Monthly Archive for September, 2012

Never Mind: Continuing Resolution negates riders to bills

The House (September 13) and the Senate (September 22) passed the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the agencies and programs of the Federal government until March 27, 2013.

This means that all the riders to bills that abolished programs, some of which had a serious impact on social scientists have been negated. This includes the elimination of funding for: the American Community Survey (ACS), the political science program at NSF, and economics research at NIH.

The CR includes an across-the-board increase of 0.6 percent above FY 2012.

For further details, here’s the full 158 page text.

Text drawn from an APDU Data Update, September 27, 2012

Household Change in the United States

Household Change in the United States
Linda Jacobsen, Mark Mather, and Genevieve Dupuis | Population Bulletin
September 2012

[Synopsis] [Full Report] [Data Finder]

This Population Bureau report describes changes in household structure in the United States from 1940 to 2010. It covers various living arrangements: married couples, single-head families, living alone, cohabiting couples, etc. with some discussion of these relationships by age, race, education.

Across the Pond: To have a census or not

The United Kingdom has examined whether or not to have a traditional census or not. The report is cautious saying the ‘social science could suffer if the census was discontinued without serious consideration as to how this data would be replaced.” The report looked at administrative data and existing surveys, any of which might be a useful replacement for the census for a local area. However, the country also needs to have a snapshot of the entire nation.

The results of the inquiry are below.

Short summary:
Decision to scrap Census could hit UK social science according to MPs

The Census and social science
Volume 1: Third Report of Session 2012-13

The Census and social science
Volume II: Third Report of Session 2012-13

The Census and social science
Oral evidence (uncorrected)
Written evidence

Population Aging Will Have Long-Term Implications for Economy; Major Policy Changes Needed

National Academy of Sciences news release: The aging of the U.S. population will have broad economic consequences for the country, particularly for federal programs that support the elderly, and its long-term effects on all generations will be mediated by how — and how quickly — the nation responds, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. More information at

Oh Canada! Look before you leap

Canada is in a fix with its 2016 mid-decade Census on the horizon. It made a major change to its census operations with the 2011 Census, choosing to make The National Household Survey (long-form) voluntary. This was done on the behest of the Conservative government, not the advice of the statisticians in StatsCan [See here, here and here for links to this issue].

Final Report on 2016 Census Options: Proposed Content Determination Framework and Methodology Options
[Executive Summary] [Full report]

Stick with old-school census, says StatsCan
Jennifer Ditchburn | iPolitics
August 30,2012
Reaction from the press is pretty damning, showing that Canada still doesn’t know the full impact of the decision to go with a voluntary census. Here’s a comment on whether or not there is response bias in the National Household Survey:

“Are we totally off, slightly off, right on? That would be difficult to determine,” said Marc Hamel, manager of the census program at Statistics Canada.

Harper government’s assault on reason, scientists, ‘Orwellian’ and ‘alarming,’ warns pollster
Alice Funke | The Hill Times
September 10, 2012

This article is really belongs in a collection of “Death of Evidence” articles. But, it so nicely aligns with the above article as the first ‘assault on reason’ occurred when the government cancelled the mandatory long-form census.

For your bedside table: Demographic-themed novels

These novels are at the suggestion of @Demografia_CSIC. Please pass on additional suggestions to me ( and I’ll add them.

Cipolla, Carlo. 1981. Faith, Reason, and the Plague in Seventeenth-Century Tuscany [Reviews]

Saramago, Jose. 2009. Death with Interruptions [Reviews]

Shaw, George Bernard. 1921. Back to Methuselah – A Metabiological Penateuch [Synopsis]

Kertzer, David. 2008. Amalia’s Tale. [Reviews]

Harrison, Harry. 1966. Make Room! Make Room! [Reviews]

Pohl, Frederick and C.M. Kornbluth. 1952. The Space Merchants [Reviews]

Wells, H.G. 1895. The Time Machine [Synopsis]