.

As you may have guessed, computer use has changed drastically in Americans’ homes since 1984. In 2011, 75.6% of households reported having a computer – compared to 8.2% in 1984 and even 61.8% in 2003 (this surprised me). In 2011, 71.7% of households reported accessing the internet, while only 18% did so in 1997 – via that now nostalgic dial-up modem. Only 54.7% had access in 2003.

The report also discusses the disparities in internet use amongst different racial, ethnic, and even age groups in the United States. For example, in 2011, internet use was most common in households where the householder was between 35-44 years old (81.9%). Households that had householders over the age of 55 had much lower rates. Additionally, the report found that householders with higher levels of education also report higher rates of internet usage. For more detailed information, click the link above to access a PDF of the report.


Sequester to impact data distribution

Due to the federal sequester, the release of several datasets will be cancelled or altered.

BEAThis notice, from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) describes the impact that budget restrictions and sequestration will have on specific datasets. To summarize, the three datasets that will be most impacted are the Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS) which was used to estimate economic impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon event. The dataset (RIMS II) will be eliminated, and though orders will continue to be accepted and processed through the end of the fiscal year, the dataset will not be updated in future years. The Local Area Personal Income Statistics (LAPI) dataset will also not be published. According to the BEA, this dataset “constitutes the only source for county and metropolitan area personal income statistics and are the building blocks for other regional economic statistics.” The third affected dataset is Foreign Direct Investment Analytical Products. According to the notice that was released, “the BEA will eliminate analytical activities related to the DFI and the operations of multinational companies (MNCs), which will affect some annual publications as well as occasional topical papers.” Other types of statistics that will be affected in this dataset include information on offshoring, impact of MNCs on domestic economy, and the impact of global value chains for measuring economic activity.

In terms of Census data, CensusBureauthe Census Bureau has released a notice stating that the 2010 Census Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files, which were originally scheduled for release from March through June 2013, have been delayed and will most likely be cancelled.

Similar information can be found by using the American Community Survey PUMS files which are very similar to the 2010 Census PUMS files.

WEBINAR: Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and American Fact Finder (AFF) for research on Puerto Ricans – May 7, 2013

IPUMS - AFF flyer englishWEBINAR: Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and American Fact Finder (AFF) for research on Puerto Ricans


Date: Tuesday May 7, 2013, 2:00pm a 4:00pm AST (EDT)

¡Begin the registration process now! Click to Register for Webinar

Discover a free source of information available to researchers who want to study the conditions of Puerto Ricans living in and outside of Puerto Rico, the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). The webinar will also include how to access data from the U.S. Census Bureau through the American FactFinder (AFF). The AFF topics are similar to those of the IPUMS.

The IPUMS contains detailed information from a sample of people in several Latin American countries and in the United States who identified Puerto Rico as their country of origin in the censuses of population and housing over the past four decades. Soon census data from the 2010 round will be available and IPUMS will help deepen our understanding of Puerto Rican communities that exist not only in the United States and in Puerto Rico, but also in Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela, among others, their evolution since 1970, and their comparison with the Puerto Rican population in Puerto Rico.

The IPUMS allows researchers to analyze socio demographic and economic characteristics of these communities in an integrated manner for all countries, without having to analyze the data separately for each country. The topics that can be analyzed for these communities include household characteristics (such as ownership, access to basic services, the availability of automobile and air conditioning, the number of rooms, etc.), as well as socio demographic characteristics (such as age, sex, marital status, race, literacy, education, employment status, occupation, industry, income, disabilities, etc.). The IPUMS, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics invite the public to participate in this webinar, which will take place in English, and which will familiarize participants with the data available through IPUMS, and how to use it for research purposes.
Sign up for IPUMS International and IPUMS USA at least 1 week before the webinar!

New data available in American FactFinder


The Census Bureau reports that the following data is now available via American FactFinder:

1. 2010 Census Congressional District Summary File (113th Congress) – Detailed Tables Only

2. 2010 CQR Cycles 4 & 5

3. 2008 – 2010 DOL Disability Employment

4. 2012 Census of Governments – Detailed Tables Only

5. 2012 State Tax Collection – Detailed Tables Only

6. “What we provide” update for Census of Governments and Annual Survey of Governments

If you’re unfamiliar with how to use American FactFinder, check out the following videos that are also available on the CT State Data Center website, or take the American FactFinder Virtual Tour: http://factfinder2.census.gov/legacy/tour.html

Finding data for CT towns:

Selecting specific geographies:

Statistics to measure the employment of the American worker

The following data comes from the US Census Bureau and describes both recent and current employment trends and related statistics. Many demographic factors influence and are influenced by our professional careers. The data presented below express different aspects of the life of the American worker: how education and employment history influences income and earnings; how much those earnings are based on demographic characteristics; how employees and employers are currently dealing with employment-based healthcare; the influence of work on child-care; and when the employee finally ends their career, how much money is allotted for pensions by state or federal governments.

LED Extraction tool (beta)


The Bureau has released a new extraction tool for Local Employment Dynamics Data. It gives users the ability to access all 30 Local Employment Dynamics Quarterly Workforce indicators. This includes measures of employment, turnover, hiring, job creation, job destruction and average monthly earnings. Data is available in comma separated value (.csv) format for states, counties, and metro/micropolitan areas. You can access the tool here (or by clicking on the above image): http://ledextract.ces.census.gov/static/data.html

trends in the current business environment

Based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System, estimates for business spending in 2011 have been calculated by the Census Bureau. The estimates cover spending for new and used structures and equipment at the sector level, and information about the private sector and business community.  Tables and figures are available here: http://www.census.gov/econ/aces/xls/2011/full_report.html

Employment History, education and earnings: 2004 and 2008

The Survey of Income and Program Participation has put together detailed tables and charts, documented in this report, that examine the relationship between years of work experience, job tenure (years at a particular job), work status (full or part-time), presence of gaps in employment of six months or more, age, sex, educational attainment and earnings.

As an example, the findings show that individuals who had a college degree when entering the job market received greater earnings than those who did not graduate college.


Economic characteristics of households in US, Third Quarter 2011

These tables, released by the Census Bureau (Survey of Income and Program Participatin), “examine the role of government-sponsored benefit programs and the labor market among the nation’s people and households within the economic climate of the third  quarter of 2011.” This includes statistics on average monthly income, participation in government-sponsored social welfare or social insurance programs, and labor force activity. The tables can be accessed here: http://www.census.gov/sipp/tables/quarterly-est/household-char/hsehld-char-11.html

income and earnings estimates by selected demographic characteristics, 2011 fourth quarter

The Census Bureau has recently released income and earnings estimates for the fourth quarter (October through December) of 2011. The data was collected by the Survey of Income and Program Participation and is organized by gender, race/ethnicity, age, martial status, and highest level of educational attainment. A quick glance at Table 1B, Mean Monthly Income, shows that individuals with post-graduate degrees by far had the highest mean income per month at $5,415.

The tables are available here:

Decline in employment-based health insurance

Income, earnings, and education are just a few ways to keep the pulse of the American economy and the American worker. Other statistics calculated by the Census Bureau, detailed in this report, show that the rate of employment-based health insurance coverage declined from 64.4 percent in 1997 to 56.5 percent in 2010. In 2011, the number fell still to 55.1 percent.


  • In 2010, 71.1 percent of employed individuals age 15 and older worked for an employer that offered health insurance benefits to any of its employees.
  • 42.9 percent of individuals who did not complete high school worked for an employer that offered health insurance to any of its employees, compared with 78.9 percent for individuals with a college degree.
  • 75.7 percent of workers age 45 to 64 worked for an employer that offered health insurance benefits, compared with 60.0 percent for workers 19 to 25.
  • Among married couples with only one member employed in a firm that offered health insurance benefits, 68.7 percent of married couples provided coverage for the spouse.
  • While 37.6 percent of firms with 0 to 24 employees offered more than one health insurance plan, 65.6 percent of firms with 1,000 or more employees offered more than one plan.
  • About 1.1 percent of nonparticipating workers whose employer offered health insurance benefits were not insured by their employer because they were denied coverage.
  • Among nonparticipating workers whose employer offered health insurance benefits, approximately half (50.4 percent) declined coverage by choice.
  • The two most common reasons among workers who chose not to obtain health insurance coverage through their employer were health insurance obtained through another source (66.4 percent) and cost (27.4 percent).

Child Care costs on the upswing

The Census Bureau also reports that child care costs are on the rise. In fact, they have nearly doubled in the last 25 years – though the percentage of families who pay for child care has actually declined. The Bureau’s report, Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011, was recently released and details both demographic and financial aspects of understanding this phenomenon.

retirement: quarterly survey of public pensions: 4th quarter 2012

This survey provides national summary statistics on the revenues, expenditures and composition of assets of the 100 largest state and local public employee retirement systems in the US. For more information, see: http://www.census.gov/govs/qpr/


Metro/Micropolitan Populations

Oil and Gas Boom Driving Population Growth in the Great Plains, Census Bureau Estimates Show

According to recent Census Bureau estimates, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and counties located in or near the Great Plains and West Texas were among the fastest growing areas last year. Midland, Texas, was the fastest-growing metro area over the July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012 period with a population increase of 4.6 percent.

The 10 Fastest Growing Metro Areas from July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012
Percent Increase
1. Midland, Texas 4.6
2. Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky. 3.7
3. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Fla. 3.6
4. The Villages, Fla. 3.4
5. Odessa, Texas 3.4
6. Jacksonville, N.C. 3.3
7. Austin-Round Rock, Texas 3.0
8. Casper, Wyo. 3.0
9. Columbus, Ga.-Ala. 2.9
10. Manhattan, Kan. 2.8

Click on image to interact with map/data

The 10 Fastest Growing Micro Areas from July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012
Percent Increase
1. Williston, N.D. 9.3
2. Junction City, Kan. 7.4
3. Dickinson, N.D. 6.5
4. Andrews, Texas 4.7
5. Vernal, Utah 4.1
6. Heber, Utah 3.8
7. Elk City, Okla. 3.5
8. Elko, Nev. 3.5
9. Pullman, Wash. 3.4
10. Fort Polk South, La. 3.2


The foreign born population in the US and Connecticut

According to the Census Bureau, America’s foreign born population has undergone dramatic changes in size, origins and geographic distribution within the past 50 years.  This infographic created by the Census Bureau depicts some of the major trends and statistics. As just one example: in 1960, 75% of foreign born individuals in the US were from Europe; but in 2010 only 12% were from Europe, while 53% were from Latin America and 28% were from Asia.

Here’s a snippet:


So, who is emigrating from Asia to the United States? In 1960 only 0.5 million people immigrated to the US from Asia, but by 2000 it had risen to 8.2 million, and in 2011 that number had reached 11.6 million, according to the ACS report linked to above.

Here in Connecticut, the 2007-2011 ACS data from American FactFinder shows that the total population was 3,558,172 with foreign-born individuals (both citizens and non-citizens) numbering 474,139 (+/- 5,979); thus comprising between 13.2% and 13.5% of the total population. By comparison, in 1960 the US Census reported that the total population of Connecticut was 2,535,234 and that 38.7% of that total (982,143) was foreign born with a majority (237,146) of individuals from Italy. The following visualization shows countries where foreign-born individuals emigrated from in 1960 that had numbers of emigrants higher than 20,000 individuals. Click the visualization to interact more with the data.

The other countries or areas that the Census recorded individuals emigrating from include: Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Finland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, Portugal, Asia and Mexico. There were also categories for Other and Unknown. Both Asia and Mexico now comprise higher emigration rates; but in 1960, only 645 people from Mexico came to Connecticut, and 11,786 came from Asia. The ACS 2007-2011 estimates for foreign born place of birth show that by 2011 there were 105,365 emigrants from Asia and 25,743 from Mexico. The emigration pattern has certainly changed in Connecticut since the 1960s, see below visualization for the countries in 2011 from which more than 20,000 people emigrated (including those with a MOE that causes the estimate to exceed 20,000); and unlike the 1960s, there are very few countries from which 20,000 or more people emigrated.The one country with the single highest number of foreign-born individuals in CT was Jamaica, with 34,742 individuals. In terms of regions broken down by continent, the highest number of individuals collectively came from Latin America which includes the Caribbean, Central and South America (197,224).


Demographic bits and bytes

The Census Bureau records quite numerous useful data beyond demographics here in the US. Included below are some examples, provided by the US Census Bureau, that exemplify just how informative some of this data can actually be!


This working paper discusses the decline in attendance at private schools over the past decade. According to the census bureau:

Data from several surveys, including the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey, show a decline in private school enrollment over the last decade. The working paper compares trends across datasets and subgroups and explores possible underlying causes of the decline in enrollment, which occurred particularly at larger, religiously affiliated schools in cities and suburbs. Possible causes explored by the paper include the growth in charter schools, home schooling and the recession.


Disability, Employment, and Government Assistance

The Census Bureau also reports that workers with a disability are less likely to be employed and for those who are employed, are more likely to hold jobs with lower earnings. The three most common occupations for men with disabilities were drivers/sales workers and truck drivers (246,000); janitors and building cleaners (217,000); and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (171,000). For women, as cashiers (195,000); secretaries or administrative assistants (189,000); and nursing, psychiatric or home health aides (172,000). These data can be found on the Census website under the Disability Employment Tabulation available through American Factfinder.

DisabilityGraphThe report, which uses data from 2011, indicates that 30% of of the 46 million adults that receive government assistance have a disability of some kind. There is a relationship to these statistics and those regarding employment as well; Bernice Boursiquot, co-author of the report and Census Bureau statistician noted that “On average, people with disabilities have lower employment and earnings; therefore, understanding what assistance people with disabilities receive may help governments better coordinate and administer their programs.”


Demographics & Income

And if you were wondering about demographics and income, the Bureau has also released income/earnings estimates for the third quarter (July-September) of 2011 by selected demographic characteristics such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, martial status, and educational attainment. Tables are available here:

A different report, released Feb 11 shows that the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT metropolitan area near NYC has the highest percentage of households with high income in the nation at 17.9 percent. High income is defined as being in the top 5 percent of national income distribution, which is an annual household income of at least $191,469.


How long is your commute to work? How many miles do you usually drive? The ACS (American Community Survey) collects and provides this information. See ACS report  here by Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician, to see how you compare to the rest of the US workforce. As an example, about 342,000 workers commute into Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston area) every day from outside of that county; if you’ve ever driven on I-93 or I-95 at rush hour, it certainly seems like it makes sense!

MegacommutingDid you know that:

  • 600,000 people in the US travel 90 minutes and 50 miles to work; 10.8 million travel an hour each way.
  • 8.1 percent of US workers have commutes of 60 minutes or longer
  • 4.3 percent walk from home
  • The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes.
  • Of those who were classified as “megacommuters”,  75.4 percent were male and 24.6 percent were female.

For more information about Megacommuting in the US, see the below links:

Home-based workers

Working at home is on the rise! In contrast to megacommuting, it is now apparent that more and more individuals are choosing to work from home. The Census Bureau has also compiled an infographic to dissect some of the statistics involved with this phenomenon.

Snippet from infographic

Snippet from infographic