Blexting: it’s not what you think

Blexting is short for “blight texting.” It is an app that a Detroit-based start-up (Loveland Technologies) created, which is being used to map all Detroit structures to fight blight. Here’s a bit of the coverage of the software and the amazing progress the blexters have made in mapping Detroit blight:

map

Watch: Battling Blight with “Blexting”
Hell Yeah Detroit | Your Online Guide to Being a Better Detroiter
January 26, 2014

Loveland’s passion: Battle blight
Amy Haimerl | Crain’s Detroit
February 19, 2014
Map tech – aka ‘blexting’ – charts growth

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings
Quinn Klinefelter | National Public Radio
February 18, 2014

A Picture of Detroit Ruin, Street by Forlorn Street
Monica Davey | New York Times
February 17, 2014

Nerd alert: administrative data, paradata, and BYOD

Bob Groves is no longer the Census Bureau director, but the Census Bureau’s plans for the 2020 Census have many of the elements that he wrote about in the Census Bureau’s Director’s blog and presented at professional meetings. He has had a lasting impact at the Census Bureau.

In an historic move, Census Bureau tries electronic outreach
D’Vera Cohn | Pew Research Center
February 18, 2014
Read the post to find out what BYOD means.

A recent memorandum from the White House, encourages the use of administrative data by federal agencies for statistical purposes. This may prove useful to some of the 2020 efforts.

Guidance for Providing and Using Administrative Data for Statistical Purposes
White House | Office of Management and Budget
February 14, 2014

Finally, the reference to “updated guidance” in the Pew piece sounds quite a bit like paradata used in responsive survey design of the NSFG. The Census enumerates all households so it isn’t a survey, but paradata can guide the data collection process – when to enumerate (weekend or not, evening or not) and when to get data from other sources.

Use of Paradata in a Responsive Design Framework to Manage a Field Data Collection
J. Wagner, et.al. | Journal of Official Statistics

Responsive Survey Design, Demographic Data Collection, and Models of Demographic Behavior
W. Axinn, C. Link, and R. Groves | Demography

Inequality: States & Cities

Here are two reports on inequality – one for states, including historical data and one for the 50 largest cities. The state-based analysis uses state-level tax data whereas the city-based analysis uses the American Community Survey. The city-based study is referenced in a story in the New York Times.

The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by state, 1917 to 2011
Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price | Economic Analysis and Research Network
February 19, 2013

All Cities Are Not Created Unequal
Alan Berube | Brookings
February 20, 2014
Appendix: Income Inequality in America’s 50 Largest Cities, 2007-2012

Study Finds Greater Income Inequality in Nation’s Thriving Cities
Annie Lowrey | New York Times
February 20, 2014

Minimum Wage and Migration

By: Kirk Johnson
Source: New York Times

In the nation’s debate about the minimum wage, which President Obama has proposed increasing at the federal level to $10.10 from $7.25, this rolling borderland of onion farms and strip malls provides a test tube of sorts for observing how the minimum wage works in daily life, and how differences in the rate can affect a local economy in sometimes unexpected ways.

Read the full story at the New York Times

County-to-County Migration Flows

The Census Bureau has released county to county migration flow data from the 2007-2011 ACS. This allows researchers to look at outbound, inbound, and net migration flows by selected characteristics (education, household income, and individual income).

Perhaps, Governor Snyder had advance access to these data before his state-of-the-state address as the only positive net value for Wayne County (and Michigan) is “movers from abroad.” Wayne County has a net loss of 28,000 to other Michigan counties and a net loss of approximately 17,000 to out of state counties. It has about one-third of Michigan’s movers from abroad (7,620 out of 24,715).

Check out this spreadsheet for Michigan counties – click on image:

spreadsheet

[Click here for Michigan Data Table]

Data, Guides, and Flows Mapper Interface
2007-2011 County-to-County Migration Flows
Megan Benetsky | US Census Bureau
Very useful working paper, which shows the sorts of analyses possible with the data.

County-to-County Migration Flows Tables

Census Flows Mapper

Additional Press
Many New Educated Entrants to Big U.S. Cities Came from Overseas
Neil Shah | Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2014
This article quotes Bill Frey who notes that many of the higher educated migrants to big cities are foreign born.

A Detailed Map of the Net Migration Flows for Every U.S. County
Emily Badger | Atlantic Cities
February 11, 2014

Stretching the boundaries of population science

Here is a link to Christine Bachrach’s 2013 PAA Presidential Address:

Culture and Demography: From Reluctant Bedfellows to Committed Partners
Christine Bachrach | Demography
Winter 2014
html | pdf

And, here is a link to a neuroscience/population science article co-authored by several PSC researchers:

What is a representative brain? Neuroscience meets population science
Emily Falk, et.al. | PNAS
October 2013
html | pdf

Quiz Time

Can you identify what this graph represents? If no, click on the graph for a link to the article. And, there is a graph for women in the article as well.

graph

[Link to answer]

New PUMA boundaries for the 2012 release of ACS data

The 2012 ACS releases (2012, 2010-2012, and 2008-2012) use new boundaries for PUMAs. These new definitions are based on new guidelines established by the Census Bureau as well as results from the 2010 Census.

PUMA Guidelines

The upshot of the guidelines is that the building blocks for PUMAs must be census tracts or counties. PUMAs can no longer be comprised of places or multiple places, especially as in the case of Michigan these multi-place PUMAs were sometimes comprised of non contiguous places.

The Census Bureau also encourages that the newly constructed PUMAs map to metropolitan areas.

The definition for the composition of PUMAs from the Census Bureau’s site is not all that informative. It is an Excel spreadsheet with the geographic identifier and Name of the PUMA, e.g., Northwest Detroit for PUMA 263208.

2010 Census Gazetteer Files: PUMAs

To know which census tracts are “Northwest Detroit” one needs to map census tracts to PUMAs. One can do this via the MableGeocorr site [Source: census tract; Target: PUMA2012].

Of course many PUMAs are comprised of multiple counties or a single county, so that sort of detail is not necessary for them. I will update this post later this week with a crosswalk, which includes “census tracts” for multi-PUMA counties and counties for single/combined county PUMAs.

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

Notable Publications from the Bureau of Justice Statistics

Below are selected recent publications from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

Correctional Populations in the United States: 2012
Federal Justice Statistics, 2010
Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties: 2009 – Statistical Tables
Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012
Probation and Parole in the United States: 2012

And, here are links to data & reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Data | Reports | Analysis Tools | New Releases