An Analysis of Available Datasets and How to Use Them
Source: Pew Center on the States
From the publication website:
This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey, public opinion surveys, and expert assessments.
This report finds that:
- Extensive data are available from the sources analyzed here.
- More effective use can be made of existing data.
- Election officials, legislators, academic researchers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders should collaborate to improve the collection and use of data about elections nationally and in the states.
- The accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, and even basic definitions of terms, vary considerably across states and localities. Although significant information is available now, better data and consistent definitions will help states continue to improve the effectiveness of election administration.
Full report (PDF)
Introduction & Section 1: Datasets for Democracy
Section 2: The National Picture
Section 3: Measuring the Workflow of Elections
Appendices & Methodology, References, and Endnotes
By: Tina Norris, Paula L. Vines, and Elizabeth M. Hoeffel
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
From press release:
The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010, [PDF] that shows almost half (44 percent) of this population, or 2.3 million people, reported being American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. This multiracial group grew by 39 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Overall, 5.2 million people, or 1.7 percent of all people in the United States, identified as American Indian and Alaska Native, either alone or in combination with one or more races. This population grew by 27 percent from 2000 to 2010. Those who reported being American Indian and Alaska Native alone totaled 2.9 million, an increase of 18 percent from 2000 to 2010. The multiple race American Indian and Alaska Native population, as well as both the alone and alone-or-in-combination populations, all grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Census Brief (PDF)
Source: United States Election Assistance Commission
From Press Release:
The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today released the results of its 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey. The survey contains comprehensive, nationwide data about election administration in the U.S. The complete results and all data provided by the states are available on the EAC website.
The EAC’s 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey report (EAVS) covers the 2-year period from the November 2008 elections through the November 2010 elections and is based on the results of a survey of all States, the District of Columbia, and four territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As with past reports, responses from many States and territories varied significantly. In some cases, local election officials’ challenges with collecting data limited States’ ability to respond completely.
In some areas, however, State reporting improved. For example, ninety-six percent of the responding jurisdictions were able to report the number of domestic absentee ballots that were cast and counted in 2010; seventy-six percent of responding jurisdictions were able to report this information for the 2006 midterm election.
Link to the report web page for data sets, survey instrument, and additional materials
Full Report (PDF)
Strategic Plan for a Collaborative Neighborhood-Based Crime Prevention Initiative
By: Akiva Liberman, Jocelyn Fontaine, Martha Ross, Caterina Gouvis Roman, John Roman
Source: Urban Institute
A promising approach to reducing and preventing crime at the neighborhood level involves addressing both immediate and long-term risk factors for crime. This strategic plan outlines a collaborative Neighborhood-Based Crime Prevention Initiative (NCPI) that combines law enforcement-led crime suppression activities with human and social service efforts to address longer-term risk factors for crime. This plan focuses on the initiative’s structure, and data and administrative requirements. Objectives, associated suppression and prevention activities, and performance measures are related to initiative goals and measurable crime outcomes. This sets the stage for an initiative that could be monitored and ultimately evaluated.
Entire report (PDF)
Is a happier society possible?
By: Richard Layard
Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
From the website:
What can we do to create a happier society?
This lecture was presented by Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE, on 10 March 2011. He explores four critical areas of our lives that can be optimised to increase happiness: income, human relationships, altruism and work. He goes on to discuss the Action for Happiness movement, which launches on 12 April 2011 and aims to encourage a mass movement of people pursuing a better way of life. The Action for Happiness website provides ten keys for happier living.
This was the fourth Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture, delivered at the University of York on 10 March 2011. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture is an annual public lecture aimed at significantly advancing research and public understanding in the areas of welfare, poverty and social justice. The lecture is co-hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University of York’s School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy.
Full audio can be found here (1 hr. 20 mins.)
A First for Census Taking: The Third Sex
By: Carl Haub and O.P. Sharma
Source: Behind the Numbers, Population Reference Bureau
From the beginning, questions on one’s sex on census forms had two choices: male or female. But no more. In its upcoming decennial census, to be conducted in February, India offer the possibility of a third response – “other” (see partial facsimile of the census form below). The innovation has generated quite a bit of publicity in the Indian press. The group most affected by this change to the census form is usually referred to in India as transgenders/eunuchs, or hijras.
A Conversation with David Campbell
Speaker: David Campbell, University of Notre Dame Professor and Coauthor, “American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us”
Respondent: John Green, Senior Research Adviser, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Moderator: Alan Cooperman, Associate Director of Research, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
From the Pew Research Center’s website:
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life held a press luncheon on Dec. 16, 2010 with political science professors David Campbell and John Green on the topic of how religion both divides and unites Americans. Campbell is the co-author, with Harvard professor Robert Putnam, of “American Grace,” a book which examines the changing role of religion in America since the 1960s.
In the edited excerpt, ellipses have been omitted to facilitate reading. The full transcript is available at pewforum.org.
The Old and New Politics of Faith: Religion and the 2010 Election
By: E.J. Dionne and William A. Gaston
Source: The Brookings Institution
Economic convulsions have a way of changing the priorities of voters. Although concerns for their own and their families’ well-being are never far from citizens’ minds, these matters are less pressing in prosperous times. At such moments, voters feel freer to use elections as ways of registering their views on matters related to religion, culture, values and foreign policy.
But when times turn harsh, the politics of jobs, wealth, and income can overwhelm everything else. Thus did the focus of the country’s politics change radically between 1928, a classic culture war contest dominated by arguments over prohibition and presidential candidate Al Smith’s religious faith, and 1932, when the Great Depression ushered in a new political alignment and created what became Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition.
How Religious is Your State?
Source: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Which of the 50 states has the most religious population? Since there are many ways to define “religious,” there is no single answer to this question. But to give a sense of how the states stack up, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life used polling data to rank them on four measures: the importance of religion in people’s lives, frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer and absolute certainty of belief in God.
Check out an interactive graphic at pewforum.org to see how your state — and all the other states — rank according to each of the four measure. (States with sample sizes that are too small to analyze are combined. As a result, the lowest ranking is 46 rather than 50.)
The “Zeal of the Convert”: Is It the Real Deal?
By: Allison Pond and Greg Smith
Source: Pew Research Center
A common perception about individuals who switch religions is that they are very fervent about their new faith. A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life provides quantitative support for this piece of conventional wisdom often referred to as the “zeal of the convert.”
The analysis finds that people who have switched faiths (or joined a faith after being raised unaffiliated with a religion) are indeed slightly more religious than those who have remained in their childhood faith, as measured by the importance of religion in their lives, the frequency with which they attend religious services and other measures of religious commitment.
However, the analysis also finds that the differences in religious commitment between converts and nonconverts are generally very small and are more apparent among some religious groups than among others.