Archive for the 'Areas (Subject)' Category

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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.

The Effects of Rurality on College Access and Choice

Via: Chronicle of Higher Education, The Ticker

By: Michael Andrew Koicich, Texas Tech University
Presented at:
AERA 2014 Annual Meeting
April 4, 2014

Abstract:

Students from rural areas have a history of lower educational attainment at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels, yet this population remains understudied. This study seeks to update past studies of rural youth by examining college attendance and choice decisions for students from non-metropolitan counties. Logistic regression is used to study the postsecondary attendance and institutional choice for rural students. Data are taken from two national data sets, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the 2004 County Typologies published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which are then combined to conduct this analysis. The results of this study reveal clear disadvantages in postsecondary attendance, institutional level, selectivity, and other indicators resulting simply from living in a non-metropolitan county. The effect of most student characteristics did not vary substantially between rural and non-rural areas, but the analysis did reveal one interesting finding: The relationship between college attendance and choice and a student’s socioeconomic status was weaker for rural students than for non-rural students. Some systematic variation across rural communities was revealed, as well.

Full paper (PDF)

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

Smoking rate stays high among the poor

While smoking began as a practice among the well-off, according to a study published in Population Health Metrics, the habit is now much more prevalent in the working and poor classes.

New York Times article

Full text of the study

Mapping Twitter

Source: Pew Research Internet Project
By: Marc A. Smith, Lee Rainie, Ben Shneiderman, and Itai Himelboim

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters

Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. Six structures are regularly observed: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke structures. These are created as individuals choose whom to reply to or mention in their Twitter messages and the structures tell a story about the nature of the conversation.

Overview
Complete Report (PDF)
Infographic: The six types of Twitter conversations

The Measure Demographic Health Surveys Changes Name and Scope

DHS Program Logo
From the new DHS Program blog:

[So in 2013,] when USAID’s MEASURE umbrella ceased to be, it was clear that we needed to be something more than simply “DHS”. But what? At first glance, “The Demographic and Health Surveys Program” or “The DHS Program” seems like an innocuous project name. But to us, it represents a lot more.

As a Program, we are representing not one contract with USAID, but 30 years of data collection in more than 90 countries.

As a Program, we are not just our flagship household survey, but a suite of surveys, data management, biomarker testing and GIS and research activities.

As a Program, we encompass far more than just data collection, but are charged with strengthening capacity, communicating complex information, analyzing data, and ensuring that DHS data are used to inform decisions all over the globe to improve the health of families and communities.

Read the full announcement.

New DHS Program website

Decomposition of Future Population Growth

From the UNFPA website:

The main objective of the decomposition tool is to provide evidence and analysis that countries can use to develop policies and programmes aimed to find a balance between demographic change and social, economic and environmental goals.

This program calculates the contributions of different demographic factors (wanted and un-wanted fertility, mortality, migration, and age structure) to population growth. It is based on the medium variant population projection of the United Nations from 2010 to 2050 for all countries and main regions.

Select a country or region from the window below to view the results of the decomposition tool. Move mouse over the figures to explore the interactive data content. Then read and download a report summarizing the results, methods, and policy implications.

Learn more and use the tool on the website.

NIH adds substantial set of genetic, health information to online database

Researchers will now have access to genetic data linked to medical information on a diverse group of more than 78,000 people, enabling investigations into many diseases and conditions. The data, from one of the nation’s largest and most diverse genomics projects — Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging (GERA) — have just been made available to qualified researchers through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), an online genetics database of the National Institutes of Health.

Details can found here.

Men of Color and Community Colleges

By: Katherine Mangan
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

Minority Male Students Face Challenge to Achieve at Community Colleges

Although black and Latino male students enter community colleges with higher aspirations than those of their white peers, white men are six times as likely to graduate in three years with a certificate or degree, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas here.

Full text of the article

Aspirations to Achievement: Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (PDF)