Archive for the 'Socioeconomic & Spatial Mobility/Inequality' Category

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On Mass Incarceration

Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight examines the phrase “mass incarceration” and how it relates to the prison population.

October’s cover of The Atlantic carries a headline that, even a decade ago, you probably never would’ve seen: “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” The 20,000-word article attached to it, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, covers the remarkable growth in the United States’ prison population and its outsize impact on black individuals, families and communities. That Coates’s piece employs the phrase “mass incarceration” 17 times is telling. The term has become ubiquitous in conversations about prison in the United States. But 10 years ago, barely anybody put the two words next to each other to talk about what the phrase has come to represent for many: everything that’s wrong with the American justice system.

2013 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance data

The Census Bureau has release a new selection of data products on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. These reflect the redesigned income questions included in a portion of the 2014 survey sample for the 2013 estimates. The new products include:

H/T: Data Detectives

Police calls and blurry neighborhood boundaries

Here’s a great piece using a mix of administrative data (complaint calls to the police), on-line forums, spatial data, and traditional census data to see what happens in the transition zones across neighborhoods. The first link is to the easy-to-read version as reported in CityLab; the second is the original piece, with more details about the methodology.

When Racial Boundaries Are Blurry, Neighbors Take Complaints Straight to 311
Laura Bliss | CityLab
August 25, 2015
In NYC, calls about noise and blocked driveways are most frequent in zones between racially homogenous neighborhoods.

Contested Boundaries: Explaining Where Ethno-Racial Diversity Provokes Neighborhood Conflict
Joscha Legewie and Merlin Schaeffer | Presentated at the American Sociological Meetings
August 21, 2015

10 Years After Katrina

Here is a round-up of some of the reporting on New Orleans 10 years after Katrina:

From FiveThirtyEight:

The Pew Research Center: Remembering Katrina: Wide Racial Divide over Government’s Response

Wonkblog: What happened when Brad Pitt and his architects came to rebuild New Orleans

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Today’s Suburbs

Max Ehrenfreund of Wonkblog uses rumors of a revival of the Will Smith show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to discuss changes in the suburbs since that show first aired in the 1990’s.

It’s a show about what happens when a young black man moves out of the inner city and finds himself surrounded by the kind of culture and neighborhood traditionally associated with white America.

If Smith wants to bring the show up to date, he’ll have plenty of material. In the 25 years since “The Fresh Prince” first aired, hundreds of thousands of families of color have moved out of the city and into the suburbs over the past two decades, especially in the Sun Belt.

Update to Lives of the Working Poor

David Lapp of Family Studies updates Lance’s story and explores how “shareholder capitalism” plays a strong role in the lives of the working poor: Man Cannot Live By Values Alone.

Reducing Prison Population

Erik Eckholm of the Upshot examines a new interactive “prison population forecaster” released by the Urban Institute.

Although the number of people held in state and federal prisons appears to have leveled off at about 1.6 million — 2.2 million if those in local jails are counted — some scholars and activists are calling for far more ambitious change. They ask: Why not reduce the prison population by a quarter or even by half? (That would still leave it far higher than it was a few decades back, when crime was more rampant than today.)

A new interactive “prison population forecaster,” posted online Tuesday by the Urban Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, aims to help fill that void and yields some sobering conclusions.

Lives of the Working Poor

David Lapp of the blog Family Studies uses the story of Lance, age 24, to illustrate the lives of the working poor: “Lance got married before having kids, and he and his wife both work—yet they still come up short on rent.”

The Working Poor in 2013

The Bureau of Labor Economics released a report on the number of “working poor” in the United States from 1986-2013.

The number of “working poor” in the United States was 10.5 million in 2013. The working poor are people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force during the year—either working or looking for work—but whose incomes were below the official poverty level. The working-poor rate, or the ratio of the working poor to all those in the labor force for at least 27 weeks, was 7.0 percent in 2013.

See the full report (PDF).

The Geography of Childhood

Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham of Wonkblog use data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count to map the best and worst states for children on a variety of indicators, including poverty, food security, housing, family structure, education, exercise, and incarceration rates.

See also, The growing wealth gap that nobody is talking about.