Monday, September 24, 2012

Newly Relesed: American Community Survey Estimates Now Available

From the Press Release:

The survey provides a wide range of important statistics about our nation's people, housing and economy for all communities in the country. The results are used by everyone from retailers, homebuilders and police departments, to town and city planners. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as educational attainment, occupation, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs down to the smallest communities. On Sept. 12, the Census Bureau released national statistics on 2011 income, poverty and health insurance coverage from the Current Population Survey. The American Community Survey includes 2011 statistics for states, cities and smaller areas. "The American Community Survey provides reliable, local statistics about our nation's people, housing and economy that are indispensable to anyone who has to make decisions about the future," Census Bureau Acting Director Thomas Mesenbourg said. "Businesses rely on it to plan and expand into new products or communities. Towns and cities use it to locate schools and firehouses." Since the first census in 1790, conducted under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, census questions have collected information on the demographic characteristics of the nation's population. The estimates released today are available in detailed tables for the nation, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, every metropolitan area, and all counties and places with populations of 65,000 or more. See the Census Bureau's American FactFinder database to find statistics for your area.
 Link to Census Bureau ACS

Misinformation and Its Correction

From the abstract:

The widespread prevalence and persistence of misinformation in contemporary societies, such as the false belief that there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism, is a matter of public concern. For example, the myths surrounding vaccinations, which prompted some parents to withhold immunization from their children, have led to a marked increase in vaccine-preventable disease, as well as unnecessary public expenditure on research and public-information campaigns aimed at rectifying the situation.
 Source: Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2012; 13 (3): 106 DOI: 10.1177/1529100612451018

Made available to the public online

Bullying in a Networked Era: A Literature Review

From the abstract:
This research update presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying. The purpose of this document is to “translate” scholarly research for a concerned public audience, which may include but is not limited to parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners. This translation highlights recent findings and developments in the literature and makes them accessible to the informed but non-expert reader.

The document’s two guiding questions are “What is bullying?” (Section I) and “What can be done about bullying?” (Section II). Section I begins with a brief overview of key definitions and related research conversations and then addresses bullying’s prevalence, the types of individuals involved in bullying, the characteristics of individuals involved and the consequences of their involvement, and community-level dynamics related to bullying. Section II covers four areas where action has been taken to address problems associated with bullying – school policy, curricula, school climate, and parents – and ends on a note about approaches that mix or cut across these areas. The purpose is to render lessons learned from research and assessment accessible to those interested in deepening or expanding their knowledge of bullying-related issues. 

Citation: Levy, Nathaniel, Cortesi, Sandra Cortesi, Gasser, Urs, Crowley, Edward, Beaton, Meredith, Casey, June A. and Nolan, Caroline, Bullying in a Networked Era: A Literature Review (September 12, 2012). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2012-17. Available at SSRN:

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Poverty in the United States

From the Summary:
In 2011, 46.2 million people were counted as poor in the United States, the same number as in 2010 and the largest number of persons counted as poor in the measure’s 53-year recorded history. The poverty rate, or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 15.0% in 2011, statistically unchanged from 2010. The 2011 poverty rate of 15.0% is well above its most recent pre-recession low of 12.3% in 2006, and has reached the highest level seen in the past 18 years (1993). The increase in poverty over the past four years reflects the effects of the economic recession that began in December 2007. Some analysts expect poverty to remain above pre-recessionary levels for as long as a decade, and perhaps longer, given the depth of the recession and slow pace of economic recovery. The pre-recession poverty rate of 12.3% in 2006 was well above the 11.3% rate at the beginning of the decade, in 2000, which marked a historical low previously attained in 1973 (11.1%, a rate statistically tied with the 2000 poverty rate).

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

Download CRS Report: Poverty in the United States

Military Friendly Schools

The 2013 list includes more than 1,700 schools that represent the top tier of U.S. colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to educate America’s veterans. These schools offer military students the best services, programs, discounts, scholarships, clubs, networking and staff. Our media and list also explain the Post-9/11 GI Bill and offer articles and advice for planning and executing a military education.
Link to Military Friendly Schools List

The Economic Divide: How Consumer Behavior Differs Across the Economic Spectrum

Via NielsenWire:

Lower-income households represent a high growth opportunity sector for retailers and manufacturers. Over the next ten years, more people will move into the lower-income group, which is expected to grow twice as fast as total households. Over the next ten years, the total number of households in the U.S. is expected to grow by eight percent; however, households closer to the poverty level will grow twice as fast, at 17 percent. To better understand consumers across the economic spectrum, Nielsen conducted an analysis of media usage and purchasing behaviors. Results revealed dramatic differences in the media consumption patterns and delivery platforms across income levels. The same differential was found in CPG shopping behavior, alongside notable similarities in some categories.
Link to online report | Download with registration

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

From the Press Release:

The report examines 16- to 24-year-olds who are not in school and not working—5.8 million youth or an astonishing one in seven young people nationwide—and reveals startling gaps among neighborhoods, cities, and racial and ethnic groups. While the Boston metro area tops the list with the lowest overall rate of youth disconnection at 9%, Phoenix ranks last at 18.8%. African Americans have the highest rate of youth disconnection, a startling 22.5%, nearly twice the national average, and women generally fare better than men.
Source: Measure of America, SSRC

Download full pdf publication | Download data tables (xls)

Education spending rising but access to higher education remains unequal in most countries, says OECD

From the Press Release:

Education at a Glance 2012 reveals stark differences between countries in the opportunities they offer young people to enter higher education, notably for children of poor families or whose parents have had a limited education.
Enrolling children early in formal education and keeping schools mixed in terms of social backgrounds have more impact in boosting educational equality than other factors, such as parental support or the cost of tuition fees. Addressing inequality early is key as little can be done to remedy poor outcomes later in school, without compromising the quality of higher education, says the OECD.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Download pdf of Education at a Glance 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces

Like many sectors of society, the U.S. military has a long history of alcohol and other drug misuse and abuse. In recent years, the face of the issue has been transformed by increasing rates of prescription drug abuse among service members. Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking continues to be a concern within the military.

To better understand the current substance use problems within the U.S. military, the Department of Defense (DoD) asked the IOM to analyze policies and programs that pertain to prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders for active duty service members in all branches, members of the National Guard and Reserve, and military families. The IOM concludes that to deal with this public health crisis, the DoD will need to consistently implement evidence-based prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment services and take leadership for ensuring that these services expand and improve.
Source: Board on the Health of Select Populations, National Academies, Institute of Medicine

Surveying the talent paradox from an employee perspective

From the Introduction:
The economic turbulence of the past few years has created a talent paradox: amid stubbornly high unemployment, employers still face challenges filling technical and skilled jobs. Employers now need to adjust their talent management initiatives to focus on retaining employees with critical skills who are at a high risk of departure and the capable leaders who can advance their companies amidst continuing global economic turbulence.
To help employers gain a better understanding of the latest employee attitudes and emerging talent trends, Deloitte Consulting LLP teamed with Forbes Insights to survey 560 employees across virtually every major industry and global region.
 Source: Deloitte

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From Combat to College: Student Veterans in Academic 'Contact Zones'

In the current all-volunteer U.S. military, many low-income recruits enlist primarily for educational benefits. Yet many veterans encounter serious difficulties in transitions to civilian schools and do not graduate. While extensive research explores methods of military training and the effects of military service on socio-economic outcomes for veterans, little has been written about ways disjunctures between military and civilian pedagogies and culture shape veterans in civilian school settings. Using Lave’s analysis of situated learning and Pratt’s notion of ‘contact zones,’ this paper explores identities and practices of U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as they re-enter community colleges and university classrooms.In-depth interviews, classroom observation and analysis of everyday discourse of veteran support organizations show disjunctures between soldiers’ lived reality and the discursive constructions of ‘warrior/hero’, ‘baby-killer’ and ‘student.’ As they re-enter the civilian world, soldiers not only contend with these shifting identities, they also encounter educational institutions that do not easily respond to them as students. This research finds that conflicting teaching, learning and cultural norms of military and civilian institutions, combined with enforced silences about the wars, exacerbate academic challenges.
UC Berkeley: Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Retrieved from:

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Retiree Out-of-Pocket Health Care Spending: A Study of Expert Views, Consumer.

From the abstract:
This article explores this previously unexamined question of how much Americans expect to pay for their out-of-pocket health care spending in retirement.  To answer this question,we surveyed 2000 near retirees and retirees to gauge their expectations with regard to their own likely expenditures.  We then compared their responses to experts’ estimates. Our findings suggest that, surprisingly, many respondents have a reasonable sense of the magnitude of likely out-of-pocket expenditures, at least for the median, or typical, retiree.  However, we also found people struggle to understand potential variability in expenditures that might cause them to spend more than the typical retiree.  In particular, they underestimate how much personal health experience can affect individual spending.These results suggest that misperception of typical spending may not be a primary factor in retirees’ inability to finance out-of-pocket health care costs, but that misperception of the risk of spending above the median is likely an important factor.  We discuss educational,regulatory, and health policy implications of our findings.
Souce: Hoffman, Allison K.; & Jackson, Howell E.(2012). Retiree Out-of-Pocket Health Care Spending: A Study of Expert Views, Consumer. UC Los Angeles: UCLA School of Law. Retrieved from:

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Census Bureau Facts for Hispanic Heritage Month 2012: Sept. 15 — Oct. 15

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 by Congress to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 — Oct. 15), effective the following year. America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Some of the facts included:

52.0 million

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2011, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.7 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates <>.

14.4 million

The estimated population for those of Hispanic-origin in California as of July 1, 2011.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates State Characteristics: Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin <>

$350.7 billion

Receipts generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2007, up 58.0 percent from 2002.

 Link to full "Facts for Features" page from the U.S. Census bureau:

Download statistics and facts about the U.S. Hispanic Population in pdf format

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Guide to Researching Current Federal Legislation

From the Introduction:

Written for congressional staff, this report identifies and provides website addresses and other contact information for official governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in researching current federal legislation and regulations. It also provides information on useful classes offered by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Library of Congress (LOC) Law Library.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

Download pdf Guide to Researching Current Federal Legislation

Monday, September 03, 2012

Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement Agencies

From the abstract:

The authors describe how law enforcement agencies can use barrier analysis, a method of assessment aimed at identifying potential obstacles to obtaining resources or participating in a program, to better understand and address the challenge of creating diversity among their personnel. They examine key points in the career lifecycle, such as recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention practices, to determine where women and racial/ethnic minorities face obstacles that might account for less-than-proportionate representation among applicants, hires, and senior leadership. They describe the barrier analysis process, illustrate how it can help law enforcement agencies increase the diversity of their workforce, and present case studies featuring police departments that have used barrier analysis.
Source: RAND Corporation

Download pdf of  "Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement Agencies"