Preliminary Birth Data for 2014

The National Vital Statistics System released Births: Preliminary Data for 2014. The general fertility rate increased by 1% (the first increase since 2007), though the birth rate for teenagers and women aged 20-24 continued to decrease (both rates are at historic lows). The birth rates for women aged 30-34 and 35-39 seem to be driving the overall fertility increase: the number of births in these age groups increase by 4% and 5% respectively.

Housing Preference and Segregation

Emily Badger of Wonkblog examines how race influences where we choose to live.

Every day renters walk into the Oak Park Regional Housing Center certain they don’t want to live on the east side of town. The east side of town, in this small suburb that borders Chicago, is geographic code for uncomfortably close to where the poor blacks live.

See also the Wonkblog piece on the Obama administration’s new rules targeting segregation.

Housing Costs for American Renters

Jonnelle Marte of Wonkblog examines the costs of renting.

For many households, the monthly rent check is so big that it eats up the majority of their paycheck — and the burden is growing. Some 20.7 million rental households — or about half of all renters– spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. About 11 million of those households spent more than half of their paycheck on rent and utilities, up 37 percent from 2003, the study found. (Financial advisers typically recommend that people spend less than a third of their pay on housing costs.)

Click here for an interactive map.

Railroads, Highways and Racial Segregation

Emily Badger and Darla Cameron of Wonkblog examine the ways railroads, highways and other man-made lines divided American cities by race.

Like many metaphors, “the other side of the tracks” was originally a literal epithet. Blacks were often historically restricted to neighborhoods separated from whites by railroads, turning the tracks into iron barriers of race and class.

In many cities, these dividing lines persist to this day — a reflection of decades of discriminatory policies and racism, but also of the power of infrastructure itself to segregate.

Children and Poverty

The Pew Research Center examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau report “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013” and found that the poverty rate for black children has stayed steady even as the rate for other groups declines.

Illegal Immigration From Mexico

The Pew Research Center listed several facts based on their analysis about illegal immigration from Mexico, such as the number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, who is apprehended at the border, deportations, and where unauthorized immigrants live and work.

Newest New Yorkers

The New York City Planning Department released the latest in its Newest New Yorker series. The 2013 edition, The Newest New Yorkers: Characteristics of the City’s Foreign-born Population, builds on the earlier edition, and provides detailed analyses of the newest data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. There is also an interactive map showing the immigrant make-up of each of New York’s neighborhoods.

H/T Data Detectives

Teen Smoking and Cigarette Price

Andrew Flowers of FiveThirtyEight examines recent studies on teen smoking and reports that the link between the cost of cigarettes and the teen smoking rate has weakened in recent years. Flowers discusses theories about why this happened and what it could mean for policy.

U.S. Census Bureau International Data Base

The U.S. Census Bureau released revised estimates and projections for 24 countries, including China, Iraq, Malawi, South Africa and United States. See the release note tab for a full list of revised countries.

Big data and smart cities

Urban Demographics posted a presentation by Rob Kitchin based on his paper “The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism” (gated version; working paper version).

Abstract:

‘Smart cities’ is a term that has gained traction in academia, business and government to describe cities that, on the one hand, are increasingly composed of and monitored by pervasive and ubiquitous computing and, on the other, whose economy and governance is being driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, enacted by smart people. This paper focuses on the former and, drawing on a number of examples, details how cities are being instrumented with digital devices and infrastructure that produce ‘big data’. Such data, smart city advocates argue enables real-time analysis of city life, new modes of urban governance, and provides the raw material for envisioning and enacting more efficient, sustainable, competitive, productive, open and transparent cities. The final section of the paper provides a critical reflection on the implications of big data and smart urbanism, examining five emerging concerns: the politics of big urban data, technocratic governance and city development, corporatisation of city governance and technological lock-ins, buggy, brittle and hackable cities, and the panoptic city.