Friday, May 31, 2013

Data link roundup (week of May 31, 2013)

The week's top data analysis links...
This week's theme: fertility rates matter.


New data from CDC shows that teen birth rates continue to fall, and are at the lowest levels on record. According to the report:
"Teen birth rates fell at least 15% for all but two states during 2007–2011—the most recent period of sustained decline; rates fell 30% or more in seven states."
Declines were sharpest among Hispanic/Latina teens.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


New global population growth projections by Stuart Basten, Wolfgang Lutz, and Sergei Scherbov show that a minor difference in fertility rate assumptions can make a major difference in long-range global population projections.

Like 30 billion people difference by the year 2200.

Let that sink in... then read their paper.


In their paper (mentioned above) Basten, Lutz, and Scherbov briefly mention the factors that affect family size preference and fertility behavior. One factor they don't consider: television.

Rafael Pereira, of Urban Demographics, provides a roundup of the research on links between media exposure and reproductive behavior.

... because rarely is my mind blown by the data contained in a single chart. (Really, you should read the Basten, Lutz, and Scherbov paper.)
Excerpted from Basten, Lutz, and Scherbov

Friday, May 24, 2013

Data link roundup (week of May 24, 2013)

The week's top data analysis links...
This week's theme: American cities are growing again


According to a recent report by Brookings, urban centers have shown strong post-recession job growth, while the suburbs have lagged behind.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, this week's Brooking's report showed that poverty rates are rising fastest in the 'burbs.


New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that cities are growing. All of the nation's 25 largest cities (with the exception of Detroit) grew between 2010 and 2012. The largest cities, on average, outpaced population growth for the U.S. as a whole over the past two years. New York city added the most population and even Chicago reversed a years-long decline.


Being a homeowner has its downsides (and not just The Money Pit variety).

David G. Blanchflower of Dartmouth and Andrew J. Oswald (University of Warwick in England) argue that higher rates of homeownership are strongly correlated with higher rates of unemployment. While that sounds plausible, since (especially since the housing bubble burst) homeownership can be a barrier to economic mobility and migration, Peter Gordon isn't convinced (but he does agree that pro-ownership public policy needs a re-think).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Growth in largest U.S. cities

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Today the Census Bureau released the 2012 population estimates for cities.

Some highlights:

  • New York city added more population than any other city in the U.S.
  • Texas claims some of the fastest growing cities in the country.
  • The top 10 largest cities all grew, reversing population loss trends of prior years.
  • In the top 25 largest cities, only Detroit continues to lose population.
  • The fastest-growing cities were all smaller cities of less than 250,000 people.*

For more information, read the Census Bureau's press release on 2012 city estimates, or download the raw data and dig into the details.

*The small city, fast growth rate phenomenon makes sense from a mathematical perspective. Smaller population denominators tend to lead to larger percent change results.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Data link roundup (week of May 10, 2013)

The week's top data analysis links... honor of Mother's Day.


Pew Research notes that the roles of moms and dads are converging, but a gap remains. Mothers are doing more paid work, and fathers are doing more childcare and housework now than in 1965. That said, women continue to do more than twice as much housework as men.


Due to delayed childbearing, the average age at which an American woman first becomes a mother has risen to 25.4, according to 2010 data from the CDC.

The teen birth rate is also at an all-time low in the United States, but while the birth rate is rising for women age 35 and older, the birth rate for older mothers is still far below rates seen in the 1920s or even in the 1960s.


There are more than 10 million single mothers in the United States living with children under the age of 18. Unfortunately, these families are more likely than other families to be in poverty.


American consumers are likely to spend nearly $169 dollars on mom this mother's day, for a total of more than $20 billion, according to the latest survey data from the National Retail Federation

Friday, May 3, 2013

Data link roundup (week of May 3, 2013)

The week's top data analysis links...
... a geography lesson.


The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2011.
Now you know what you'll be doing on your lunch-hour this week...


The United States may be divided by state, county, city, and township boundaries, but our patterns of social activity rarely follow political jurisdiction lines.

Dick Brockman tracked currency interactions (following the paths individually-tracked dollar bills on "Where's George") to see how Americans flow -- or at least how their currency does -- across the country. Dark blue lines represent "neighborhoods" in which people have close, in-person financial interactions with one another.
Source: NPR via Dick Brockman