Archive for the 'Data' Category

Breaking News: Protect the 2020 Census

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has filed an amendment to the FY2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 4660), being considered now in the U.S. Senate, that would prohibit the Census Bureau from spending funds on the 2020 Census unless it includes questions regarding U.S. citizenship and immigration status. [Source: APDU]

Below are links to talking points related to this amendment:
Vitter Amendment Talking Points [from the Census Project]

Vitter Census Amendment to Require Questions about Illegal Aliens [Press Release, David Vitter]

Supreme Court rebuffs Louisiana’s 2010 Census Suit [PSC Info Blog]

Apportionment Resources: Legal [PSC Info Blog]

The Fastest Growing US Cities Are Mostly In the West

via The Washington Post

Seven of the 15 fastest growing cities in America are in the booming state of Texas, according to the annual ranking released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

And three of those eight are in the vicinity of Austin, the state’s capital city.

One of those three, San Marcos, population 54,076, holds the distinction of being the fastest-growing city for two consecutive years. Its population increased by 8 percent between July 2012 and July 2013 — the period covered by the survey. It grew 44 percent in the past 15 years.

Full text of the article
Census Bureau Population Estimates

Another rule from NIH: Demographers might get to ignore this one

NIH wants the routine gender bias in basic research to end. This mostly applies to animals used in laboratory research, e.g. mice or cell cultures. An earlier directive from NIH required clinical trials to include women and minorities.

Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies
Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins | Nature
May 14, 2014
html | pdf

Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females
Roni Rabin | New York Times
May 15, 2014

Related History:
Monitoring Adherence to the NIH Policy on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research
National Institutes of Health (NIH) | 2013

Research on Health Disparities: Incarceration Matters

High Incarceration Rates among Black Men Enrolled in Clinical Studies may Compromise Ability to Identify Disparities
Emily Wang, et.al. | Health Affairs
May 13, 2014
html | pdf

This is a nice note, which examines the selectivity introduced into studies when participants are lost to a study due to incarceration – primarily black men. The paper discusses a suggested change in the IRB regulations on studying prisoners, which would help address this selectivity issue. The Vox article below discusses the history of IRB rules, given that this would not be common knowledge among a more general reader pool.

Doctors can’t research the health of black men, because they keep getting sent to prison
Dara Lind | Vox
May 13, 2014

Changing Race From One Census to the Next

Via D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center, FactTank

Millions of Americans counted in the 2000 census changed their race or Hispanic-origin categories when they filled out their 2010 census forms, according to new research presented at the annual Population Association of America meeting last week. Hispanics, Americans of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders were among those most likely to check different boxes from one census to the next.

A questionnaire change: politics or not?

The Census Bureau has changed how it will measure insurance coverage in the Current Population Survey – Census Bureau announcement.

Many on both the left and right are unhappy with this change because of the discontinuity with the insurance measure over time – in other words, before Obamacare and after Obamacare.

Many of the comments reflect ignorance on how much research goes into changing, adding, deleting questions or that OMB always reviews questionnaire changes (even under Republican presidents). Also this change is to the questionnaire in the CPS, not the American Community Survey (or long-form census).

But, this quote probably reflects the view of many health analysts: “Getting worked up into an increasingly heated health nerd rage about the Census changes. We’re losing our best data source on Obamacare.” via Twitter. [See tweet and comments]

Here is a compilation of articles in the order they were published:

Census Bureau: Sorry, We’re Going to Have a Hard Time Measuring . .
Patrick Brennan | National Review Online
April 15, 2014

Obama Hijacks Census to Whitewash ObamaCare’s Failure
B. Christopher Agee | Western Journalism
April 15, 2014

Both Sides in Obamacare Fight Slam Census Bureau
Rob Garver | Fiscal Times
April 15, 2014

Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law Effects
Robert Pear | New York Times
April 15, 2014

Want Useful Data on Obamacare? The Census Bureau Won’t Help
Peter Suderman | Reason (blog)
April 15, 2014

Manipulating Obamacare Stats: The Census Bureau’s Suspect Timing
Guy Benson | Town Hall (blog)
April 15, 2014

Obama’s cooking the Census for Obamacare?
Megan McArdle | Newsday
April 15, 2014

“You Had One Job” [Federal Health Insurance Statistics Edition]
Ben Mathis-Lilley | Slate
April 15, 2014

Republicans Accuse Census Bureau of Trying to ‘Hide the Effects of Obamacare’
Michael McAuliff | Huffington Post
April 15, 2014

Finding “war brides” in the ACS

Several years ago the Census Bureau added a “what year were you married” question to the American Community Survey. This was an uncontroversial change to the questionnaire because it helped shore up data on marriages.

See link from the IPUMS for all the new marriage/divorce timing variables

The CDC used to collate marriage and divorce certificate data from state vital statistics offices, but ceased this operation in the mid-1990s due to budgetary constraints [See sad note to this effect].

Here is a nice illustration from Philip Cohen’s Family Inequality blog on using these data to find out how many World War II “war brides” are still alive.

How many WWII war brides are still living?
Philip Cohen | Family Inequality blog
April 14, 2014

If you don’t like his definition of a war bride, make your own and write it up in your own blog.

Census Bureau is considering adding a new Middle East/North Africa ethnic category

Source: Pew Research Center, Fact Tank
By: Jens Manuel Grogstad

From the FactTank story:

The new category would be broader than the Arab ancestry data collected by the Census Bureau since 1980. The Arab-American population is small but growing, and its exact size is disputed. The Census Bureau estimates there are 1.8 million Arab-Americans in the U.S., up 51% since 2000. But the Arab American Institute Foundation estimates there are nearly 3.7 million Arab Americans living in the country. The Arab-American population is also diverse, with people claiming ties to 22 countries and various religious backgrounds.

Read the full story
A story from earlier in the month about other Census form race and ethnicity changes

Big Data Initiative at NIH-OBSSR

From the Connector blog post:

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative is designed to address these issues and facilitate broad use of biomedical big data through new data sharing policies, catalogs of datasets, and training. Behavioral and social scientists should be aware of several recently-issued RFAs. In these RFAs NIH is requesting applications for Centers of Excellence, Data Coordination Centers, training enhancement, and data facilitation. If you are involved in mHealth, this might be a great opportunity for you, or if you are pooling data for the purposes of GxE interaction studies in the behavioral and social sciences this initiative might also fit you well. Critically consider your current research and ways that Big Data may already be part of your portfolio.

Read the full post
NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) website

UM Now Has Access to IndiaStat

Via Jungwon Yang:

The University of Michigan Library is pleased to announce that we now access to Indiastat which is a database provides key statistics of India, including census, election, trade, education, health data and more.

To access the data, please click on a link called “IP Login” at the top of the main page.
We subscribe a single user option, so please remind users to logout when they finish to explore the data. ( If a current user does not use the database over 15 minutes, then Indiastat will automatically disconnect the accession of data).

Access IndiaStat here: http://www.lib.umich.edu/database/link/31254