Posts Tagged ‘Census’

This month, the Census Bureau released their estimates from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS).  The estimates are accompanied by specific reports on income, poverty, and healthcare and given their importance it’s not surprising these topics dominate many recent headlines.  Oklahoma, we now know, has seen income remain stagnant and well below the national average.  The poverty rate remained virtually unchanged at around 17.2 percent.  The unemployment rate, while falling slightly, is more reflective of individuals dropping out of the workforce than an actual increase in employment.  Basically, the news looks grim, but at least the downward trajectory seems to have slowed to nearly a halt.

Yet, every statistic needs context. The numbers should not exist merely for their own sake or even just to make great news stories.  In this case, the ACS is meant to help guide decision makers in both the public and private sectors.  This detailed nationwide survey is conducted in every county in the country.  The demographic, social, economic and housing data is provided on a yearly basis, filling the gap between decennial Census periods.  In short, the information is invaluable and what’s even better for non-profits like us: it is free to the public. Governments and organizations refer to the ACS to allocate funds, design programs or even choose where to locate new businesses.  The data, while not itself a roadmap to a better economy, is at the very least akin to a GPS locator letting us know where we stand so we can plan the correct route forward. (more…)


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The release of new Census data regarding income, poverty, and insurance coverage in 2010 has caused quite a stir over the last few weeks.  I posted a preview from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities , but over the next week or so, I will be posting my thoughts on the new data. 

As you all know the data has been given a thorough review on various blogs, in newspapers and magazines, and on television.  I think they do a great job of covering the major trends like median income has declined since 2009, but I think they miss the details sometimes.  To me the details of this kind of data are important, so in my posts I will be pointing out the details that struck me in this data.  Today’s post will focus on income data.  Specifically:


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Americans Moving Less

Warning: What follows is kind of a wonky post, especially for the holiday week.

Via the New York Times comes a report that Americans are moving less than at any other time since the Census Bureau began tracking the figure:

The monthly Current Population Survey found that fewer than 12 percent of Americans moved since 2007, a decline of nearly a full percentage point compared with the year before. In the 1950s and ’60s, the number of movers hovered near 20 percent.

The number has been declining steadily, and 12 percent is the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began counting people who move in 1940.

An analysis by the Pew Research Center attributes the decline to a number of factors, including the aging of the population (older people are less likely to change residences) and an increase in two-career couples.


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Highlights and report. Analysis at Moving Up, Center for American Progress, and Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Working on updating some of our Tulsa numbers on children under 6 in poverty. Post that soon. Basically, we didn’t see a huge movement in the Tulsa County/City numbers, measured as the share of children under 6. Even so, there were about 10% more kids under 6 last year living below poverty and below 185% of poverty.

(Still working on this. I was hoping to post some nifty Google spreadsheets but alas, WordPress won’t allow it.)

It’s important to note, as have others, that these figures come at the tail end of a long period of economic expansion nationally. As CBPP says:

This is unprecedented. Never before on record has poverty been higher and median income for working-age households lower at the end of a multi-year economic expansion than at the beginning. The new data add to the mounting evidence that the gains from the 2001-2007 expansion were concentrated among high-income Americans.

We are sure to see even greater deterioration this year as Tulsa, whose economy always lags national trends, catches up to the recessionary environment of 2008.

At the statewide level, of course, our friends at Oklahoma Policy Institute have done good stuff (PDF) with these numbers, and they look a whole lot better than my tables.

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