Monthly Archive for May, 2009
Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States
By: Stephanie J. Ventura, Division of Vital Statistics
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Data Brief
This report examines data on nonmarital births from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The principal measures reviewed are the number of births to unmarried women, the birth rate for unmarried women, and the percentage of all births to unmarried women. The most recent data available are from the 2007 preliminary birth file (5). Data for 2006 are shown where the 2007 data are not available. Comparisons are also made with selected earlier years reflecting key points of change.
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From the press release:
Orange, Fla., joins the growing list of ‘majority-minority’ counties
Orange County, Fla., the nation’s 35th most populous county, is one of six counties to have become majority-minority between 2007 and 2008, according to state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Majority-minority is defined as more than half the population being of a group other than single-race, non-Hispanic white.
Perhaps best known as home to Walt Disney World and Orlando, Orange County was slightly more than 50 percent minority in 2008, including 25 percent Hispanic and 22 percent black or African-American.
“These estimates paint a detailed portrait of our nation at the national, state and county levels ahead of next year’s 2010 Census,” said Census Bureau Acting Director Tom Mesenbourg.
Five other U.S. counties also became majority-minority in 2008 – Stanislaus, Calif.; Finney, Kan.; Warren, Miss.; Edwards, Texas; and Schleicher, Texas. Nearly 10 percent (309) of the nation’s 3,142 counties were majority-minority as of July 1, 2008 (of that total, 56 have become majority-minority since April 1, 2000).
Starr County, Texas, had the highest percentage minority population (98 percent), followed by two other Texas counties – Maverick (97 percent) and Webb (95 percent). The vast majority of the minority population in all three of these counties was Hispanic.
One county, Webster, Ga., was majority-minority in 2007 but not in 2008.
Four states were majority-minority in 2008: Hawaii (75 percent), New Mexico (58 percent), California (58 percent) and Texas (53 percent). The District of Columbia was 67 percent minority. No other state had more than a 43 percent minority population.
On Intra-Annual Poverty in the U.S.: Prevalence, Causes and Response to Food Stamp Program Use
By: Elton Mykerezi and Bradford Mills
Source: University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics, Staff Papers
Poverty measurement with data whose reference period is one year masks family exposure to poverty that only lasts for part of the year. We use quarterly expenditure data and decomposable severity of poverty indexes to quantify consumption-based intra-annual poverty, determine its causes and its response to federal food assistance. Results show that twice as many households are poor for at least one quarter then would be classified as poor with annual consumption data. Severity indexes indicate that intra-annual poverty accounts for over one third of the total annual severity of poverty. The common determinants of intra-annual and annual poverty include low human capital, unemployment and minority status. Changes in family size during the year affect intra-annual but not annual poverty. We also find evidence that food stamp program use reduces intra-annual poverty.
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Retirement Decisions of Women and Men in Response to Their Own and Spousal Health
By: Serhii Ilchuk
Source: RAND, PRGS Dissertations
This dissertation examines the impact of individual and spousal health on the retirement decisions of both spouses in dual-earner families. The author uses survival analysis techniques to analyze eight biennial waves of a nationally representative panel survey of the U.S. population over age 50. Of the various causes of early retirement, the onset of work disability or functional disability has the biggest effect, followed by major health events and chronic illnesses. The onset of a husband’s work disability can lead to an earlier age of retirement not only for the husband himself but also, through joint retirement, for his wife. The author also calculates cost-of-illness estimates for indirect costs (productivity lost through an early retirement) of different health conditions at the individual and societal levels, and estimates total family productivity lost due to the spouse’s work disability.
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Report: Political Manipulation of the Census has been Rejected throughout the course of American history
Source: U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (GOP)
A report released by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Republican staff examining the Constitutional foundation and history of the U.S. Census concludes that while the latest attempt by the White House to politicize the Census, though not entirely unprecedented, is unlikely to succeed.
“When it comes to the Census, history demonstrates that political gamesmanship has always been the losing proposition,” the report concludes. “Dating from before the founding of the United States through the present, there have been Census debates over everything from Constitutional issues and types of ‘estimation’ to reapportionment. In each and every debate, however, the politics of interference in and manipulation of the Census lose out to independence.”
The report’s release comes in advance of the scheduled Friday confirmation hearing of Census Director nominee Robert Groves who must explain how his leadership will result in an apolitical count that fully meets all Constitutional requirements. Questions about Groves’ ability to lead the Census Bureau have recently been raised by his decision to single out Congressional Republicans – while excluding Congressional Democrats – for criticism in a May 7, 2009 Associated Press story.
WIC and the Battle Against Childhood Overweight
By: Michele Ver Ploeg
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
One of the most worrisome aspects of the growing tide of obesity in the United States is the high rate of overweight among children. Over one in five young children, ages 2 to 5, are at risk of being overweight. The number of children at risk of being overweight has grown in the past two decades, as has the number of young children whose families participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Are these increases connected? The answer appears to be “No.” However, being from a low-income family, especially a low-income, Mexican-American family, does raise the probability of a child’s being at risk for overweight. This brief examines trends in the relationship between WIC participation and weight status by updating the results of Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs and Obesity: 1976-2002 (ERR-48) to include data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Reaching America’s Health Potential: A State-by-State Look at Adult Health
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
This chartbook, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Build a Healthier America, provides state and national data on self-reported adult health status. These data illustrate a consistent and striking pattern of incremental improvements in health with increasing levels of educational attainment: As levels of education rise, health improves.
HHS Releases New Report: Hard Times in the Heartland: Health Care in Rural America
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hard Times in the Heartland indicates that nearly 50 million people in rural America face challenges accessing health care. Not only do these Americans face higher rates of poverty, they report more health problems, are more likely to be uninsured, and have less access to a primary health care providers than do Americans living in urban areas. The report notes:
* Nearly one in five of the uninsured — 8.5 million people — live in rural areas.
* Rural residents pay on average for 40 percent of their health care costs out of their own pocket, compared with the urban share of one-third.
* In a multi-state survey, one in five insured farmers had medical debt.
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