Archive for the 'Data' Category

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Getting A More Accurate Count Of Arab Americans

The PSC Infoblog has reported on this earlier here, but this is still of interest.

The U.S. Census Is Trying To Get A More Accurate Count Of Arab Americans
Ben Casselman | fivethirtyeight.com Blog
November 24, 2014

Note that this article mentions that the Census Bureau did a special tabulation for Homeland Security to provide counts of Arab populations by geography (place and zip code).

Some Arabs have expressed reluctance to identify themselves on a government form, especially after the Census Bureau shared detailed data on the Arab-American population with the Department of Homeland Security in the early 2000s

These “detailed tabulations” referenced above, were public use tables from American FactFinder. Here’s the original FOIA request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center:

FOIA request: Department of Homeland Security Obtained Data on Arab Americans From Census Bureau [Source: EPIC]

Here is the example for Places drawn from DP-2. Here’s the example for Zip Codes drawn from (Tables PCT16 and PCT17).

Measuring Race in the Census: Its Fluid

Researchers at the Census Bureau and the Minnesota Population Center matched census responses across the 2000 and 2010 Census and examined changes in the Race/Hispanic origin responses. They found that the biggest change was Hispanics changing their “Other Race” choice in 2000 to “White” in 2010. The groups least likely to change responses were those who identified themselves as non-Hispanic white, black or Asian in 2000.

America’s Churning Races: Race and Ethnic Response Changes between Census 2000 and the 2010 Census
Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications & Minnesota Population Center
CARRA Working Paper #2014-09
August 8, 2014

This paper is nicely summarized here – based on the PAA version:

Millions of Americans changed their racial or ethnic identity from one census to the next
D’Vera Cohn | Pew Research Center
May 5, 2014

As a reminder, the Census Bureau has spent the better part of the past year, looking to change how it collects data on race and ethnicity.

U.S. Census looking at big changes in how it asks about race and ethnicity
D’Vera Cohn | Pew
March 14, 2014

2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment[website]
2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment[report]

Expansion of Free Lunch Could Have a Negative Effect on Research Data

By: Ben Wieder
Source: FiveThirtyEight

A new federal initiative that could provide millions of students with a free lunch might have an unexpected cost for researchers and state educational agencies.

“It’s obviously good for kids, but from a pure data perspective it provides some weaknesses,” said Brandon LeBeau, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa’s College of Education who has studied the use of free lunch eligibility in education research.

Read the full story

You’ll live longer than you think you will [HRS data]

Recent research based on an original question in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) shows how few folks felt they would live to 75 (at age 50). There is also an association with the low probability folks dying earlier than the high probability folks.

Popular press coverage and a Brookings publication below:

You’ll probably live much longer than you think you will
Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post [Wonkblog]
November 10, 2014

Better Financial Security in Retirement? Realizing the Promise of Longevity Annuities
Katharine Abraham and Benjamin Harris | Brookings
November 6, 2014
Abstract | Full Paper

Federal Register Notice: Some ACS questions on the chopping block

You can comment on the Census Bureau’s plans to remove some questions from the American Community Survey (marriage history and field of study in college) via the Federal Register:

link to Federal Register Notice

A working paper by Kennedy and Ruggles provides some talking points on the marriage history question: “Breaking up is Hard to Count . . . ” And, quite a number of researchers of the STEM population, including the migration of STEM folks, ought to be interested in the field of study question.

It is interesting to note that questions that were thought to be vulnerable (flush toilet, leaving time for work, income, and mental/emotional disability) were unscathed. For historical purposes (e.g., April 2014) it is interesting to review a summary of these touchy questions.

Here is a summary of how the Census Bureau came up with the questions to be eliminated. It comes down to a grid of mandated/required questions x user burden/cost:

American Community Survey (ACS) Content Review
Gary Chappell |Census Bureau
October 9, 2014

Other helpful links are on the ACS Content Review website.

Political Science: A self-inflicted wound?

Stanford University and Dartmouth have sent an open apology letter to the state of Montana for a voting experiment conducted by political scientists at their respective institutions. The study had IRB approval, at least from Dartmouth. It uses a database of ideological scores based on donors to identify the political affiliation of judges. See this Upshot article on the start-up company, Crowdpac, that developed this database. Montana is quite irritated with the use of the state of Montana seal on the mailer. Did that get through the IRB?

The letters:

Senator John Tester’s letter to Stanford & Dartmouth | The apology letter

Messing with Montana: Get-out-the -Vote Experiment Raises Ethics Questions
Melissa R. Michelson | The New West (blog of the Western Political Science Association)
October 25, 2014

Today, the Internet exploded with news about and reactions to a get-out-the-vote field experiment fielded by three political science professors that may have broken Montana state law and, at a minimum, called into question the ethics of conducting experiments that might impact election results.

Professors’ Research Project Stirs Political Outrage in Montana
Derek Willis | NY Times
October 28, 2014

Universities say they regret sending Montana voters election mailers criticized for being misleading
Hunter Schwarz | The Washington Post
October 29, 2014

Sage Stats and CQ Political Stats Trial

via Catherine Morse, UM library

We have trial access to two new sources for statistics: Sage Stats and CQ US Political Stats. Both trials are available for the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses until September 17, 2014.

SAGE Stats is a data visualization and research platform that currently hosts two collections State Stats and Local Stats. State Stats is a collection of data measures that span all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Local Stats is a collection of data measures that span all counties, cities, and metropolitan statistical areas. Dating back more than 20 years, each data series is displayed with detailed source information. Topics covered include the economy, education, crime, government finance, health, population, religion, social welfare, and transportation.

CQ US Political Stats is a separate platform that brings together data on the US Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidency for comparison and visualizations. CQ US Political Stats contains data on a variety of topics such as Supreme Court outcomes and demographic data on members of Congress. The data comes from a variety of sources including: CQ Roll Call, Vital Statistics on the Presidency, Supreme Court Compendium, America Votes, and CQ Alamanac.

Please send any comments to cmorse@umich.edu.

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