Archive for the 'Family, Fertility & Children' Category

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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.

2 or More Children Raises Productivity, At Least For Academic Economists

By Ylan Q. Mui
Source: Wonkblog

A word of encouragement for my working moms: You are actually more productive than your childless peers.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage of the game. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.

Full story on Wonkblog
Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper

The Economics of Parenting

By: Roberto A. Ferdman
Source: Wonkblog (Washington Post)

Strict parents — the sort who practice an authoritarian form of parenting that restricts children’s choices — are more common in countries with high inequality, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study used the World Value Survey to measure whether parents in different countries care more about qualities desired by stricter parents, like “hard work” and “obedience,” or qualities desired more by passive parents, like “imagination” and “independence.

It found that the more unequal a society, the more likely people were to favor strict parenting.

Wonkblog post
NBER Working Paper (PDF)

Never-Married Adults Is at a Record High

Via: Pew Research
By: Wendy Wang and Kim Parker

After decades of declining marriage rates and changes in family structure, the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high. In 2012, one-in-five adults ages 25 and older (about 42 million people) had never been married, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data. In 1960, only about one-in-ten adults (9%) in that age range had never been married. Men are more likely than women to have never been married (23% vs. 17% in 2012). And this gender gap has widened since 1960, when 10% of men ages 25 and older and 8% of women of the same age had never married.

Report summary
Complete Report (PDF)

Also read NPR’s Code Switch coverage of the report.

Declining Teen Births in U.S.

Via Population Reference Bureau
By Heidi Worley

From the article:

(June 2014) Births to U.S. teenage girls ages 15 to 17 have decreased by 63 percent over the past 20 years (from 39 per 1,000 teens in 1991 to 14 per 1,000 teens in 2012), according to the latest statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With an 8 percent decline between 2011 and 2012, the birth rate for teens ages 15 to 17 is at its lowest level ever recorded in the United States.

Full text of article

Vital Signs: Births to Teens Aged 15-17 Years — United States, 1991-2012, from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Births: Final Data for 2012, National Vital Statistics Report 62(9) (PDF)

Two Reports from the PRB On Malawi’s Population Structure

Malawi’s Pathway to a Demographic Dividend.
“Over the past decade, countries throughout Africa have experienced sustained economic growth. Despite this growth, almost two of every three people—or 600 million—are still living on less than $2 per day. Like many of its neighbours, Malawi experienced consistent economic growth during the mid-2000s, though this growth had little effect on poverty.”
Download full report (PDF).

A Vision for the Health and Well-Being of Malawi’s Young People.
“Malawi’s large population of young people has special significance for national development. Today, Malawi has the largest population of youth in its history, accounting for 40 percent of Malawi’s total population (16.3 million people).”
Download full report (PDF).

See also: 2012 PRB article, Why Population Matters to Malawi’s Development.

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 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.

The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.

Source: The Equality of Opportunity Project
By: Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner

From website:

Is America the “Land of Opportunity”? In two recent studies, we find that: (1) Upward income mobility varies substantially within the U.S. Areas with greater mobility tend to have five characteristics: less segregation, less income inequality, better schools, greater social capital, and more stable families. (2) Contrary to popular perception, economic mobility has not changed significantly over time; however, it is consistently lower in the U.S. than in most developed countries.

Executive Summary (PDF) | NBER Working Paper (PDF)
New York Times Interactive Map | Washington Post Interactive Map

Related: A new survey from Pew Research Center and USA Today finds that 65% of adults believe the gap between the rich and and everyone else has grown, but disagree on government intervention.
Pew Research Press Release | Pew Research Report (PDF) | Questionnaire (PDF)
USA Today Story