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From the horses mouth...2010 Census Timeline: Key dates here and gone;  April 1, 2010 came and went, and we filled out our very short form!

L to R) SEVERAL CANDIDATES FOR COMMERCE SECRETARY:  Former Governor Gary Locke (r.) of Washington State.  How is the Census discussion related to everything else - and to politics?  Locke to replace Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China ( 2011), now running for Republican nomination., but not getting it.


STATISTICS (a sample)

Rationing of Federal dollars revealed in this report.  Although it is, as everything is in the Department of the Census nowadays, based on estimates.

For example, the Census considers 3000 students as small district.  did you know that of all the small districts in the U.S.A. the biggest difference we could detect between the largest and the smallest was in the PROPERTY tax?  As in paying for public education.
  Small school systems (3000 or fewer students) funded by property tax more than any other size system is???

Actually, maybe Weston seniors are still working to be able to pay their taxes?

Trending: When We Retire
Posted on December 5, 2013 | By Maggie Gordon

Connecticut has one of the highest shares of senior citizens in the workforce in the entire nation, with 21.8 percent of state residents over the age of 65 having worked in the last 12 months, according to census figures. The percentages are even higher in many towns in the Bridgeport area, like Weston, where about 40 percent of seniors still head to work.

There are several reasons for this, including a high cost of living in Southwestern Connecticut and personal decisions. But those reasons can vary between Connecticut’s fiercely independent towns, with senior citizens in the area’s cities more often working for need, while many suburban senior citizens work for pleasure.
Image 31 out of 31
No. 1: Weston 39.8 percent of residents over the age of 65 reported working in the last 12 months, according to a recent Census survey.

“Of course, I think we can all agree that living in Connecticut is a little more expensive than elsewhere,” said Ana Nelson, president and executive director of the Stamford Senior Center. “Some folks would need to work just out of necessity.”

In Weston, Director of Social Services Charlene Chiang-Hillman said many of the town’s seniors continue to work simply because “they like what they’re doing,” and want to continue on.

“A lot of people here are small business owners who run businesses out of their houses, and they’re still working and they enjoy it,” she said. “They might be partially retired, but they’re very vibrant, active folks and they see no reason to stop. It’s a very positive thing.”

Across the nation, the share of older Americans in the workforce has been growing for years. Back in 1985, 10.8 percent of people over the age of 65 were working, according to Dave Nathan, a spokesperson for the AARP.

“It’s gone up incrementally ever since, almost every year,” he said last week. “It hasn’t quite doubled, but the trajectory … looks like it’s headed upwards.”

Nationally, 18.7 percent of Americans older than 65 worked within the past 12 months at the time of the 2011 American Community Survey, the most recent comprehensive report of the data. And Connecticut has the 12th highest share in the nation. Alaska has the highest at 28.1 percent, while West Virginia has the lowest at 13.3 percent.

The national trend is linked to the fact that seniors are much healthier these days than in years past, and as life expectancy increases along with general health and well-being in the golden years, the need for a bigger nest egg becomes a much greater reality.

“I think generally, people are working longer because they feel in a sense that they’re having better health. And they’re able to deal with health challenges through medications more successfully than in the past,” said Joe Carbone, president and CEO of Bridgeport-based The Workplace, Inc.

“As a result, they need more money than sometimes what their pension and social security can provide,” he said.

In Stamford, Nelson said she sees a large share of the 1,100 members involved in the city’s senior center continue to work into their 60s and 70s – some because they need to, and others because they want to.

“With a lot of seniors, we find they have a need to continue to work to stay active because when you work and contribute, you feel good about yourself,” she said.

“There’s only so much golf you can play,” she added. “You still want to be able to contribute, and they have so much to contribute that to them, they see the continuation of work as another way of showing they’re still involved in the community.”

There’s also a link between people with higher educational attainment working later into life, according to the AARP. This correlation can be linked with job satisfaction in top-tier careers, as well as the fact that higher educational attainment can also affect other aspects of family life.

“People with higher education tend to have children later in life, and therefore they may have children in college while they’re nearing retirement age,” said Nora Duncan, state director of AARP Connecticut.

Nationally, 23.2 percent of seniors over the age of 65 have at least a bachelor’s degree, according to data from the 2012 American Communities Survey. But in Connecticut, the rate is 28.5 percent. And it increases even more significantly in the state’s southwestern corner, with 35.3 percent of Fairfield County seniors having at least a bachelor’s degree.

With the population of seniors in the workforce growing steadily, it begs the question: Is 75 the new 65?

That’s something the AARP doesn’t have an answer for, according to Duncan. But a peek at the data shows that it may well be the case, as 19.2 percent of Weston residents are still working after the age of 75, which is higher than the 1985 rate the AARP cites for people over the age of 65.

“I would say what our idea of a senior citizen is really starts around 75 these days,” said Chiang-Hillman from Weston.

Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report
By John Crudele
November 18, 2013 | 8:06pm

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.  The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.  And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.  And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.  Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.  Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.

Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.  Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.

“It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.

Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.  Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.

Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.  By making up survey results — and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs — Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate.  Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors.  But, Buckmon says, he was never told how to answer the questions about whether these nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.

But people who know how the survey works say that simply by creating people and filling out surveys in their name would boost the number of folks reported as employed.  Census never publicly disclosed the falsification. Nor did it inform Labor that its data was tainted.

“Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”

Census appears to have looked into only a handful of instances of falsification by Buckmon, although more than a dozen instances were reported, according to internal documents.  In one document from the probe, Program Coordinator Joal Crosby was ask in 2010, “Why was the suspected … possible data falsification on all (underscored) other survey work for which data falsification was suspected not investigated by the region?”

On one document seen by The Post, Crosby hand-wrote the answer: “Unable to determine why an investigation was not done for CPS,” or the Current Population Survey — the official name for the unemployment report.  With regard to the Consumer Expenditure survey, only four instances of falsification were looked into, while 14 were reported.

I’ve been suspicious of the Census Bureau for a long time.

During the 2010 Census report — an enormous and costly survey of the entire country that goes on for a full year — I suspected (and wrote in a number of columns) that Census was inexplicably hiring and firing temporary workers.  I suspected that this turnover of employees was being done purposely to boost the number of new jobs being report each month. (The Labor Department does not use the Census Bureau for its other monthly survey of new jobs — commonly referred to as the Establishment Survey.)

Last week I offered to give all the information I have, including names, dates and charges to Labor’s inspector general.  I’m waiting to hear back from Labor.

I hope the next stop will be Congress, since manipulation of data like this not only gives voters the wrong impression of the economy but also leads lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and companies to make uninformed decisions.  To cite just one instance, the Fed is targeting the curtailment of its so-called quantitative easing money-printing/bond-buying fiasco to the unemployment rate for which Census provided the false information.

So falsifying this would, in essence, have dire consequences for the country.

"...Nationally, 10.6 percent of adults over age 25 hold a graduate degree, but in Southwestern Connecticut, census figures* show 18.3 percent of the population has that level of education, with some towns claiming double that saturation. Easton, for example, has the highest percentage of residents with a graduate or professional degree, at 37.5 percent, followed by Weston at 37.3 percent and Darien and New Canaan at 36 percent."  CT POST reporting on ACS sample data.  "About Town" emphasizes SAMPLE - survey is only 90% estimated accuracy (very low).  But it makes for quick turnaround!

Trending: Who Earns Advanced Degrees
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by:Maggie Gordon, CT POST

Southwestern Connecticut has one of the highest rates of residents with advanced degrees in the nation, a trend that has only grown throughout the recent recession.

Nationally, 10.6 percent of adults over age 25 hold a graduate degree, but in Southwestern Connecticut, census figures show 18.3 percent of the population has that level of education, with some towns claiming double that saturation. Easton, for example, has the highest percentage of residents with a graduate or professional degree, at 37.5 percent, followed by Weston at 37.3 percent and Darien and New Canaan at 36 percent.

The master’s degree is the new bachelor’s degree,” said Kathy Dilks, executive director of graduate admissions at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

“There are more programs that require the entry level master’s degree, just to break into the field,” she said.

While advanced degrees were once an elite rarity, they are becoming the norm with an ever increasing share of the population adding hoods and velvet stripes to their graduation robes. Back in 1990, only 5.9 percent of Americans held advanced degrees, along with 9.2 percent of Connecticut residents. But an overall trend in increasing education has shifted that enormously in recent years.

In total, Connecticut has the fourth-highest percentage of residents who have earned an advanced degree of all states in the nation, at 15.7 percent, which puts it behind Washington, D.C., at No. 1 with 29.2 percent, Massachusetts at No. 2 with 16.8 percent, and Maryland at No. 3 with 16.5 percent.

While there are several local towns with higher-than-average percentages of residents with advanced degrees, only five of Southwestern Connecticut’s 31 towns and cities have a lower saturation of these residents than the national average. Bridgeport has the lowest saturation of highly educated citizens in the area at 5.3 percent, followed by Ansonia at 6.5 percent and Naugatuck at 8.6 percent.

Even in Bridgeport, there has been growth as of late. In 2005, there were more than 1,000 fewer people with advanced degrees in the Park City, where the total saturation was 4.1 percent.

According to local college admissions officials, much of the recent increase experienced here in Southwestern Connecticut can be attributed to the recession, when young adults fresh out of undergraduate programs found an unwelcoming job market and sought refuge in graduate programs.

“We definitely saw a rise in the recession, and now we’re starting to see it slip,” said Marianne Gumper, director of graduate admissions at Fairfield University.

At the beginning of the recession, Fairfield’s graduate population was split, with 25 percent of students attending full time and 75 percent attending part time.

“A year ago, we were up to 35 percent full time and 65 percent part time. Now we’re running at about 30-70, so we’re starting to see it slip,” Gumper said, pointing out that overall numbers are still trending upward.

“I think it was definitely recession-driven. They couldn’t get jobs, and for those who were fortunate to afford it, they would say, `OK. I’ll sit out this recession. I can’t get a job, so I’ll go back to grad school,’ ” she said.

The number of young graduates who found themselves without a career prospect during the recession reached a historic high. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for young college graduates reached 10.4 percent in 2010, a figure that trumped the peaks of any recession since the 1980s. It has since declined a bit to 8.8 percent, which is still significantly higher than the 5.7 percent unemployment rate that demographic experienced just before the recession began in December of 2007.

“Graduate educations work inversely with recessions,” said Gumper, and in Fairfield’s case, the Great Recession brought greater enrollment numbers than the university had experienced.

Overall, about 25 percent of young adults who graduate with a bachelor’s degree typically go on to graduate school, said Andrea Koncz, employment information manager for The National Association of Colleges and Employers. But during the recession years, Koncz said those numbers reached 27 and 28 percent.

Fairfield’s Gunther said the end of the recession is bringing a little normalcy back to the numbers as students are able to find more hope in the traditional job market.

The NACE reported in April that the job outlook for students earning a bachelor’s degree is better this year than it was at this time in 2012. According to the report, employers plan to hire about 2.1 percent more recruits than last year.

“Last year, they were increasing about 10 percent,” said Koncz. The association has reported better hiring outlooks every year since 2010, after a 21.6 percent dip in 2009.

But even as the economy teeters toward stabilization, the number of people seeking advanced degrees is likely to continue on an upward trajectory, according to Julia Kent from the Council of Graduate Schools.

There are many professions for which a master’s degree has become an entry-level degree, according to Kent, who added that “30 years ago a bachelor’s degree may have been adequate, but that is no longer the case in many fields.”

At Sacred Heart, Dilks said she sees enrollment numbers continuing to increase, as the university adds programs and the general understanding that a graduate degree can increase employability and earnings potential permeates society — recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate for people with a master’s degree is 3.6 percent, compared with 4.9 percent for bachelor’s degree holders and 9.4 percent for high school graduates.

“I’m hoping it’s not just the recession that is to blame for all of our increases,” Dilks said. “I hope we’re genuinely offering programs that the office place needs, and so far we seem to be doing pretty well.”

Trending: Where the Working Moms Live
Thursday, May 9, 2013 by:Maggie Gordon 

Mother’s Day is coming on Sunday, and in honor of the holiday, we decided to take a peek at mothers around Southwestern Connecticut to get a sense for how they compare to mothers across the country.

Nationally, about 6 in 10 new mothers are a part of the labor force, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Here in Connecticut the rate is a bit higher, at 66.9 percent. But you’ll find a lot of variation from town to town — some that you would expect, and some that you wouldn’t. For instance, would you have guessed that working moms are actually less common in Stamford than they are in New Canaan?

We picked through census data to compare the rates of working mothers across the 31 towns in Southwestern Connecticut, but there were a few towns we had to leave off the list, due to a low number of births, which could skew the numbers (Easton, Monroe, Redding, Seymour, Sherman and Weston all had fewer than 100 births registered in the newest census data set and were left off the analysis). On the whole, Southwestern Connecticut lined up with the national trends; 14 of the 25 towns had a higher percentage of working moms than the national average.

But there were also some outliers. Across America, there is only one state with fewer than half of new moms in the labor force: Utah, with 49.1 percent. But here in Southwestern Connecticut, there are six towns with figures even lower than Utah’s, including Westport, which had the fewest working new mothers at 34 percent.

Stay tuned for a special Sunday edition of Trending in this week’s paper for more on motherhood in Southwestern Connecticut!

Will retiring baby boomers bring an economic bust? 
Many see burgeoning market rather than burdensome generation

Article published Jan 6, 2013

Washington - With millions of baby boomers reaching retirement age, fears are mounting of the economic impact if they follow the pattern of previous generations by curbing spending and draining Social Security and Medicare benefits.

But the 78 million boomers - born from 1946 to 1964 - have always broken the mold in terms of setting trends, and some investors and business and community leaders see their retirement as no different. They see an unprecedented, multi-billion-dollar opportunity to offer new products and services to an active demographic group that's expected to live longer than previous generations.

When Elizabeth Reighard started her fitness training business in Myrtle Beach, S.C., four years ago, most of her students were in their mid-30s. But now her client list is made up mainly of boomers, such as Mary Smith, 58, who hired Reighard to help her "keep up with the grandkids."

The demand for fitness trainers such as Reighard is expected to jump 24 percent in the next decade, largely because of baby boomers who want to stay healthy longer, according to the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook released in March.

"I'm seeing it more and more. Seniors know they have to be in better shape to have less aches and pains," said Reighard, who's also a boomer. "Yeah, we're getting older, but our bodies feel good. I look in the mirror and I might look 51, but I feel 25."

The Census Bureau projects that Americans 65 and older will make up 19 percent of the population by 2030.

On the labor front, the health care industry is the most obvious benefactor of a longer-living active community. Demand for home health aides is expected to grow 70 percent in the next decade, according to the Department of Labor.

Demand also will be high in less obvious fields, such as for architects, who will be called on to build senior-friendly communities; financial advisers to help boomers plan their retirements; recreation workers, who will lead boomer-tailored excursions; and job trainers, who will teach the new workers called on to replace retirees.

"It's only in Washington that 100 million people are viewed as an unaffordable cost and financial burden," said Jody Holtzman, a senior vice president at AARP. "In the private sector, 100 million people are called a market and an opportunity."

Boomers are expected to work longer and they've never followed in the footsteps of previous generations, said Matt Thornhill, an author of "Boomer Consumer," a book that examines marketing to the baby boomer generation.

Boomers have broken the mold during each stage of their lives, Thornhill said. When they were hungry babies and busy parents needed practical ways to feed them, Gerber put strained peas in a jar and became a billion-dollar company. The parents of boomers moved their families out to the suburbs and bought fancy homes stocked with modern appliances. Much of it was paid for with credit cards, which previously didn't exist.

"We became the generation of consumption and personal gratification," Thornhill said. "Boomers are not going to spend at all like the prior generations did at 65. They're going to spend at boomer levels. And there's millions more of them."

Jeet Singh, who helped develop e-commerce software used by online retailers such as Best Buy and J. Crew, said retirees hadn't been treated with respect in terms of offering them well-designed high-quality products that meet their needs without announcing their ages.

"You just can't fight the numbers," said Singh, a co-founder of Redstar Ventures and previously Art Technology Group. "All these people are out there. They have needs. Whether it's what they eat, what they buy, where they shop, how they vacation. And I'm not even talking about health care, which is in itself a massive market."

Sam Farber created Oxo Good Grips in 1990 when he noticed that his wife had trouble holding kitchen tools because of arthritis, according to the company's history. Farber saw a business opportunity in creating more comfortable cooking tools. Oxo now makes more than 850 products that appeal across generations.

Holtzman of AARP likes to share that story when he's trying to inspire new entrepreneurs. He's met with hundreds of venture capitalists, encouraging them to ask one additional question when entrepreneurs approach them seeking startup money: "What's your 50-plus plan?"

"The one question a startup doesn't want to get from its board of directors is this one: 'Why did you leave money on the table by ignoring a market of 100 million people with $3.5 trillion to spend?'" he said.

#1 was Darien, 3&4 Pound Ridge and Chappaqua, #7 Southport;  then there was Old Greenwich, which was not counted because it was "over $250k" as well as  Rowayton...

Where Americans earn the most income

Updated 7:26 p.m., Thursday, December 6, 2012

Read more:
Where are Americans taking home the most?

The Census Bureau answered that and more in recently released new survey results that breakdown incomes down to the ZIP code. Check out the gallery above to see where Americans are earning the most.

The numbers included above are the median family income for each ZIP code, meaning they represent the income of a family smack in the middle of the income spectrum.

The “median” family has an equal number of families earning more or less in their ZIP code. Median income figures tend not to be inflated by a small group of high income individuals, as happens when reviewing the average or mean income.

The numbers used in the gallery above come from the Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey, the deepest look the Census Bureau offers aside from its decadal review.

Here’s what you should know about these numbers and how we’ve used them.

Because a ZIP code area may not include many families, these numbers are prone to large margins of error. In some cases, they’re nearly meaningless because those margins are so high.

To make this exercise in comparative wealth useful, we discarded results where the margin of error was greater than 20 percent of the annual income for a ZIP code. Doing so meant leaving out all ZIP codes with fewer than 1,000 families and discarding many lower population ZIP codes. Including them would have meant putting forward numbers we knew to be very unreliable.

The numbers used here are for family income, as opposed to household income. The Census Bureau defines a family as two or more people related by birth, marriage or adoption living in the same household. While this definition fails to count some families, it does offer a picture of incomes in an area that doesn’t have the same distortions as accountings of household or individual earnings alone.

Users can do their own digging into the Census numbers through the American Factfinder service.


U.S. birth rate plummets to its lowest level since 1920
Washington Post
By Tara Bahrampour, Thursday, November 29, 2:01 PM - 2012???

The U.S. birth rate plunged last year to a record low, with the decline being led by immigrant women hit hard by the recession, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The overall birth rate declined by 8 percent between 2007 and 2010, with a decrease of 6 percent among U.S.-born women and 14 percent among foreign-born women. The decline for Mexican immigrant women was more extreme, at 23 percent. The overall birth rate is now at its lowest since 1920, the earliest year with reliable records.

The decline could have far-reaching implications for U.S. economic and social policy. A continuing decline would challenge long-held assumptions that births to immigrants will help maintain the U.S. population and provide the taxpaying work force needed to support the aging baby boomer generation.

The U.S. birth rate — 63.2 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age — has fallen to just over half of what it was at its peak in 1957. The rate among foreign-born women also had been declining in recent decades, according to the report, though more slowly.

But after 2007, as the worst recession in decades dried up jobs and economic prospects across the nation, the birth rate for immigrant women abruptly plunged.

The fall is not because there are fewer immigrant women of childbearing age, but because of a change in their behavior, said D’Vera Cohn, an author of the report, adding that “the economic downturn seems to play a pretty large role in the drop in the fertility rate.”

While the declining U.S. birth rate has not yet created the stark imbalances in graying countries such as Japan or Italy, it should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, said Roberto Suro, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California.

“We’ve been assuming that when the baby boomer population gets most expensive, that there are going to be immigrants and their children who are going to be paying into [programs for the elderly], but in the wake of what’s happened in the last five years, we have to reexamine those assumptions,” he said. “When you think of things like the solvency of Social Security, for example . . . relatively small increases in the dependency ratio can have a huge effect.”

The falling birth rate mirrors what has happened during other recessions. A Pew study last year found that a decline in U.S. fertility rates was closely linked to hard times, particularly among Hispanics.

“The economy can have an impact on these long-term trends, and even the immigrants that we have been counting on to boost our population growth can dip in a poor economy,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, noting that Hispanic women, who led the decline, occupy one of the country’s most economically vulnerable groups.

Historically, once the economy rebounds after a recession, so does the birth rate, Cohn said.

But other factors may also be affecting the decline, and may not change much once the economy recovers.

A vast portion — 47 percent — of immigrants to the U.S. are of Hispanic origin. But in recent years immigration from Mexico, the biggest contributing country, has dried up; for the first time since the Great Depression, the net migration from Mexico has been zero.

Latino immigrants who have been here longer tend to adopt U.S. attitudes and behavior, including having smaller families, Suro said. He added that the sharp decline in the birth rate among Mexican immigrants may be explained by the fact that the rate was so high that there was more room for it to fall.

And while the Hispanic birth rate may never return to its highest levels, immigrants who have babies will likely continue to boost overall fertility rates, said Frey, who saw the current decline as a “short-term blip.” Immigrants from Asia, he said, continue to move to the United States, though their birth rates are not likely to approach that of Hispanic immigrants at their peak.

The recent birth rate decline among Latino women may also be related to enhanced access to emergency contraception and better sex education in recent years, said Kimberly Inez McGuire, a senior policy analyst at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

At Mary’s Center, an organization in the District that provides social services to low-income women, the waiting room on a recent morning was filled with immigrants, many with swollen bellies. But not all were planning large families.

Elsa Mendez, 22, a single woman from Guatemala who lives in Petworth, is due to give birth to her first child in December, but she said after this one she plans to go on birth control because she wants a better life.

“Sometimes [Hispanic] people — they have a lot of kids, and no talk about family planning,” she said. “I have neighbors who have nine kids — they come from El Salvador and are all together in the same room.”

But Mendez, a sales clerk, said she sees American families with fewer children, and wants to emulate them. “I want to have more money for her,” she said, referring to her unborn child.

Mindy Greenside, director of midwifery at Mary’s Center, said many more immigrant women are asking about contraception now than five years ago.

One of them is Elizabeth Rosa, 37, a Salvadoran who lives in Langley Park. Pregnant with her third child, she said it will be her last.

“To have more babies, it costs more,” she said as her 2-year-old son Emanuel played nearby.

Pointing to her belly, she said she plans to have her tubes tied after giving birth. “The factory is closing,” she said with a smile.

Census: Middle-class shrinks to an all-time low
By CAROL MORELLO The Washington Post
Article published Sep 13, 2012

Washington - The middle class lost ground again last year, falling to an all-time low in their share of how much income they take in, new census data released Wednesday showed.

People with incomes between $20,263 and $62,434 collectively earned less than 24 percent of all income in 2011, even though they made up 40 percent of the population. The dip was part of a long, steady decline dating back to at least the 1960s, when the middle class shared 29 percent of all income.

In contrast, the census data shows, the bottom fifth held its own as the poverty level flattened out, while the top fifth increased its share to half of all income. The top 5 percent gained the most income, rising almost 5 percent in a single year.

"This is a huge drop," said Tim Smeeding, director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. "It's the working class. Their pay rate has gone down, the number of hours that everyone in the house works has gone down, their homes have lost value. These are the people really ravaged by the recession."

As a snapshot of a nation recovering from one of its worst recessions, the census statistics showed an upper class that has more than regained its losses and a lower class that has found a floor to their fall.

The nation's official poverty rate in 2011 was 15 percent, lower than many poverty experts were forecasting. The number of people living in poverty last year, 46.2 million, also was virtually unchanged from 2010. Since 2007, the last full year before the recession began, the poverty rate is up by 2.5 percentage points.

Despite an official recovery now entering its fourth year, the census said median household income declined by 1.5 percent, to $50,054.

The poverty and income statistics released just two months before the presidential election should feed the ongoing debate over the shrinking middle class, income inequality and a gnawing fear that for many, the American dream is receding out of reach. This week, the Pew Research Center said a third of Americans now identify themselves as lower class or lower middle class, up from a quarter four years ago. Among young adults, the percentage who see themselves as occupying the bottom of the heap is even higher.

The poverty rate is defined as having an income of less than $22,811 for a family of four.

Many of the poor are children - 16.1 million people under 18 lived in poverty in 2011, a decrease from 16.3 million in 2010.

The ranks of the new poor include people who have been jettisoned from the middle class after losing their jobs during the recession. Others are single mothers who have more trouble finding jobs in the weak economy.

Economists expressed surprise that the poverty rate was not worse. Many had predicted it would be higher than it was when President Johnson declared a War on Poverty in 1964.

"It looks as though we've sort of hit bottom," said Peter Edelman of Georgetown University, the author of "So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America."

"It's still very very troubling, it's a very serious picture. We've added 15 million people in poverty since the turn of the century, since Clinton left office, 6 million before the recession and 9 million more since. The fact it isn't worse is at best the sound of one hand clapping."

The declining household income statistics may not be as gloomy as they first appear.

Typically, median household income shows a decline for the first year of recovery after a recession. During the recovery from the latest recession, the worst downturn since the Great Depression, income declines have continued longer. The recession officially ended in 2009.

The impact, however, has been softened by government programs and tax breaks, like the 2 percent holiday on Social Security taxes, said Richard Burkhauser, an economist at Cornell University.

"The good news is the stimulus succeeded in cushioning the blow on income for the lowest through the middle classes," he said. "But it has failed to stimulate the economy. It was successful as a safety net, but unsuccessful in what it was originally set to do, which is get the private sector growing again."

NOTE:  Souirce is a study by C.C.S.U. in New Britain, CT
Census: More people moving to D.C.
Jobs, amenities cited for rise

The Washington Times
By David Hill
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The population of the District of Columbia is growing faster than that of any state in the country, according to a new U.S. Census report that shows an acceleration of a trend in which largely skilled and educated workers have flocked to the city’s resilient local economy and its well-paying jobs connected to the federal government.

The city added 16,000 residents between April 2010 and July of this year, more than half as many as it added in the entire previous decade, the report said.  In all, the District has added more than 45,000 residents since 2000, the nadir of a 50-year slide in which nearly a quarter-million residents fled the urban center and crime and poverty increased.  Jim Dinegar, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, said that in the midst of a national economic downturn that began in earnest in 2008, the city has become attractive to job seekers because the federal government and government contractors have not been forced to make the large-scale layoffs seen in the private sector.

“I think you have a strong desire for people to live close to where they work,” Mr. Dinegar said. “And it’s not just young professionals. It’s all across the board.”

The District’s population grew by 2.7 percent since the 2010 census, outpacing the country’s fastest-growing state, Texas, which grew by 2.1 percent, equal to 529,000 more residents. It was the first time since the early 1940s that the District, which for the purposes of the survey was counted among the states, led the states in growth.

Utah had the next-fastest growth at 1.9 percent. The District’s population grew at more than double the rate of 42 states, including Maryland and Virginia, whose populations increased by 0.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

The country as a whole grew by 2.8 million people, or 0.9 percent, its smallest growth over a 15-month span since the 1940s.

Signs that the District continues to grow and prosper are evident throughout much of the city, particularly in Northwest and now in Northeast, where neighborhoods such as Penn Quarter, Chinatown and the H Street Corridor continue to attract high-income residents with first-class restaurants, condominiums, hip clubs and shopping.

Former Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who served from 1999 to 2007, is credited with starting the trend with a pro-development, business-friendly agenda that helped revive the downtown commercial districts and neglected neighborhoods while improving schools and public safety. Improvements in city services, along with development, continued through the administration of former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who served from 2007 to last January.

The number of homicides in the city declined from 479 in 1991 to 132 last year and stands at 108 in the waning days of 2011.

Mr. Williams, a Democrat, set an ambitious goal in 2003 of attracting 100,000 new residents to the city over the following 10 years. He even disputed the U.S. Census Bureau in 2005 when it projected that the city would lose 138,000 residents by 2030.

City projections at the time said the District would add roughly as many residents in the span, raising its population to more than 700,000. The city’s population now stands at nearly 618,000.  City officials on Wednesday were elated with the new population figures.

“The District is a wonderful place to call home,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray said. “We’ve made historic investments in public safety, education, infrastructure, economic development and sustainability, and those investments are now paying dividends.”

The region consistently tops the lists of most-educated U.S. populations. And this year, the District was named the country’s most-literate city by researchers at Central Connecticut State University.  About two-thirds of the District’s growth came from new residents — roughly 2,400 foreigners and 8,300 people who moved to the city from elsewhere in the United States.  Many of the new residents are young, college-educated professionals whose presence has increased demand for upscale housing, entertainment and restaurants, and has drastically changed the city’s demographics.

More than 70 percent of D.C. residents were black in 1980, but the percentage declined to 60 percent by 2000, and plummeted to just 50.7 percent in 2010 — the city’s lowest black representation since the 1950s.

Though much of the city has prospered, communities east of the Anacostia River have struggled with poverty, poor test scores among students and persistent unemployment, which is estimated to be as high as three times the national rate of 8.6 percent in November. The unemployment rate in the District was 10.6 percent last month.  Mr. Gray in large part ran his mayoral campaign last year on a theme of “One City,” pledging to resolve the social and economic disparities the city faces.

Council member Tommy Wells, a vocal proponent of “livable, walkable” planning, said a renewed sense of public service has helped the District become an “indispensable city” during the recession.

“We’re the city where government had to response to the public crisis,” Mr. Wells said, crediting President Obama with making good government attractive again.

Mr. Wells also placed an emphasis on “reliable, safe and attractive” transit options in the city, including Metro, bike options and plans for streetcars.

“People don’t want to spend their days in cars,” he said. “They want to be close to their children.”

The Ward 6 Democrat also noted that the District increasingly has attractive amenities, such as a thriving theater scene and the addition of a major league baseball team in recent years, while neighborhoods like NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) and the riverfront in Southwest and Near Southeast continue to emerge.

“The city is showing it can produce a high quality of life,” he said.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Is economy best birth control? US births dip again

18 November 2011

ATLANTA (AP) — The economy may well be the best form of birth control.

U.S. births dropped for the third straight year — especially for young mothers — and experts think money worries are the reason.  A federal report released Thursday showed declines in the birth rate for all races and most age groups. Teens and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic dip, to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s. Also, the rate of cesarean sections stopped going up for the first time since 1996.  Experts suspected the economy drove down birth rates in 2008 and 2009 as women put off having children. With the 2010 figures, suspicion has turned into certainty.

"I don't think there's any doubt now that it was the recession. It could not be anything else," said Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. He was not involved in the new report.

U.S. births hit an all-time high in 2007, at more than 4.3 million. Over the next two years, the number dropped to about 4.2 million and then about 4.1 million.  Last year, it was down to just over 4 million, according to the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For teens, birth rates dropped 9 percent from 2009. For women in their early 20s, they fell 6 percent. For unmarried mothers, the drop was 4 percent.

Experts believe the downward trend is tied to the economy, which officially was in a recession from December 2007 until June 2009 and remains weak. The theory is that women with money worries — especially younger women — feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it.

That's true of Mary Garrick, 27, an advertising executive in Columbus, Ohio. She and her husband, David, married in 2008 and hoped to start having children quickly, in part because men in his family have died in their 40s. But David, 33, was laid off that year from his nursing job and again last year.  He's working again, but worries about the economy linger. "It kind of made us cautious about life decisions, like having a family. It's definitely something that affected us," she said.

Kristi Elsberry, a married 27-year-old mother of two, had her tubes tied in 2009 after she had trouble finding a job and she and her husband grew worried about the financial burden of any additional children. "Kids are so expensive, especially in this day and age. And neither of us think anything's going to get better," said Elsberry, of Leland, N.C.

Many of the report's findings are part of a trend and not surprising. There was a continued decline in the percentage of premature births at less than 37 weeks. And — as in years past — birth rates fell in younger women but rose a little in women 40 and older, who face a closing biological window for having children and may be more worried about that than the economy.  But a few of the findings did startle experts.

One involved a statistic called the total fertility rate. In essence, it tells how many children a woman can be expected to have if current birth rates continue. That figure was 1.9 children last year. In most years, it's more like 2.1. More striking was the change in the fertility rate for Hispanic women. The rate plummeted to 2.4 from nearly 3 children just a few years ago.

"Whoa!" said Haub, in reaction to the statistic.  The economy is no doubt affecting Hispanic mothers, too, but some young women who immigrated to the United States for jobs or other opportunities may have left, Haub said.

Another shocker: the C-section rate. It rose steadily from nearly 21 percent in 1996 to 32.9 percent in 2009, but dropped slightly to 32.8 last year.  Cesarean deliveries are sometimes medically necessary. But health officials have worried that many C-sections are done out of convenience or unwarranted caution, and in the 1980s set a goal of keeping the national rate at 15 percent.

It's too soon to say the trend has reversed, said Joyce Martin, a CDC epidemiologist who co-authored the new report.  But the increase had slowed a bit in recent years, and assuming the decline was in elective C-sections, that's good news, some experts said.

"It is quite gratifying," said Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology.

"There are strong winds pushing against C-sections," she said, including new policies and education initiatives that discourage elective C-sections in mothers who have not reached full-term.

Hogue agreed that the economy seems to be the main reason for the birth declines. But she noted that it's possible that having fewer children is now more accepted and expected.

"Having one child may be becoming more 'normal,'" she said.

With economy down, so's the birth rate
Editor's Choice - From CT MIRROR
Michael Regan

The Great Recession dragged down more than wages and housing prices: The nation's birth rate fell sharply as well, Gretchen Livingston reports from the Pew Research Center, and the decline is closely linked to the failing economy.

Provisional numbers for 2010 show the number of births in this country fell to just over 4 million, down from a peak of 4.3 million in 2007 and the lowest number in this century. The fertility rate--the number of births to women of child-bearing age--also plunged, from 69.6 per thousand in 2007 to a projected 64.7 per thousand in 2010.

Because different states felt the effects of the recession at different times and to different degrees, Pew was able to use state-by-state data to correlate the declining birth rate with the onset of and severity of economic upheaval. In 47 states and the District of Columbia, fertility declines occurred within one to two years of the start of economic declines as indicated by changes in personal income per capita and the employment rate. "This does not conclusively prove that the economic changes led to fertility changes," Livingston said. "However, the timing is consistent with the time it might take people to act upon fertility decisions."

The study also finds that Hispanics, who have been hardest-hit in terms of employment and household wealth, also had the largest drop in fertility. Their birth rate fell by 5.9 percent between 2008 and 2009, compared with 1.6 percent for whites and 2.4 percent for blacks.

Dr. Floyd Lapp, who discusses census changes 2010 in Fairfield County with "About Town"
Fairfax’s wealthy are moving on up — and out

The Washington Times
By Luke Rosiak
Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fairfax County has a deficit problem. It has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in resident income yearly — $3.1 billion over five years, more than all but five other counties in the U.S. The loss isn’t a result of the outsourcing of jobs, and the money isn’t owed to China. Instead, the county hemorrhaged wealthy residents to other jurisdictions.

More families left Fairfax for elsewhere than fled Detroit’s Wayne County. In recent years, 210,000 families making an average of $70,000 departed, taking with them $15 billion in tax revenue. They were replaced with 193,000 families making about $60,000 each.

An analysis by The Washington Times of migration data showed that the capital area’s population grew during the recession, not because of an influx of families moving from other American cities attracted to its relative economic stability, but in spite of a net loss of 26,000 families, many of them large, to outside the region between 2005 and 2008.

(For a detailed spreadsheet of the national data, click here.)

In 2009, a striking change occurred, with a net increase of 15,000 tax filers moving to the region, largely singles and small families settling inside the Capital Beltway.

The area’s steady population despite net exchange losses with other U.S. counties indicates the extent to which growth has relied on foreign immigrants, in addition to natural growth. The figures also give an otherwise-unseen measure of the attractiveness of localities regionally and across the country.

And they show how, as residents’ concept of the American dream has changed, some local jurisdictions quietly saw an outflow of wealth and people rivaled by few in the nation.

The Fairfax losses occurred mostly during the building boom of five years ago, with most residents moving within the region to neighboring Loudoun and Prince William counties. Others, counted as leaving the D.C. metropolitan region, moved further out to Charles County, Md.; Stafford, Va., or more rural parts hours south, where spacious housing for large families was affordable.

Now, a reversal is taking place, with outlying counties becoming refuges for large families and immigrants as much as the great suburban frontier.

For the first time in recent memory, the District attracted more wealth than it shed as residents have revitalized the urban core. And according to the 2010 American Community Survey, more people moved to Fairfax last year than to any other local jurisdiction.

“The traditional notion that there are inner cities which are disadvantaged and are surrounded by an wealthy inner ring of suburbs is changing,” said John Iceland, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University.

In numbers of families, the 17,000 who moved out of Fairfax, yet were not replaced by families moving in, ranked the 18th-largest loss in the nation. Prince George’s ranked 17th.

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the mobility of Americans by comparing their tax returns with those from the previous year. The tallies give a detailed measure of the migration patterns by income and family size. They do not include new immigrants or some elderly and poor.

Montgomery County saw its first net increase in families in years in 2009, the newly released data reveals, and its families are no longer moving en masse to Frederick, which lost migrants in 2009. Since that year, growth in the outer suburbs has increasingly come from large families and poor immigrants, while the average family size in Montgomery has declined, census figures show.

Just as expansion to outlying areas came at the expense of the inner core, the reversal raises questions about how the face of the exurbs will change.

U.S. Poverty Rate, 1 in 6, at Highest Level in Years
September 13, 2011

WASHINGTON — The portion of Americans living in poverty last year rose to the highest level since 1993, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, fresh evidence that the sluggish economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.

And in new evidence of economic distress among the middle class, real median household incomes declined by 2.3 percent in 2010 from the previous year, to $49,400.

An additional 2.6 million people slipped below the poverty line in 2010, census officials said, making 46.2 million people in poverty in the United States, the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been tracking it, said Trudi Renwick, chief of the Poverty Statistic Branch at the Census Bureau. That represented 15.1 percent of the country.

The poverty line in 2010 was at $22,113 for a family of four.

“The figures we are releasing today are important,” said Robert Groves, the director of the Census Bureau. “They tell us how changing economic conditions have impacted Americans and their families.”

According to the Census figures, the median annual income for a male full-time, year-round worker in 2010 — $47,715 — was virtually unchanged from its level in 1973, when the level was $49,065, in 2010 dollars.

“That’s not about the poor and unemployed, that’s full time, year round,” said Sheldon Danziger, professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. Particularly hard hit, Professor Danziger said, have been those who do not have college degrees. “The median, full-time male worker has made no progress on average.”

The youngest members of households — those ages 15 to 24 — lost out the most, with their median income dropping by 9 percent. The recession continued to push Americans to double up in households with friends and relatives, especially those aged 25 to 34, a group that experienced a 25 percent rise in the period between 2007, when the recession began and 2011. Of that group, 45.3 percent were living below the poverty line, when their parents incomes were not taken into account.

Click here for blow up of nice map from CT MIRROR as well as article here.

SWRPA census report says regional growth is slowing
Weston FORUM
Written by Will Palmquist, SWRPA GIS Analyst
Sunday, 05 June 2011 01:00

The South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) has issued People and Places of the South Western Region of Connecticut. This report highlights recently released 2005-09 Census American Community Survey data and Census 2010 data pertinent to the region — which includes Weston — comparing them to 2000 Census data.

It compares regional to statewide data and is broken into the overarching categories of Demographic, Housing, Economic, and Transportation data.

Key findings include:

Regional population growth slowed 2000-2010. Total population increased by 10,963 persons (3.2%), as compared to 23,621 (7.2%) from 1990 to 2000. This could be due to the “built out” nature of many of the region’s municipalities.

Asian and Hispanic populations increased significantly in the last decade (53.4% and 54.2%, respectively), while white (-2.2%) and African-American (-3.1%) populations decreased slightly.

Foreign-born population comprises 23.5% of the region’s overall population, almost twice that of Connecticut (12.8%). The number of residents with limited English proficiency also increased.

The region showed a continuing decrease of population in the 25-44 age groups, and an increase in the 45-64 age groups.

Only 68.4% of the region’s residents drive alone to work, compared with the state average of 79.4%. The region’s public transit usage of 14% stands at more than three times greater than that of the state, at 4.3%.

Use of public transit has increased by 7.8% in the region since 2000. Modes of commuting and travel times are directly affected by proximity to New York City.

The percentage of the region’s population having attained a bachelor’s degree or higher is 53.1%, compared to the state percentage of 35.1%. All towns in the region have a higher percentage of residents 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher than that of the state, with Weston having the highest percentage of 80%.

In general, Stamford and Norwalk exhibit greater ethnic diversity, lower median incomes, smaller household sizes, and a lesser percentage of residents having completed higher education than the region’s smaller municipalities. Despite these differences, an aging population and increased population with limited English proficiency are common regional issues.

These and many other findings are available online at

For additional information on the report, contact Will Palmquist ( ) or Adam Hlasny ( ) at 203-316-5190.

Is the Census counting prisoners in the right place?
Mark Pazniokas, CT MIRROR
March 21, 2011

With legislative leaders about to begin redrawing legislative and congressional districts to reflect the 2010 Census, the General Assembly is considering a related issue: Where should prison inmates be counted?

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund says Connecticut is one of 47 states that practices "prison-based gerrymandering" by counting inmates where they are confined, not where are they from.  Under state law, the prisoners are not legal residents of the communities where they are held, nor can they vote in those communities, even if they are serving time for misdemeanors and still have the legal right to vote.

But the U.S. Census lists prisoners as residents of the communities where they were confined on April 1, 2010, the day when the Census Bureau took a figurative snapshot of the 3,574,097 people it counted in Connecticut.  The result is that voters who live in legislative districts with prisons, which typically are located in rural areas, wield more political clout than other voters, because their districts include thousands of prisoners ineligible to vote.

In a district where 15 percent of residents are incarcerated, the votes of every group of 85 residents carry the same weight as 100 residents in a district with no prisoners. And that violates the constitutional principle of "one man, one vote," Dale Ho of the NAACP told the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Monday.

The practice causes some inequities in Connecticut, though none as startling as the case of Anamosa, Iowa, a town whose four council districts or wards each represent about 1,400 people.  One of the wards includes the state's largest penitentiary, with 1,300 prisoners. Only 58 residents in Ward 2 are non-prisoners, making Anamosa the poster child for census reform, Ho said.  A Ward 2 resident once woke up to find he'd been elected to the Anamosa council with just two write-in votes, Ho said, one from his wife and one from a neighbor.

Ho was accompanied to the public hearing by Rep. Charles Stallworth, D-Bridgeport, who complained that the populations of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport are under-counted, because a majority of inmates are from the three largest cities.

Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, the ranking Republican on the committee, seemed to listen more closely than other legislators. His 7th Senatorial District includes a half-dozen prisons in Enfield, Suffield and Somers.

Kissel said about 8,000 residents of the district are inmates.  According to recently released census data, his district has 100,005 residents, compared with 91,522 in the neighboring district represented by the committee's co-chairman, Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield.

After redistricting is completed later this year, each Senate district should have around 99,000 residents.  In drawing its districts for town council elections, Enfield ignored the local prisons, avoiding an Anamosa effect. But inmates are counted as residents in Kissel's districts for legislative purposes.  Kissel said he is considering supporting legislation that would count the prisoners in the towns where they came from.

"My gut tells me it has some merit," he said.

Besides Enfield, Somers and Enfield, the other towns with the most prison cells are Cheshire and East Lyme. Kissel said he expects opposition from legislators in other prison towns who fear a loss of state aid.

Rep. Al Adinolfi, R-Cheshire, said the proposed change seems to be an attempt to redirect state aid from communities with prisons to "the towns that are producing those criminals." He said Cheshire would lose $2.8 million, a figure contested by others.  Peter Wagner, the executive director of the Prison Policy Initiative, said the changes in state aid would be negligible, as the biggest aid programs--education cost sharing and road aid--re based on school population and road mileage.

"The basic principle of our democracy is that representation is distributed on the basis of population," Wagner said in testimony submitted to the committee. "Crediting incarcerated people to the wrong location has the unfortunate and undemocratic result of creating a system of representation without population."

Fairfield County: Cities drive modest growth
Greenwich TIME
Rob Varnon And John Burgeson, Staff Writers
Updated 12:51 a.m., Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fairfield County has become more diverse and experienced more growth than expected since 2000, according to the first figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday.

While posting the slowest growth rate of the state's eight counties, Fairfield County's population increase of 3.9 percent was viewed as healthy by demographers.

And, bucking previous trends, it was led by gains posted in the county's largest cities, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury and Stamford.

"If you look at Fairfield County, it's the cities that are growing," said Joe McGee, vice president of public policy for the Business Council of Fairfield County. "That shows tremendous confidence in the big cities. That's a big story -- Bridgeport, Stamford, Danbury they're all growing. Really positive news for the big cities."

Fairfield County gained 34,262 people, a little less than Hartford County's gain of 36,831 and New Haven County's gain of 38,469.

The percentage of residents who consider themselves white dropped or stayed about the same in nearly every community in Fairfield County, while huge gains were seen in the numbers of Asian and Hispanics, as well as the "other" category, which includes those of mixed racial heritage.

"We're getting more and more people who are multiracial," said Orlando Rodriguez, senior research fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children and a former Connecticut State Data Center manager.

That's one explanation for the decrease in white population in the state's four largest counties. More people reported being of more than one race rather than just white alone, he said.

While Hartford, New Haven, Fairfield and New London counties saw their white populations decline in real numbers, the remaining four counties saw the number of white people increase. However, every county in Connecticut showed more diversity than in 2000 as measured by the percentage of the population consisting of a single race.

Fairfield County's population is now 74 percent white compared to 79 percent in 2000. Litchfield is the only county where whites make up more than 90 percent of the population. In 2000, four counties in the state were 90 percent or more white.

Increased diversity was also evident in the cities.

In Shelton, for example, the white population stayed about the same, the black and Asian populations more than doubled, and the number of Hispanics grew by 77 percent.

The growth in Asian population and those claiming a race other than those tracked by the census, grew overall by more than 45 percent in the county.

What appears to be behind the growth? Jobs.

Jason Witty, Stamford branch manager of professional job placement and recruitment firm Robert Half International, said the numbers indicate there was a stable employment base to draw population to the county and state over the last decade.

"Post 9/11, a lot of companies moved north," he said.

That led to growth in Greenwich and Stamford.

He said the county saw an increased presence in the financial sector, with large employers like UBS and RBS opening facilities.

On top of that, major employers continued to provide stable employment anchors for the population, including General Electric Co., Xerox and Sikorsky Aircraft, as well as Praxair Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim in the Danbury region.

"To really get a handle on this data, we're going to have to know whether the people moving into these cities are more affluent or less affluent," said Gian-Carl Casa, director of public policy for the state Office of Policy and Management. "In order to make judgments, we're really going to have to see more detailed data."

The U.S. Census will release more detailed data in the summer.


Interactive mapping by the NYTIMES

2010 census shows slowing US population growth; more House seats for GOP-leaning states
Hartford Courant
6:01 PM EST, December 21, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation's population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.

The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation's population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation's population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.

Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

The new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats, mostly at the Rust Belt's expense. Following each once-a-decade census, the nation must reapportion the House's 435 districts to make them roughly equal in population, with each state getting at least one seat.

That triggers an often contentious and partisan process in many states, which will draw new congressional district lines that can help or hurt either party.  In all, the census figures show a shift affecting 18 states taking effect when the 113th Congress takes office in 2013.

Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.  Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Florida will now have as many U.S. House members as New York: 27. California will still have 53 seats, and Texas will climb to 36.  In 2008, President Barack Obama lost in Texas and most of the other states that are gaining House seats. He carried most of the states that are losing House seats, including Ohio and New York.

Each House district represents an electoral vote in the presidential election process, meaning the political map for the 2012 election will tilt somewhat more Republican.

If Obama were to carry the same states he won in 2008, they would net him six fewer electoral votes under the new map. Some states Obama won, such as Florida, tilted Republican in last month's election and the electoral votes they will gain could further help GOP candidates in 2012.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he did not expect the census results to have a "huge practical impact" on national politics.

For the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California will not gain a House seat after a census.

Since 1940, 79 House seats have shifted to the South and West, mainly from the Northeast and Midwest, census officials said.

Starting early next year, most state governments will use detailed, computer-generated data on voting patterns to carve neighborhoods in or out of newly drawn House districts, tilting them more to the left or right. Sometimes politicians play it safe, quietly agreeing to protect Republican and Democratic incumbents alike. But sometimes the party in control will gamble and aggressively try to reconfigure the map to dump as many opponents as possible.

Last month's elections put Republicans in full control of numerous state governments, giving the GOP an overall edge in the redistricting process. State governments' ability to gerrymander districts is somewhat limited, however, by court rulings that require roughly equal populations, among other things. The 1965 Voting Rights Act protects ethnic minorities in several states that are subject to U.S. Justice Department oversight.

The average population of a new U.S. House district will be 710,767. But each state must have at least one district. So Wyoming, the least populous state with 563,626 residents, will have a representative with considerably fewer constituents. Six other states will have one House member. Each state has two U.S. senators, regardless of population.

The U.S. is still growing quickly relative to other developed nations. The population in France and England each increased roughly 5 percent over the past decade, while in Japan the number is largely unchanged, and Germany's population is declining. China grew at about 6 percent; Canada's growth rate is roughly 10 percent.

The South had the fastest growth since 2000, at 14.3 percent, the Census Bureau said. The West was close behind at 13.8 percent. The Northeast had 3.2 percent growth while the Midwest had 3.9 percent.

The declining U.S. growth rate since 2000 is due partly to the economic meltdown in 2008, which brought U.S. births and illegal immigration to a near standstill compared with previous years. The 2010 count represents the number of people — citizens as well as legal and illegal immigrants — who called the U.S. their home on April 1.

States losing political clout may have little recourse to challenge the census numbers. Still, census officials were bracing for the possibility of lawsuits seeking to revise the 2010 findings.

North Carolina just missed picking up the last House seat, falling short by roughly 15,000 people.

The release of state apportionment numbers is the first set of numbers from the 2010 census. Beginning in February, the Census Bureau will release population and race breakdowns down to the neighborhood level for states to redraw congressional boundaries.

Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi will be among the first states to receive their redistricting data in February.

The 2010 census results also are used to distribute more than $400 billion in annual federal aid and will change each state's Electoral College votes beginning in the 2012 presidential election.

Changes in States here, from I-BBC
2010 census to show slowing US growth, GOP gains
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press
Tue Dec 21, 7:10 am ET

WASHINGTON – If government estimates hold true, the closely watched 2010 census will show America's once-torrid population growth dropping to its lowest level in seven decades. In Congress, the steady migration to the South and West should be a boon for Republicans, with GOP-leaning states led by Texas picking up House seats.

The Census Bureau expects to release Tuesday the first results from the once-a-decade government count, figures that will be used to reapportion the 435 House seats among the 50 states. The numbers trigger a high-stakes process wherein the dominant party in each state redraws the election map, shaping the political landscape for the next 10 years.

Census estimates provided this month based on birth and death records place the 2010 count somewhere between 305.7 million and 312.7 million, up from 281.4 million in 2000. That range means U.S. growth over the previous decade would be at a slower pace than the 13.2 percent increase from 1990 to 2000.

Demographers believe the official 2010 count will be 308.7 million or lower, putting U.S. growth at around 9 percent, the lowest since the 1940 census. That is the decade in which the Great Depression slashed the population growth rate by more than half, to 7.3 percent.

The U.S. is still growing quickly relative to other developed nations. The population in France and England each increased roughly 5 percent over the past decade, while in Japan the number is largely unchanged and in Germany the population is declining. China grew at about 6 percent; Canada's growth rate is roughly 10 percent.

"We have a youthful population that will create population momentum through a large number of births, relative to deaths, for years to come," said Mark Mather, an associate vice president at the Population Reference Bureau, a private firm in Washington that analyzes census data. "But demographers generally expect slower growth in the first decade of the 21st century."

The declining growth rate since 2000 is due partly to the economic meltdown in 2008, which brought U.S. births and illegal immigration to a near standstill compared with previous years. The 2010 count represents the number of people — citizens as well as legal and illegal immigrants — who called the U.S. their home on April 1 this year.

Politically, Texas stands to gain up to four seats due to a burgeoning Hispanic population and a diversified economy that held up relatively well during the recession, according to projections by outside analysts using census estimates. Other expected winners are GOP-leaning Arizona and Florida, which could add one or two seats.

Ohio and possibly New York were projected to lose two seats, typifying many of the Democratic strongholds carried by Barack Obama in 2008 that are expected to see declines in political influence. For the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California will not gain a House seat after a census — and is at a slight risk of losing one — after losing many of its residents in the last decade to neighboring states.

On Monday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to downplay the possibility that 2010 census results would be a boon for Republicans. "I don't think shifting some seats from one area of the country to another necessarily marks a concern that you can't make a politically potent argument in those new places."

The projections do not account for overseas U.S. military personnel and their families, who are typically counted at military bases in the U.S. The Census Bureau obtains Pentagon records on overseas military and adds them to the resident count before allocating the House seats. In 2000, North Carolina beat out Utah for the last House seat because of its strong Army presence.

In all, roughly 18 states would be affected, gaining or losing seats. Among the projections:

_Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington would each gain a single seat.

_Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania would lose single seats.

_The fastest growing states include Nevada, Arizona and Utah. The slowest-growing include Michigan, Louisiana and Rhode Island.

The stakes are high. States on the losing end Tuesday may have little recourse to challenge the numbers. Still, census officials were bracing for the possibility of lawsuits seeking to reverse the 2010 findings, according to internal documents.

The release of state apportionment numbers is the first set of numbers from the 2010 census. Beginning in February, the Census Bureau will release population and race breakdowns down to the neighborhood level for states to redraw congressional boundaries.

Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi will be among the first states to receive their redistricting data next February.

The 2010 census results also are used to distribute more than $400 billion in annual federal aid and will change each state's Electoral College votes beginning in the 2012 presidential election.

More Immigrants, More Advanced Degrees, Same Old Commute
Changes In Census Data Collection And Release Help To Pinpoint Population's Evolution In State

The Hartford Courant
6:28 PM EST, December 18, 2010

For the first time since 2001, we can see how our towns and neighborhoods are changing.

The U.S. Census no longer sends a detailed questionnaire about housing, immigration, education, ancestry, commuting and income to one in six households every 10 years. Instead, it has expanded its annual surveys and uses that data to show what's happening in our country.

"We're changing dramatically as a society," said William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington. And getting more frequent data is a huge improvement. He said when people can see how immigrants are arriving, how people are getting older, how people are delaying marriage, and how more people are living alone, it changes how we view ourselves.

"It's important for ordinary citizens to learn who their neighbors are, how it's different from other parts of the state, how it's different from other parts of the United States," he said.

To find out about where you live, click here to search the town-by-town Connecticut Census database.

Over the coming months, The Courant will tell stories about wealth and poverty and the middle class, integration and segregation, immigration and staying put, marriage, widowhood, cohabitation and singletons, and more.

But for now, here's a tiny taste of the flood of information released this week about how we live today.


The number of immigrants in the state between 2000 and 2009 rose 24 percent The data released this week, which show averages from 2005 to 2009 for every municipality in the state, revealed that some cities and towns changed far more. Averages are used because for smaller towns the sample sizes are too small to give accuate data year by year.

Among cities, Norwich had the fastest increase, as its immigrant population doubled to about 4,800. Meriden was next, with a 59 percent increase, as the number of immigrants in the city grew from about 3,760 to 6,000 during the period.

New Haven had the third-highest gain among cities, at 42.5 percent. A little more than half of New Haven's 20,000 foreign-born residents come from Latin America. Yale's labs, hospitals and classrooms include thousands of immigrant doctors, researchers and students from China, India, South Korea, England, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.


The number of adults with advanced degrees — masters, Ph.Ds, M.D.s and legal — increased 21 percent between 2000 and '05-'09 and is now 15.5 percent. Connecticut is No. 3 in the country for the percent of its population with advanced degrees, behind Massachusetts and Maryland.

You might expect one of Fairfield County's suburban towns to have the most highly educated population, but that's not the case. Woodbridge, a suburb of New Haven, is tops, with 44 percent of adults having advanced degrees. Fairfield County towns are No. 2 through No. 6, and University of Connecticut professors bring Mansfield in at No. 7.

West Hartford, where 31.2 percent of adults have advanced degrees, moved up the education ladder in greater numbers than any of the towns in the state's top 10. Ten years ago, 26.2 percent of adults had more than a bachelor's degree.


You may feel like you sit in traffic more each year, but the census surveys say that our average commuting time remained at 24 minutes from 2000 to 2009.

The town whose residents have the longest commute is Weston at 41 minutes; the town with the shortest commute is North Canaan, at 17 minutes.

Public transit use was also flat. The town with the highest percentage of public transit commuters is Darien, where 26 percent ride Metro-North trains. Despite Metro-North passing through Bridgeport and New Haven, Hartford is the heaviest public transit user among the state's big cities, at just under 15 percent.

Median Income

The rich get richer (and they mostly live in Fairfield County), but the poorest towns' rankings have changed over the decade.

In 1999, the top 10 towns had a midpoint income for households at more than $99,000 and less than $146,800. During this survey period, the top town changed from Darien to Weston, and the richest town in the state had a median household income of about $206,500.

In 1999, the poorest 10 towns, were, in order, Hartford, New Haven, New London, New Britain, Waterbury, Bridgeport, Windham, North Canaan, Norwich and Killingly.

During this period, Hartford was still poorest, at barely over $29,000, but the other players shifted. Windham fell four slots, and now is third-poorest in the state, after New Haven. Killingly and Norwich prospered enough to move out of the bottom 10. Now Torrington is No. 9, and East Hartford is No. 10, at about $48,750.


Black segregation in US drops to lowest in century

Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:06 pm ET

WASHINGTON – America's neighborhoods took large strides toward racial integration in the last decade as blacks and whites chose to live near each other at the highest levels in a century.

Still, segregation in many parts of the U.S. persisted, with Hispanics in particular turning away from whites.

A broad range of 2009 census data released Tuesday also found a mixed economic picture, with the poverty rate swinging wildly among counties from 4 percent to more than 40 percent as the nation grappled with a housing boom and bust. Just three U.S. localities reported median household income of more than $100,000, down from seven in 2000.

Segregation among blacks and whites increased in one-fourth of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, compared to nearly one-half for Hispanics.

The latest figures reflect new generations of middle-class blacks moving to prosperous, fast-growing cities, said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who reviewed the census data. "In contrast, the faster national growth of Hispanics has led to increased neighborhood segregation," Frey said.

The U.S. in many ways remains divided by race and economic lines, said John Logan, a sociologist at Brown University who has studied residential segregation.

"Whites are still on average a large majority in the places where they live, and blacks and Hispanics are the majority or near-majority in their neighborhoods," he said. "They suggest that all the talk about a post-racial society means nothing at the level of neighborhood."

Broken down economically, in 21 counties more than 1 in 3 people lived in poverty, many of them American Indian reservations in the High Plains. Amid swirling congressional debate over taxing the wealthy, three localities in Virginia had median household income of more than $100,000 — Falls Church, and Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

The new information is among the Census Bureau's most detailed release yet for neighborhoods, pending demographic results from the official 2010 census next spring.

Among other findings:

_New Orleans was among metros with the largest decline in segregation among blacks and whites since 2000, due largely to the exodus of low-income blacks from the city after Hurricane Katrina.

_Four New York counties — which represent four of New York City's five major boroughs except for Manhattan — ranked at the top of longest commute times to work, all in excess of 40 minutes: Richmond (Staten Island), Queens, Kings (Brooklyn) and Bronx. Residents in King, Texas, had the quickest trip: 3.4 minutes.

_Falls Church, Va., with the highest median household income at $113,313, also had the highest share of people ages 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher. In all, 17 of the nation's 3,221 counties had college completion rates of more than 50 percent, compared to 62 counties whose rates were less than 10 percent.

The race trends hint at the upcoming political and legal wrangling over the 2010 census figures, to be published beginning next Tuesday. The data will be used to reallocate congressional districts, drawing new political boundaries.

New Hispanic-dominated districts could emerge, particularly for elected positions at the state and local level. States are required under the Voting Rights Act to respect the interests of minority voting blocs, which tend to support Democratic candidates.

Milwaukee, Detroit and New York were among the most segregated between blacks and whites, all part of areas in the Northeast and Midwest known by some demographers as the "ghetto belt." On the other end of the scale, cities that were least likely to be segregated included Las Vegas, Honolulu, Raleigh, N.C., and Albuquerque, N.M.

Hispanic integration was mixed. There was less Hispanic-white segregation in many large metros such as Seattle, Jacksonville, Fla., and Las Vegas, according to census data. But in many smaller neighborhoods of places such as Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, large numbers of more recently arrived Hispanic immigrants who often speak Spanish at home were clustering together for social support.

The findings on segregation are based on a pair of demographic measures that track the degree to which racial groups are evenly spread between neighborhoods. Both measures showed declines in black-white segregation from 2000 to the lowest in generations.

For instance, the average white person now lives in a neighborhood that is 79 percent white, compared to 81 percent in 2000. The average black person lives in a 46 percent black neighborhood, down from 49 percent. For Hispanics, however, their average neighborhood last year was 45 percent Hispanic, up slightly from 44 percent.

"The political implications of these trends are great in the long run — majority black districts will become harder to sustain, while more majority Hispanic districts will emerge, especially for state and local positions," Logan said.

The figures come from previous censuses and the 2009 American Community Survey, which samples 3 million households. For places with fewer than 20,000 people, the ACS figures from 2005-2009 were averaged to help compensate for otherwise large margins of error.

Due to incomplete 2009 data, the analysis of racial segregation omits seven metro areas: Sarasota, Fla., Greenville, S.C., Harrisburg, Pa., Jackson, Miss., McAllen, Texas, Portland, Maine, and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

General Assembly to redraw Connecticut's political map
Neil Vigdor, Staff Writer
Published: 07:04 p.m., Sunday, November 21, 2010

A population slowdown that cost Connecticut a congressional seat a decade ago won't factor in the upcoming redistricting process that is scheduled to commence in January.

"The good news, from what I understand right now, is we're going to remain with five congressional districts," Senate President Donald Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said in an interview Friday.

A committee led by state legislators will be charged with the task of redrawing the political boundaries for both Congress and the General Assembly in 2011 to reflect population shifts following the recent census.

"My understanding is that the population has remained relatively stable across Connecticut as a whole," said Williams, one of the committee's nine members.

The Nutmeg State's overall population went up slightly from 3.4 million residents in 2000 to 3.5 million residents in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Results from the 2000 Census showed that Connecticut, along with New York, Pennsylvania and a host of Midwestern states, lagged in population gains during the 1990s compared to states in the Sun Belt, thus warranting the loss of congressional representation.

Incumbent Reps. Nancy Johnson, R-New Britain, and Jim Maloney, D-Danbury, found themselves pitted against each other in the 2002 election, with Johnson claiming the reconfigured 5th district as her own and Maloney out of a job.

Members of the state's political establishment seem to have a less-than-solid grasp on how the reapportionment process works, however.

"That's usually about as a mysterious a process as the election of a pope. There's a little science and art to it, and a lot of politics," said James Finley Jr., the executive director and chief executive of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, a New Haven-based lobbying organization representing 144 of the 169 cities and towns.

The reapportionment committee will be made up of the Senate president, House speaker and the Republican minority leaders in both chambers. All four get to pick a person to join them on the committee, with the entire group selecting the ninth member.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday for John McKinney and Larry Cafero, the minority leaders in the Senate and House.

State Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149th District, who represents western and backcountry Greenwich, as well as North Stamford, said her district shrunk the last time redistricting was done.

"I just want to make sure I keep Stamford. I love serving Stamford," said Floren, who was elected to a sixth two-year term earlier this month and is an assistant Republican leader in the House.

State Democratic Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said she hopes that the committee will try to make it as least onerous as possible on multi-district cities and towns.

"I would hope that they would try and look at individual towns that are divided through several state rep. or senatorial districts and try and be more concise," DiNardo said. "Again, I think it makes sense to try to not split towns if at all possible."

Williams agreed with his party leader.

"You want to have boundaries that are predictable and make sense to people," Williams said. "The committee will strive to do that, balancing the requirement at the same time that all districts meet the requirement of population and numbers of voters."

Messages seeking comment were left for state GOP Chairman Christopher Healy.

Williams said that the committee, which has been assigned work space in the Old State House in Hartford, will spend the winter and early spring mostly doing research with the help of legislative staff.

"It's a lot of research and demographic work that goes into town lines and specific boundary lines, so there will be quite a bit of work to do in the first part of next year," Williams said. "It's not simply a matter of deciding whether we're happy with existing lines."

While some Republicans have privately grumbled that the field is titled in favor of majority Democrats, Williams said that the process will be a fair one.

"We've had a cooperative approach to reapportionment and redistricting in the last couple of cycles," Williams said. "It's never a completely smooth or easy process, but, in the end, folks have come together on a plan."

Broadband usage growing even as gaps persist
By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer
8 November 2010

WASHINGTON – The U.S. still faces a significant gap in residential broadband use that breaks down along incomes, education levels and other socio-economic factors, even as subscriptions among American households overall grew sevenfold between 2001 and 2009.

What's more, even when controlling for key socio-economic characteristics, the U.S. continues to confront a racial gap in residential broadband use, with non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian-Americans more likely to go online using a high-speed connection than African-Americans and Hispanics.

Those are some of the key conclusions of a new analysis of Census data being released Monday by the Commerce Department. It found that the percentage of households that connect to the Internet using broadband grew to 63.5 percent in 2009 from 9.2 percent in 2001, reflecting increases across nearly all demographics.

The report — prepared by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Economics and Statistics Administration — is based on a Census survey of about 54,000 households conducted in October 2009.

The new report provides some of the deepest analysis yet of broadband usage trends in the United States. And it is likely to help guide Congress and the Federal Communications Commission as they develop policies to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable high-speed Internet service.

The analysis, said Lawrence Strickling, head of the NTIA, shows that "there is no single solution" to make this happen.

Among the major findings:

• 94.1 percent of households with income exceeding $100,000 subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 35.8 percent of households with income of less than $25,000.

• 84.5 percent of households with at least one college degree subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 28.8 percent of households without a high school degree.

• 77.3 percent of Asian-American households and 68 percent of non-Hispanic white households subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 49.4 percent of African-American households and 47.9 percent of Hispanic households.

• 65.9 percent of urban households subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 51 percent of rural households.

Closing such gaps is a top priority for the FCC, which released a sweeping national broadband plan filled with policy proposals in March. The agency's top recommendations include tapping the federal program that subsidizes telephone service for poor and rural Americans to pay for broadband, and unleashing more airwaves for wireless connections. Wireless broadband is seen as a particularly attractive option for bringing high-speed connections to rural areas that may be too sparsely populated to justify costly landline networks.

At the same time, the NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service, part of the Agriculture Department, have been handing out roughly $7 billion in stimulus money to pay for new broadband networks and programs to get more Americans online.

Strickling stressed that one key challenge for policymakers lies in convincing Americans who are not online of the benefits of broadband.

The Census data found that 38 percent of Americans who don't have broadband at home say they don't subscribe because they don't need it, while 26 percent say it's too expensive and only 4 percent say it's not available where they live.

A survey conducted by the FCC last year reached many of the same conclusions. It found that 35 percent of Americans do not use broadband at home, including 22 percent of adults who do not use the Internet at all. Of that 35 percent, 36 percent say it is too expensive, while 19 percent do not see the Internet as relevant to their lives. Another 22 percent lack what the FCC calls "digital literacy" skills.

To try to change such attitudes, the stimulus program includes $250 million for projects to teach digital literacy skills and encourage broadband adoption, plus another $200 million for public computer centers.

One surprising finding of the new Commerce Department report is that African-Americans and Hispanics lag behind in broadband adoption even when controlling for factors such as income and education. The data show a gap of 10 percentage points in broadband use between whites and blacks and a gap of 14 percentage points between whites and Hispanics even after controlling for socio-economic factors.

Although the data do not provide an explanation for these numbers, Rebecca Blank, under secretary for Economic Affairs, believes it could reflect limited exposure to the Internet among certain racial groups.

"Internet usage relies on networks," she said. "If the people around you don't use the Internet, you will be less likely to use the Internet, too."

Census Finds Single Mothers and Live-In Partners
November 5, 2010

More than a quarter of the unmarried women who gave birth in a recent year were living with a partner, according to a Census Bureau report that for the first time measured the percentage of unmarried mothers who were not living alone.

“Everybody tends to think of single mothers as being alone with their child, and we wanted to look at whether that was true,” said Jane Dye, the demographer who wrote the report, “Fertility of American Women: 2008.” “We found that 28 percent of these women were living with an unmarried partner, whether opposite sex or same sex.”

While cohabitation has increased enormously over the last generation, the catchall category of “single mother” has often blurred the difference between those living alone and those living with a partner.

But recently, the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, one of the sources for the fertility report, added a question on cohabitation to make it possible to measure how many new mothers were actually on their own.  Cohabitation is now widely used as a transitional stop en route to marriage. According to a National Center for Health Statistics study released in February, about half of cohabiting couples marry within three years, and about two-thirds within five.

Pamela J. Smock, director of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, said many people delayed marriage until they had achieved a basic level of economic security.

“Economic situations really matter for people getting married,” she said. “Many people say they will not get married unless they can have a wedding and a savings account, but they might have a child in a cohabiting relationship. That’s become almost a mainstream way of starting a family, with less stigmatization than even 10 years ago.”

Andrew Cherlin, a demographer at Johns Hopkins University, and Ms. Smock said they were surprised that the number of mothers living with a partner was not higher, since previous estimates had put it at around half of unmarried mothers.

“Cohabitation until recently was invisible in government reports,” Mr. Cherlin said. “It’s data we need. If we’re concerned about stable environments for children, we have to know whether we should be focusing our efforts on helping cohabiting couples keep their relationship together, or whether we’re talking about unmarried teen mothers who are on their own.”

According to the Census Bureau report, released Thursday, unmarried women made up 1.5 million of the 4 million women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth between June 2007 and June 2008.

The report also found that the proportion of mothers of newborns who were in the labor force had increased to 61 percent in 2008, from 57 percent in 2006. Similar studies have shown that the percentage of working mothers with newborns rose to a peak of 59 percent in 1998 and then declined, but that it has lately been rising close to peak levels.

Nationwide, the report found, 6 percent of mothers with newborns were unemployed but looking for work in 2008, down from 6.9 percent in two years earlier.

“With the recession, it seems like new mothers are pitching in and working when they otherwise might not,” Ms. Dye said.

The report also looked at the effects of women’s increasing educational attainment on their childbearing. Women who continued their education into their 20s experienced lower fertility levels at younger ages but higher fertility at older ages, once they completed their education.

According to the fertility report, which is published every two years, 18 percent of all women ages 40 to 44 in 2008 were childless, down from 20 percent in 2006 but still far higher than the 10 percent in that age group who were childless in 1976.

By the time women reached their 40s, the report found, they had averaged 1.9 births, a substantial decline from the 3.1 births such women averaged in 1976, when the Census Bureau began collecting fertility data.

Nationally, one in four mothers who recently gave birth lived in poverty in 2008. About 20 percent of the women who gave birth during the year were foreign-born, the report found.

US teen birth rate at all-time low, economy cited
By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
21 Dec. 2010

ATLANTA – The U.S. teen birth rate in 2009 fell to its lowest point in almost 70 years of record-keeping — a decline that stunned experts who believe it's partly due to the recession.

The birth rate for teenagers fell to 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19, according to a government report released Tuesday. It was a 6 percent decline from the previous year, and the lowest since health officials started tracking the rate in 1940.

Experts say the recent recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — was a major factor driving down births overall, and there's good reason to think it affected would-be teen mothers.

"I'm not suggesting that teens are examining futures of 401(k)s or how the market is doing," said Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

"But I think they are living in families that experience that stress. They are living next door to families that lost their jobs. ... The recession has touched us all," Brown said.

Teenage moms, who account for about 10 percent of the nation's births, are not unique. The total number of births also has been dropping, as have birth rates among all women except those 40 and older.

For comparison look to the peak year of teen births — 1957. There were about 96 births per 1,000 teen girls that year, but it was a different era, when women married younger, said Stephanie Ventura, a co-author of the report issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC births report is based on a review of most birth certificates for 2009.

Overall, about 4.1 million babies were born in 2009, down almost 3 percent from 2008. It's the second consecutive drop in births, which had been on the rise since 2000.

The trend may continue: A preliminary count of U.S. births through the first six months of this year suggests a continuing drop, CDC officials said.

A decline in immigration to the United States, blamed on the weak job market, is another factor cited for the lower birth rate. A large proportion of immigrants are Hispanic, and Hispanics accounted for nearly 1 in 4 births in 2009. The birth rate among Hispanic teens is the highest of any ethnic group with 70 births per 1,000 girls in 2009. However, that rate, too, was down from the previous year.

Other findings in the new report include:

• The cesarean delivery rate rose yet again, to about 33 percent of births. The C-section rate has been rising every year since 1996.

• The pre-term birth rate, for infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, dropped for the third straight year to about 12 percent of all births. It had been generally increasing since the early 1980s.

• Birth rates were down from 2008 in almost every age group of women of childbearing. The birth rate for women in their early 20s plummeted 7 percent, the largest decline for that age group since 1973.

The one exception was women older then 40 — a group that may be more concerned with declining fertility than the economy. The birth rate for women ages 40-44 was up 3 percent from 2008, to about 10 births per 1,000 women. That's the highest rate for that group since 1967.

The drop in birth rates was less pronounced in women in their 30s than women in their 20s, noted Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology.

"If women feel they are up against a biological clock, that is a counterbalance to 'I can't afford to have a baby right now,'" she said.

CDC officials said the most striking change was the decline among teens, and some experts credited popular culture as playing a role. The issue of teen pregnancy got a lot of attention through Bristol Palin, the unmarried daughter of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Bristol Palin had a baby boy in December 2008. Teen pregnancy is also cast in a harsh light by "16 and Pregnant," a popular MTV reality show which first aired in 2009 and chronicles the difficulties teen moms face.

Gabriela Briela, 17, a high school senior in Chicago, believes TV shows like that one are a big factor. She also credits sex education that goes beyond abstinence and advises birth control for teens who have sex.

Briela recalled one of her eighth grade teachers telling students to write down how they would tell their parents if they became pregnant.

"It's something that I still keep with me. It forced you to really ponder that thought" and think about the consequences, she said.

For decades, health educators have been emphasizing the hazards of teen pregnancy, including higher dropout rates and other problems for these young mothers and their kids. The cumulative effect of such campaigns may have played an important role in pushing down the teen birth rate, Ventura said.

But experts acknowledge they are speculating. Hogue noted a lack of key data for 2009 that would answer questions about whether teens are having the same amount of sex, whether their use of contraception changed, or whether they were getting pregnant just as often as in earlier years but were having more abortions.

Abortion could be a factor, said Jaqui Johnson, 17, a senior in Des Moines, Iowa.

Because teens generally don't plan pregnancies, she doubts the recession as an explanation. When financial considerations do creep into a teen's conversation about pregnancy, it most likely involves a bleak assessment of their ability to support a child, Johnson said.

"If girls do get pregnant, they're probably looking more into getting abortions" than teens may have in years past, she said.

None of the experts was able to explain an uptick in the teen birth rate in 2006 and 2007.

Also, there's reason to rein in celebration of the 2009 numbers. The U.S. teen birth rate continues to be far higher than that of 16 other developed countries, according to a 2007 United Nations comparison that Brown cited.

Still, news of the large decline was a stunning and exciting surprise for advocates, Brown noted. "This is like a Christmas present," she said.

The words of Alan Greenspan come home to roost, or not?

Census finds record gap between rich and poor
Associated Press
Article published Sep 28, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.

At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.

"Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more," said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in poverty. "More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy."

Lower-skilled adults ages 18 to 34 had the largest jumps in poverty last year as employers kept or hired older workers for the dwindling jobs available, Smeeding said. The declining economic fortunes have caused many unemployed young Americans to double-up in housing with parents, friends and loved ones, with potential problems for the labor market if they don't get needed training for future jobs, he said.

Rea Hederman Jr., a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, agreed that census data show families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009, with poorer Americans taking a larger hit. "It's certainly going to take a while for people to recover," he said.

The findings are part of a broad array of U.S. census data being released this month that highlight the far-reaching impact of the recent economic meltdown. The effects have ranged from near-historic declines in U.S. mobility and birth rates to delayed marriage and the first drop in the number of illegal immigrants in two decades.

The census figures also come amid heated political debate in the run-up to the Nov. 2 elections over whether Congress should extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts. President Barack Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and joint filers making less than $250,000; Republicans are pushing for tax cuts for everyone, including wealthy Americans.

The 2009 census tabulations, which are based on pre-tax income and exclude capital gains, are adjusted for household size where data are available. Prior analyses of after-tax income made by the wealthiest 1 percent compared to middle- and low-income Americans have also pointed to a widening inequality gap, but only reflect U.S. data as of 2007.

Among the 2009 findings:

—The poorest poor are at record highs. The share of Americans below half the poverty line — $10,977 for a family of four — rose from 5.7 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975.

—The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent.

—Safety nets are helping fill health gaps. The percentage of children covered by government-sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program jumped to 37 percent, or 27.6 million, from 24 percent in 2000. That helped offset steady losses in employer-sponsored insurance.

The 2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income. It excludes noncash aid such as food stamps.

Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted the effects of expanded government programs in cushioning the impact of skyrocketing unemployment. For example, the Census Bureau estimates that 3.6 million people would have been lifted above the poverty line if food stamps were counted — a number that would have reduced the 2009 poverty rate from the official 14.3 percent to 13.2 percent.

Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor, said while the U.S. has developed policies to combat poverty, it has trouble addressing ever-widening income inequality — even with a growing federal deficit and previous warnings by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan about soaring executive pay.

An Associated Press-GfK Poll this month found that by 54 percent to 44 percent, most Americans support raising taxes on the highest U.S. earners. Still, many congressional Democrats have expressed wariness about provoking the 44 percent minority so close to Election Day.

"We're pretty good about not talking about income inequality," Danziger said.

Census finds fewer have health insurance.  Uninsured in state are up 2 percent in last three years
By Judy Benson Day Staff Writer
Article published Sep 17, 2010

More people both nationally and in Connecticut were without health insurance in 2009 than in the previous year, newly released Census data shows.

In 2008-09, almost 13 percent of Connecticut residents under age 65 were uninsured, compared to almost 11 percent in 2006-07. Nationally, about 19 percent of people below the age of Medicare eligibility were uninsured in 2009, compared to 17 percent the previous year, Census data shows. (The Census said it used a two-year average for Connecticut because of a relatively small sample size at the state level.)

This is the first year since 1987, when health insurance data was first collected by the Census, that the number of people with health insurance has declined, the Census Bureau said in a news release.  The bureau also noted that between 2008 and 2009, about 6 million additional people enrolled in government health insurance, while the number covered by private and employer-provided insurance dropped. Numbers covered by government insurance and Medicare were the highest in 2009, and employer and privately insured numbers were the lowest.

The Northeast had the lowest uninsured rates in 2009, the Census data shows.  Connecticut Voices for Children, in a news release timed for the Census report release, noted that the data showed there was no statistically significant change in the percentage of Connecticut children who were uninsured, 7.7 percent.

The New Haven-based nonprofit advocacy group credited the state's efforts to enroll families in the HUSKY program with helping to keep the rate from increasing.

Census: 1 in 7 Americans lives in poverty
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer
16 September 2010

WASHINGTON – The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.

The overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. The report covers 2009, President Barack Obama's first year in office.

The poverty rate increased from 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008.

The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent — or 50.7 million people — mostly because of the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul this year to address the rising numbers of uninsured people, but its main provisions will not take effect until 2014.

In a statement, President Barack Obama called 2009 a tough year for working families but said it could have been worse.

"Because of the Recovery Act and many other programs providing tax relief and income support to a majority of working families — and especially those most in need — millions of Americans were kept out of poverty last year," Obama said.

The new figures come at a politically sensitive time, just weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections, when voters restive about high unemployment and the slow pace of economic improvement will decide whether to keep Democrats in power in the House and Senate or turn to Republicans.

The 14.3 percent poverty rate, which covers all ages, was the highest since 1994. It was lower than predicted by many demographers who were bracing for a record gain based on last year's skyrocketing unemployment. Many had expected a range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 23.1 percent, according to rough calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas and Georgia. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 7.8 percent.

Analysts said the full blow of lost incomes was cushioned somewhat by increases in Social Security payments in 2009 as well as federal expansions of unemployment insurance, which rose substantially under the economic stimulus program. With the additional unemployment benefits, workers were eligible for extensions that gave them up to 99 weeks of payments after a layoff.

David Johnson, the chief of the Census Bureau's household economics division, estimated that expanded unemployment benefits helped keep 3.3 million people out of poverty last year.

He said demographic changes, too, were a factor as many families "doubled up" in single homes and young adults ages 25 to 34 moved back in with their parents to save money in the economic downturn.

The 2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income, before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth, such as home ownership, as well as noncash aid such as food stamps.

An additional 7.8 million people would have been counted above the poverty line if food stamps and tax credits were included as income, Johnson said.

Last year saw the biggest single-year increase in Americans without health insurance, lifting the total number to the highest since the government began tracking the figures in 1987. The number of people covered by employment-based health plans declined from 176.3 million to 169.7 million, although those losses were partially offset by gains in government health insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said additional increases in the uninsured are probable in the short run.

In 2014, under the new health law, Medicaid will be expanded to pick up millions more low-income people, and the government will offer tax credits for many middle-income households to use to buy coverage through new online insurance markets in each state.

By 2019, the government has estimated that nearly 93 percent of the U.S. population will have health insurance, roughly a 10 percentage point increase from today's level.

Other census findings:

_Among the working-age population, ages 18 to 64, poverty rose from 11.7 percent to 12.9 percent. That puts it at the highest since the 1960s, when the government launched a war on poverty that expanded the federal role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

_Poverty rose among all race and ethnic groups, but stood at higher levels for blacks and Hispanics. The number of Hispanics in poverty increased from 23.2 percent to 25.3 percent; for blacks it increased from 24.7 percent to 25.8 percent. The number of whites in poverty rose from 8.6 percent to 9.4 percent.

_Child poverty rose from 19 percent to 20.7 percent.

News: CDC issued this report at the end of August 2010;  BIRTH RATES STATE BY STATE:  At this link.

US births down for 3rd year; economy may be factor
YAHOO (link to CDC report)
By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
Wed Jun 15, 2011, 12:11 pm ET

ATLANTA – U.S. births apparently have declined for a third year in a row, probably because of the weak economy.

Births had been on the rise for years, and the number hit an all-time high of more than 4.3 million in 2007.

But the count has been dropping since then. Last year, it fell 3 percent to slightly more than 4 million births, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's possible the decline is leveling off: The falling birth rate seemed to bottom out in October, November and December. However, it's too early to say whether that marks an end to the trend, said Paul Sutton, a CDC demographer who was the report's lead author.

The report is a first glimpse at 2010 births from state health departments. It doesn't include an actual review of birth certificates or specifics about what's going on in different groups of women. The CDC plans to do more analysis later.

However, the number usually is pretty close to the final statistics, officials said.

Experts believe the downward trend is tied to the economy, which officially was in a recession from December 2007 until June 2009 and is still flagging. The theory is that women who are unemployed or have other money problems feel they can't afford to start a family or add to it.

In 2008 and 2009, the only increase in births was in women older than 40 — considered more sensitive to the ticking of their biological clocks.

A drop in immigration to the United States, blamed on the weak job market, may be another factor in last year's decline.

"Hispanics have higher birth rates," explained Dr. Roger Rochat, an Emory University researcher who has studied fertility and abortion trends.

Fairfield County's Fountain Of Youth: Families Moving From New York City
Darien, Surrounding Towns Have Highest Percentage Of Children In Connecticut

The Hartford Courant
7:25 PM EST, December 14, 2010 (we missed this yesterday)

In the same period that the number of children living in Connecticut fell by about 19,570, tiny, tony Darien's population of children grew by about 1,050.  Data from 2005 to 2009 released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Darien, 38 miles from Grand Central station on Metro North tracks, has the highest proportion of its population under 18 of any town in Connecticut.

"We do? I knew our schools were crowded," said Darien First Selectman Dave Campbell, who had four children of his own at home in 2005, the first year covered by the data.

The census data said that 36.8 percent of Darien's population is under 18, compared with 23.5 percent statewide.  In 2000, 32.5 percent of Darien's population was younger than 18, compared with 24.7 percent for the state overall.  This growth isn't because new houses were going up in the town of less than 15 square miles. It's because empty-nesters sell their houses to young families with children.

Steve Falcone, Darien schools superintendent, said the town spent $71 million to open a new, larger high school in 2005. The old building could hold 1,100. The new capacity is 1,400, and the school is at 1,339 students now.

"We built it with capacity for 1,400 and we planned to max out in 2014. We may max out before then," he said.

Darien has the highest percentage of residents younger than 18, but all of the top five towns for children, at 30 percent or more of the population, are its neighbors in wealthy Fairfield County. In Greater Hartford, towns with higher concentrations of children are more likely to be those where there's been new construction, such as Burlington and Hebron.  Lynn Julian, president of Darien's board of Realtors, frequently sees couples from Manhattan with young children moving to Darien.

She mentioned one couple with two children that arrived this fall; the older child was starting first grade, the younger was starting kindergarten.

"He's commuting and she's staying in Darien with the kids," Julian said.

Even though the schools are one driver in Darien's child population growth, and even though Darien students had the highest math SAT scores in the state for the past two years, Falcone credited commuter rail as the biggest reason that Darien's attracting New York transplants. Since the 2003 school year, Darien's student population grew 12 percent, to 4,850. New Canaan, Weston and Ridgefield had slow growth or shrinking student populations, even though their schools are also considered excellent.

"We are right on the New Haven Metro North train line. We think families are locating here for transportation reasons," Falcone said. The train to New York takes 50 or 55 minutes, and in Ridgefield or New Canaan, it's a spur line, and takes longer. 

Greenwich, of course, is closer to the New York, but Campbell says: "We have a housing stock that's less expensive than Greenwich."

That may sound absurd in a town where $750,000 gets you a starter home, and where the median sales price is more than $1 million, but it's true.  Dana Dunlop's children were already out of the house by the time the latest surveys began in 2005, but her reasons for moving to Darien in 1990 are similar to the newcomers today.  The family was living in Westchester County before the move.

"We were looking for a better school system. We have four kids, and where we lived, the school system was decomposing quickly," she said. They considered 10 towns in Westchester and Darien, Westport and New Canaan.

"These houses were much better value than where we were, much better tax rates, more space. It's just beautiful here," Dunlop said.

Her husband continued to commute to his job in Manhattan, and Dunlop worked as a school nurse.  In Tarrytown, her larger family was unusual. Once she arrived in Darien, "there are so many families with four kids. I became kind of normal," she said. "There are lots of families that have nannies or babysitters, but a lot of people don't."

Even though Dunlop just has one boomerang son at home now, she and her husband aren't in any hurry to downsize from their seven-bedroom house.

"My house fills up, the kids come up, they bring friends. A daughter and her husband live in the city. They're up all the time, especially in the summer," she said. "My other daughter lives in the city. A lot of kids from Darien end up in New York City, or in Boston."

And, she said, "This is a great house for grandchildren."

Recession may have pushed US birth rate to new low
27 August 2010

The U.S. birth rate has dropped for the second year in a row, and experts think the wrenching recession led many people to put off having children. The 2009 birth rate also set a record: lowest in a century.

Births fell 2.7 percent last year even as the population grew, numbers released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics show.

"It's a good-sized decline for one year. Every month is showing a decline from the year before," said Stephanie Ventura, the demographer who oversaw the report.

The birth rate, which takes into account changes in the population, fell to 13.5 births for every 1,000 people last year. That's down from 14.3 in 2007 and way down from 30 in 1909, when it was common for people to have big families.

"It doesn't matter how you look at it — fertility has declined," Ventura said.

The situation is a striking turnabout from 2007, when more babies were born in the United States than any other year in the nation's history. The recession began that fall, dragging stocks, jobs and births down.

"When the economy is bad and people are uncomfortable about their financial future, they tend to postpone having children. We saw that in the Great Depression the 1930s and we're seeing that in the Great Recession today," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University.

"It could take a few years to turn this around," he added, noting that the birth rate stayed low throughout the 1930s.

Another possible factor in the drop: a decline in immigration to the United States.

The downward trend invites worrisome comparisons to Japan and its lost decade of choked growth in the 1990s and very low birth rates. Births in Japan fell 2 percent in 2009 after a slight rise in 2008, its government has said.

Not so in Britain, where the population took its biggest jump in almost half a century last year and the fertility rate is at its highest level since 1973. France's birth rate also has been rising; Germany's birth rate is lower but rising as well.

"Our birth rate is still higher than the birth rate in many wealthy countries and we also have many immigrants entering the country. So we do not need to be worried yet about a birth dearth" that would crimp the nation's ability to take care of its growing elderly population, Cherlin said.

The new U.S. report is a rough count of births from states. It estimates there were 4,136,000 births in 2009, down from 4,251,095 in 2008 and more than 4.3 million in 2007.

The report does not give details on trends in different age groups. That will come next spring and will give a clearer picture who is and is not having children, Ventura said.

Last spring's report, on births in 2008, showed an overall drop but a surprising rise in births to women over 40, who may have felt they were running out of time to have children and didn't want to delay despite the bad economy.

Women postponing having children because of careers also may find they have trouble conceiving, said Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based demographic research group.

"For some of those women, they're going to find themselves in their mid-40s where it's going to be hard to have the number of children they want," he said.

Heather Atherton is nearing that mark. The Sacramento, Calif., mom, who turns 36 next month, started a home-based public relations business after having a baby girl in 2003. She and her husband upgraded to a larger home in 2005 and planned on having a second child not long afterward. Then the recession hit, drying up her husband's sales commissions and leaving them owing more on their home than it is worth. A second child seemed too risky financially.

"However, we just recently decided that it's time to stop waiting and just go for it early next year and let the chips fall where they may," she said. "We can't allow the recession to dictate the size of our family. We just need to move forward with our lives."

How about politics as a reason - bumping up cities and cutting down suburbs is one way to increase a particular Party's influence, because the redistricting that follows the Census by two years will give greater weight to...cities!  Never mind if it is accurate or not!
NL schools expect 500 more students;  Officials not sure what's causing increase, but recession is mentioned 
By Stephen Chupaska, Day Staff Writer
Article published May 1, 2010

New London - Total enrollment in the city's public schools for the 2010-11 year could rise by almost 500 students, according to figures released this week by the school district.

New London Public Schools estimates a total enrollment next year of 3,494, a dramatic increase over the count of 2,997 reported to the state Department of Education in October 2009.

The jump in the projected school population, which officials say could fluctuate before the start of the next school year, comes at a precarious time for the district, which is facing a $1 million cut in its 2010-11 budget.

According to Superintendent of Schools Nicholas A. Fischer, who learned of the projected increase in early April, the district is preparing for larger class sizes as well as changes to the distribution of students throughout the city.

"We're going to be giving the school board some 'what if' scenarios at the next board meeting," Fischer said Friday.

The teachers' contract caps the number of students in kindergarten and first-grade classes at 24 and caps second through 12th grade at 28 students, though Fischer said those limits are "guidelines."

At the same time, the Board of Education estimates the equivalent of between 11 and 16 teachers would have to be laid off at the end of the year if the school budget remains at $40.05 million.

Fischer, nearing the end of his first year at the helm of New London's schools, said he will ask the various school departments to find savings in their 2010-11 budgets, as he is loath to cut programs in art, music and sports.  Fischer said the district has seen enrollment grow since it took the October snapshot of school population to send to the state.

"We've seen increases in the amount entering the high school and kindergarten throughout this year," Fischer said.

The number of students at New London High School, which includes the Science and Technology Magnet School of Southeastern Connecticut, is projected to be 1,290, up from an October 2009 estimate of 918.

Kindergarten class sizes at Nathan Hale Elementary School are projected to more than double, from 23 to 47.  Both Fischer and school board president Alvin Kinsall were at a loss to explain exactly why the city school population is expected to boom dramatically when other districts around the region are holding steady or declining.

Kinsall, who said Friday he had not seen the enrollment projection, speculated the economic downturn is the reason for the spike.

"It's not uncommon for people to come back to the city," Kinsall said.

Fischer said he was "not really sure" why the school population has ballooned.

"Sometimes you get a group of kids who are now reaching an age where they are eligible for school," Fischer said.

Enrollment boom?   
2009-10 enrollment in New London
Elementary: 1,433
Middle School: 637
High School: 918

Projected 2010-11 enrollment
Elementary: 1,567
Middle School: 637
High School: 1,290

One example of why you shouldn't depend on information from the Census being totally accurate.
Obama's census mark reveals race views
Washington Times
Joseph Curl
April 30, 2010

America's first black president has deliberately shied away from spurring a national discussion on race, most recently by checking only "African-American" on his U.S. census form without offering a word of explanation about his choice.

The studied silence from the bully pulpit held by President Obama has frustrated multiracial organizations, giving rise to questions about whether the president acted out of political consideration and why the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas would not acknowledge his mother's heritage.

"It's frustrating from a point that there's a lot of multiracial people out there who see Obama doing that, knowing that he is multiracial, and they think that maybe that's the right choice," said Ryan Graham, the product of a mixed-race marriage whose mother founded Project Race in 1991 to push for a multiracial classification on the census form.

"But there's a lot of people saying maybe it's the wrong choice," he said.

Mr. Graham urges biracial people who consider checking only the "black" box to "think about your family, think about what makes you you. If you're half-white, say so."

The issue emerged early this month when the White House announced that the president had completed and sent in his 2010 census form. Asked what race Mr. Obama checked in answer to Question 9 concerning race, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said April 1, "Not going to be able to answer this today."

The next day, the White House offered only one cryptic explanation for the president's decision -- and the press corps left the issue unexamined.

"Can you say what box the president checked on the census form when it came to race?" one reporter asked press secretary Robert Gibbs in the April 2 "gaggle," an informal briefing that takes place away from TV cameras.

"African-American," Mr. Gibbs said.

"Did he think about that or --," the reporter said, breaking off.

"I don't think so, no, I think he just checked it," the spokesman said.

Asked this week to elaborate on Mr. Obama's choice, Mr. Vietor said: "Gibbs' answer is the final answer."

Mr. Obama may see little upside to focusing explicitly on questions of his race. While Mr. Obama repeatedly acknowledges civil rights pioneers -- of all races -- who made his political career successful, race-based controversies such as the sermons of his former Chicago pastor and the arrest of a black Harvard University professor by a white Cambridge police officer have proved massive distractions for Mr. Obama as a candidate and president.

Early in his presidential campaign, candidate Obama said he was questioned by multiracial supporters about his background.

"I self-identify as African-American -- that's how I'm treated, and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it," Mr. Obama said at the time.

The president's decision to check only the "black, African-American or negro" box seemed a throwback to an earlier era, when the "one-drop rule" -- one drop of black blood in your ancestry and you're considered black -- prevailed in the U.S. Even the anachronistic "negro" designation seems out of place, but the Census Bureau said the term was kept on the 2010 form because some older black Americans still use the term to describe themselves.

"The obvious question -- perhaps not to an American, but certainly to a visitor from another planet -- is why if someone's ancestry is predominantly white, they are not identified as 'white' rather than 'black,'" New Republic senior editor John Judis wrote in an article on Mr. Obama's census choice.

By checking the single box and identifying himself only as black, "Obama probably did what was expected of him, but he also confirmed an enduring legacy of American racism," Mr. Judis wrote.

Michelle Hughes, president of the Chicago Biracial Family Network, said the choice "will have political, social and cultural ramifications."

"I think everybody is entitled to self-identify. If he chooses to self-identify as African-American, that's his right," she told the Los Angeles Times. "That being said, I think that the multiracial community feels a sense of disappointment that he refuses to identify with us."

There is no question that Mr. Obama's decision complies with the goals of U.S. census officials; the answer to Question 9 about race is exclusively about "self-identification in which respondents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify."

"The racial categories included in the census form generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country, and are not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically or genetically," the Census Bureau says in its "2010 Census Constituent FAQs."

The 2010 census is only the second time Americans have been allowed to identify themselves by more than one race in the decennial survey. About 7 million people, or 2.4 percent of the U.S. population, chose that option in 2000.

But the president's decision to check only "black" on his census form makes complete sense to Charles W. Mills, a researcher on race and a professor at Northwestern University.

"Race is a social convention. For him to claim whiteness would be rejected by the social convention of the country. The way I see it, his decision was a perfectly reasonable one, given that this is how the American rules have been," Mr. Mills said.

Changing that perception "would require a national rethinking of race, a national self-examination. You'd need a national debate," the professor said.

Mr. Mills added there were "political considerations" in Mr. Obama's choice. "From the start of the campaign, he was not presented as a black candidate, but as a candidate who was black." America, he said, may not be ready to have such a national debate over race.

But a January poll by the Pew Research Center found that 53 percent of white people said Mr. Obama is of "mixed race" and 24 percent consider him black. In contrast, 55 percent of black people said the president is black and 34 percent said he is of mixed racial ancestry.

The issue of race is clearly delicate for Mr. Obama and can land him in unintended political clashes.

Only this week he released an election message to supporters seeking to turn out the same impassioned voters who elected him in 2008, saying in a videotaped appeal that he wanted to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

The apparently innocuous message provoked a new round of controversy, as critics noted that Mr. Obama left out white men from his list.

Conservative media quickly highlighted the plea. One headline from the Washington Examiner said: "Obama Disses White Guys."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, who is black, said he was incensed by the video.

"Where I have a problem and where I draw the line is where it is done in a manner that becomes racially tinged, that seeks to invoke fear as opposed to education, that seeks to marginalize the voters into believing that you have to continue to do it the same old way; otherwise, the boogeyman will get you," he told the political news service Hotline.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine countered that the race-card charge was "ridiculous."

"You know, just a week ago, the chairman of the Republican Party said, 'We need to do more to attract minority voters,'" Mr. Kaine said. "And that was not a race card; it was just stating the obvious fact."

Although the president has shied away from spurring a national dialogue on race, he sometimes offers thoughts on the issue, as he did Thursday at a eulogy for Dorothy Height, the civil rights leader who was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. He praised her long life of activism, but also painted a picture of her life in the first decades of the last century.

"Lynching was all too often the penalty for the offense of black skin," Mr. Obama recalled.

"Slaves had been freed within living memory, but too often their children, their grandchildren remained captive because they were denied justice and denied equality, denied opportunity, denied a chance to pursue their dreams."

Fairfield County at 66% - we saw this somewhere!
1 in 3 Americans Failed to Return Census Forms
April 16, 2010

Nearly one in three Americans failed to return their census questionnaires by Friday’s official deadline, the Census Bureau said.

More forms were expected to be received over the weekend. Census workers will not begin going door to door until May 1 to count people who did not return their questionnaires by mail.

As of early Friday, the mail participation rate was 68 percent. The mail participation rate, which the bureau is using this year for the first time, is the percentage of forms mailed back by households that received them.

Unlike the mail response rate, which the census used in earlier counts, it excludes forms returned by the postal service as undeliverable, often because a house or apartment was vacant. The mail response rate was 67 percent in 2000. If the undeliverable forms had been excluded then, the mail participation rate would have been 72 percent.

Final rates for this year’s count will not be posted until early May, so it was unclear whether this year’s unprecedented publicity and marketing campaigns had reversed a decades-long decline.

Wisconsin logged the highest participation rate of any state, 78 percent, followed by Minnesota (76 percent) and Iowa (75 percent). The lowest rates were in New Mexico (59 percent) and Louisiana (60 percent). Livonia, Mich., recorded the highest rate, 85 percent, among places with 50,000 or more people.

An analysis by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York found that 10 percent of counties had exceeded their 2000 rates by five percentage points or more. Some of the urban neighborhoods typically considered hardest to count appear to have been among the highest-rated areas this time.

The research center said the gains might be a result of the Census Bureau’s advertising campaign and community outreach as well as changing demographics.

In big cities, predominantly black areas tended to have lower participation rates than mostly white ones. Detroit was an exception. While Hispanic areas generally logged lower participation rates, that was not the case in Miami, Newark and New York.

Census director denies boycott on right
Washington Times

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said Monday he is heartened by the high level of participation so far in the 2010 census, with no indications that large numbers of conservatives were only partially filling out the form or boycotting the government count.

"We can't find empirical support for that," Mr. Groves said, addressing fears of lower participation among conservatives. He noted that perhaps 1 percent or 2 percent of the 10-question forms returned so far have been incomplete, which is what officials anticipated.

Mr. Groves' comments, which he made at a news conference to urge Americans to mail back their census forms by Friday, ran counter to anecdotal reports in recent weeks that anti-government sentiment might spur a mass boycott among conservatives who consider the census form to be overreaching.

Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Ron Paul of Texas are among those who have been vocal in expressing their intent to refuse to provide information about anything except the number of people in their household, saying that providing anything more would be an invasion of privacy.

"Things are going quite well," Mr. Groves said Monday.

With five days left for people to mail back census forms, about 65 percent, or more than 77 million households, have completed and mailed back their census forms.

That number puts the U.S. on track to match or surpass the 2000 mail-return rate of 72 percent. The Midwest leads, while the Southern and Western U.S. and big cities such as New York, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia are lagging.

Mr. Groves said most of the lagging areas are rural, have dense populations, or have more minorities and people not fluent in English. That was also the case in 2000.

He urged citizens in big cities and border regions to step up their response to avoid visits by census takers.

The Census Bureau is asking people to have their forms postmarked by Friday as it prepares to send more than 600,000 census takers to homes beginning May 1. Homes that have not received census forms can call 866/872-6868 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to submit information by phone or find out where to pick up a form at more than 40,000 help centers around the country.

The Census Bureau has estimated it would save $1.5 billion in follow-up visits if everyone who received a census form mailed it back. The population count, conducted every 10 years, is used to distribute U.S. House seats and more than $400 billion in federal aid.

The highest participation rates are in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska, where return rates have ranged between 71 percent and 76 percent. North Carolina and South Carolina, which have participation of 67 percent and 66 percent, have topped their mail-back rate from 2000.

Alaska ranks at the bottom in participation, with 54 percent of households returning their forms. Other states with return rates below 60 percent include New Mexico, Louisiana, West Virginia, New York, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Caribbeans urged to write in ancestry on US Census
By JENNIFER KAY, Associated Press Writer
Wed Feb 24, 12:02 pm ET

MIAMI – Identify yourself as being of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin" on the 2010 U.S. Census questionnaire, and you will get to be more specific about your ancestry, such as Mexican-American, Cuban or Puerto Rican.

But check the box for "black, African-American or Negro" and there will be no place to show whether you trace your identity to the African continent, a Caribbean island or a pre-Civil War plantation.

Some Caribbean-American leaders are urging their communities to write their nationalities on the line under "some other race" on the forms arriving in mailboxes next month, along with checking the racial categories they feel identify them best.

It's another step in the evolution of the Census, which has moved well beyond general categories like "black" and "white" to allow people to identify themselves as multi-racial, and, in some cases, by national origin.

The wording of the questions for race and ethnicity changes with almost every Census, making room for the people who say, "I don't see how I fit in exactly," Census Bureau director Robert Groves told reporters in December. "This will always keep changing in this country as it becomes more and more diverse."

In another push tied to the 2010 Census, advocates are urging indigenous immigrants from Mexico and Central America to write in groups such as Maya, Nahua or Mixtec so the Census Bureau can tally them for the first time.

The campaign in the multiethnic Caribbean community reflects a tendency, born from multiple waves of migration, to establish identity first by country, then by race.

"We are completely undercounted because there isn't an accurate way of self-identifying for people from the Caribbean," said Felicia Persaud, chairwoman of CaribID 2010, a New York-based campaign to get a category on the census form for Caribbean-Americans or West Indians.

About 2.4 percent of the U.S. population — more than 6.8 million people — identified on the 2000 Census as belonging to two or more races. A little less than 1 percent of the population — more than 1.8 million people — wrote in their West Indian ancestry.

And about 874,000 people — or 0.3 percent of the population — ticked boxes for Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders that year. If those islanders could get their own categories on the form, Caribbean-American leaders say, why not their communities?

Their lobbying efforts led to a bill in Congress requiring a box to indicate Caribbean descent on the census form, but it did not pass.

"We've really pushed so we can tell our story in numbers the way the Latino community has done by getting the origin category on the form," Persaud said.

Accurate counts in the once-a-decade survey ensure recognition from the federal government and the fair allocation of resources to state and local governments, advocates say.

While most Caribbeans are expected to at least check the box for "black," lumping them together with all African-Americans means corporations and politicians won't see the political, economic and social issues specific to their immigrant communities, Persaud said. They also won't see the size of those communities or get a sense of the diversity of experiences among Afro-Caribbean groups.

Persaud plans to check the "some other race" category and write in her nationality, Guyanese. Her father is Asian Indian, and her mother is black and Asian Indian, but she doesn't feel those categories reflect her blended Caribbean identity.

"We've always been able to say we're a mix, and then you come to this country and you're not sure where you're fitting under, so I figured that we're 'other,'" Persaud said. "That's how everybody feels."

Jean-Robert LaFortune also said the categories don't feel quite right. As he has on previous census forms, the chairman of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition in Miami will identify himself as black and as a Latino of Haitian ancestry, and he will write Haitian under "some other race."

Checking so many boxes doesn't mean he's confused. He considers identity in a regional sense: to him, Latino denotes anyone from a Latin American country. He said the Latin roots of French and Haiti's predominantly Roman Catholic religion bind his homeland to a community defined in the U.S. mostly by the Spanish language.

"As you can see, it will not be an easy task for the Haitian to fill properly the census form," LaFortune wrote in an e-mail.

The concept of identity can change over generations. LaFortune concedes that while some Haiti-born U.S. residents identify with Latinos, younger U.S.-born Haitians have grown up with a different understanding of what it means to be Latino.

A generation gap likely explains why 56,000 people wrote in "Negro" on the 2000 form, enough to prompt Census officials to include the word alongside "black" and "African-American" in 2010, said Florida-based Census spokeswoman Pam Bellis.

Efforts to push the federal government to recognize specific communities have grown since the 1960s, when residents began filling out the forms on their own, said Ann Morning, a sociology professor at New York University.

The Census Bureau first included the option "of Spanish heritage" in 1970, then added the term "Hispanic" a decade later. Before 2000, Native Hawaiians were counted as American Indians. That Census also was the first to offer the option of identifying with more than one race.

Now there's more recognition of diversity within the black community, Morning said.

"For so long, black meant a particular kind of ethnic identity — a native-born descendent of slaves who had been in the South generations ago," she said. "Now people are increasingly realizing there are other kinds of African descent."

Census begins count in Noorvik
Anchorage Daily News
By RACHEL D'ORO, The Associated Press
Published: January 23rd, 2010 08:40 PM
Last Modified: January 23rd, 2010 08:41 PM

The U.S. Census Bureau chief is heading to Alaska to formally launch the nation's 2010 count in a remote Inupiat Eskimo village, where residents are planning a huge reception of traditional dancing and a feast of caribou, moose and other subsistence foods.

Bureau Director Robert Groves is scheduled to count the first household in Noorvik at 1 p.m. Monday, after arriving by charter plane at the village not linked by roads to anywhere else. Villagers say the first to be counted will be Clifton Jackson, a World War II veteran and the oldest resident in the community of 650.

But first Groves and other census officials will be greeted by eagerly awaiting residents. For the visitors' sake, locals hope the weather is kinder than the brutal minus-40 temperatures already recorded this month in Noorvik, located north of the Arctic Circle near Alaska's western coast.

Sled dog teams driven by schoolchildren will greet the visitors and ferry them to the school, where festivities will continue into the night after the first enumeration is completed. An Inupiat fashion show, a short film on Noorvik and dancing by school children, other locals and groups from other villages are among the planned events.

"We've been organizing this as a community, all planning for this together," said Noorvik Mayor Bobby Wells. "Monday is a big day."

Monday's single count will be the only one conducted by Groves, and the rest of Noorvik's population will be enumerated beginning Tuesday. Census workers and trained locals are expected to take a week to interview villagers from the same 10-question forms to be mailed to most residents March 15. Census workers also will visit 217 other rural communities, all in Alaska, in the coming weeks.

Census Bureau kicks off once-a-decade head count
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer
January 4, 2010

WASHINGTON – The Census Bureau kicks off its $300 million campaign Monday to prod, coax and cajole the nation's more than 300 million residents to fill out their once-a-decade census forms.  The bureau will mail out the 10-question forms to about 120 million households in March.  On Monday, Census Director Robert Groves starts the nationwide campaign with an event in New York City where he is scheduled to unveil a 46-foot trailer called "Mail It Back." In all, 13 vehicles are to be present at about 800 events around the country, from small community happenings to the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four.

"The whole purpose is to reach out to people at local events," Groves said.

Residents can expect to receive letters in early March notifying them that census forms will arrive between March 15-17. Residents who don't respond will get a follow-up postcard. Those who still don't respond can expect a visit from a census taker by early May.  In 2000, about 67 percent of households mailed back their forms, ending a three decade decline in the response rate. Follow-up visits are expensive. For every percentage point decrease in the response rate, the Census Bureau says it costs an additional $85 million to find and count those people.

The Constitution requires the head count every 10 years to draw congressional districts and to dole out Electoral College votes to the states. Congress uses the count to distribute more than $400 billion each year in federal aid to state, local and tribal governments.

Census data is used by government agencies and private companies alike, to locate pools of skilled workers, determine where schools and hospitals should be placed and to trace victims of natural disasters. In the Gulf Coast region, this year's census will provide the most accurate measure to date of how Hurricanes Katrina and Rita affected population trends.

"There's political power involved because of the Constitution," Groves said. "There's money involved as well."

The 10-question form is one of the shortest in the history of the census. Residents will be asked the number of people living in each household as well as their age, race and whether they own their home or rent. Other questions — on income, education levels and other characteristics — are addressed in the annual American Community Survey, which has been phased in over much of the past decade.

The Census Bureau faces special challenges locating residents because of the high number of foreclosures, as well as immigrants wary of government workers amid a crackdown on illegal immigration. Census officials emphasize that responses are confidential by law, meaning they cannot be shared with other federal agencies or law enforcement. Under the Constitution, the government is required to count everyone, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.

Advocates have urged the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, to improve outreach to minority communities, which are typically undercounted.  This year, about 13 million forms in both English and Spanish will be sent to areas with high concentrations of people who speak Spanish. Residents can also request forms in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian.

"I don't think you can ever do enough," Groves said. "What we are doing, I think, is something to be proud of."

In 2000, the Census Bureau noted for the first time an overcount of 1.3 million people, mostly from duplicate counts of more affluent whites with multiple homes. About 4.5 million people were ultimately missed, mostly blacks and Hispanics.

Recession Cuts Migration to Sun Belt, New Figures Show
December 24, 2009

MIAMI — The Sun Belt states that grew like fertilized weeds during the real estate boom are now experiencing sharp declines in population growth, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

Those states are still projected to gain seats in Congress after the 2010 census, while industrial states in the Northeast are likely to lose seats.

But in yet another sign of the recession’s power to reshape established demographic trends, the new figures show that as of July, growth has slowed to a trickle in Arizona, while in Florida, Nevada and California, more Americans moved out than in.

“What we have is a decade of a roller coaster in terms of migration,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “If you look at the middle part of this decade, Florida led the country in net domestic migration. Now it’s in the negative part of the ledger.”

The shift is especially vivid in state rankings prepared by Mr. Frey. With the new numbers, his analysis shows, Florida now ranks 45th in domestic migration growth after ranking first from July of 2001 to July 2005. It lost 31,179 people to other states from July 2008 to July 2009.

In terms of its total growth rate with foreign arrivals included, Florida now ranks 32nd, down from third in 2002.

Similarly, Nevada has fallen to 17th on the total growth-rate list, after leading the country from 2000 to 2004. It now ranks 38th in domestic migration, losing 3,801 people after adding more than 170,000 from other states from July 2003 to July 2006.

Arizona dropped to eighth in overall growth rate, from first three years ago.

As a corollary, the census figures also show that several states in the Northeast — including Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey — are holding on to more residents. California is experiencing less movement out as well: about 98,000 people left the state as of July, down from 313,000 three years ago.

These shifts, however, do not appear to have dramatically offset the broader trends of the decade, characterized by moves to the South and the West. The new population figures are the last to be released before the 2010 census, and if these conclusions hold, these regions would gain more representation in Congress.

Texas, it seems, is the big winner. It added more people from home and abroad than any other state this year — 231,539. That is more than Florida, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado, combined.

Mr. Frey attributed this to a more diversified economy in Texas, and more conservative lending practices during the real estate boom. When combined with the state’s steady growth earlier in the decade, Texas is projected to receive three new seats in Congress, bringing its total to 35.

Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington would gain one seat each, according to an analysis of the figures by Andrew A. Beveridge, a Queens College demographer.

States that would lose a seat include Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Ohio would lose two, leaving it with 16.

With former industrial states losing seats and states that had been growing gaining, Dr. Beveridge said the new totals pointed to a simple lesson: “The economy trumps everything.”

Census: What America will look like in 2010

Last Updated: 4:29 AM, October 25, 2009
Posted: 12:18 AM, October 25, 2009

To some, the decennial census will always be the Man coming to get you. To Peter Francese, the US census is the greatest resource to country and corporations, a nearly novelistic depiction of the state and shape of the nation. He also uses it to predict the future.“The census does surveys every year that no private company could ever match,” says Francese, a demographic trends analyst at Oglivy & Mather who has been projecting future trends off the census since 1970. He is also the author of The White Paper, an in-depth depiction of what the 2010 US census will show — in other words, what the country will look and feel like next year. (It’s used by many in the ad industry and is available to anyone willing to pay $249.) “There are huge, huge implications to demographic changes, because there is a story behind every number.” Francese says that 2010 will see four major, emergent trends:

* First: What he calls “The Grandparent Economy.” This, Francese says, is the most fascinating development in recent memory, the morphing of America into a multi-generational society in which grandparents, their adult children, and their children’s children are all living in the same house, with the grandparents offering both economic and emotional support.

“I forecasted that by 2010 there would be very close to 70 million grandparents in this country,” he says. “There were 47 million in 1990 — that’s a huge leap. It grew five times faster than the population as a whole.” The recession is most responsible; the unemployment rate is highest among those 20-24 at 15.2%, and, at 6.9%, lowest among those 55-64.

This coincides with a staggering increase in births to single mothers; today, one in four children is born to an unmarried woman. And, as Francese puts it, “Who needs the help of grandparents more than a single mom?” The upshot, he says, is that Americans 50 years and older control the vast majority of assets and show the most economic growth; he thinks advertising dollars should shift from the current 10% spent on that demographic to 40%.

* Francese’s second most interesting finding is what he calls “the absolute rocketing ascendancy of women in America.” He predicts that, within six months to a year, women will comprise the majority of the workforce. A 2009 report by the Census Bureau showed that, for the first time ever, more women had graduated college than men, and Franscese sees that trend continuing. The dominance of women is also related to the recession; the two hardest-hit industries, construction and manufacturing, are male-dominated, while the least-hit, education and health care, are favored by women.

As for the economy, Francese predicts this Christmas will show a small but enouraging spike in consumer spending, with the recession ending in real estate in spring, construction in summer. “This recession will end differentially, and it will take longer because it’s national.” He predicts the earliest bounce-back in Texas and Florida, two states with young populations and thriving industries. (New York is tied with three other states as the 16th oldest in the nation; take that as you will.)

* Third: Though the nation’s dominant ethnicity remains white non-Hispanic (at 200 million), we have, Francese says, “truly become a multicultural nation,” and are on our way to becoming a minority-majority nation, probably within the next 40-50 years. “The fastest growing segment is the Hispanic population; since 2000 it’s jumped 42% nationwide, while white non-Hispanic has edged up 2%,” he says. “Virtually all the growth is with all other ethnicities [except white].”

* And fourth: The Midwest and Northeast are hemorrhaging jobs and residents, while the South and the West have seen a huge uptick in residents (and, California aside, are doing better economically).

“This migration pattern is truly breathtaking; it’s not just immigration,” he says. “The number one reason anyone moves is a job. There’s more job creation in the South and the West; manufacturing has gone South. It’s cheaper. Taxes are lower; there’s less unionization. New York laws tend to favor the employee over the employer.” A damaging side-effect: the migration of young workers who relocate their families mean that the left-behind states get older and older, and economic growth slows.

Number Of Hartford Area People Living In Poverty Increases
The Hartford Courant
September 30, 2009

The poverty rate, particularly for children, increased faster in Connecticut than in any other state in 2008, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The grim numbers prompted child advocates to call for more aggressive action by the state to help poor families. The statistics also heightened concern about the future because they portray only the leading edge of the recession, which grew more severe early this year.

"We're seeing the effect of the first half of the recession, and it's quite dramatic," said Joachim Hero, a research associate with Connecticut Voices for Children who analyzed the numbers.

While Connecticut's poverty rate is still well below the national average, the number of state residents living in poverty increased from 7.9 percent in 2007 to 9.3 percent in 2008. Nationally, the poverty rate jumped to 13.2 percent, an 11-year high.  The number of children under 18 below the poverty level increased from 11.1 percent to 12.5 percent during the same period. The national rate in 2008 was 18.2 percent.  It was sobering news for a state that in 2004 set a goal of cutting child poverty in half by 2014. The rate at the time was 10.8 percent, and Hero said little progress was made on the initiative even before the onset of recession.

"We're moving further and further away from our goal," he said.

The picture is even worse for the state's urban centers.  The number of individuals in the Hartford metropolitan area living in poverty increased from 31.2 percent in 2007 to 33.5 percent last year.  The number of families below the poverty level in Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford — the metropolitan area used by the Census Bureau — also increased, going from 29.4 percent in 2007 to 30.4 percent in 2008.  The statistics come from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, a snapshot of conditions and trends based on interviews with 3 million households nationally.

Analysts said it was unclear why Connecticut's poverty rate increased so rapidly, but speculated that the state may have been hit harder than others by the Wall Street collapse.

The figures confirm what social service agencies that serve the poor say they see every day. Nancy Pappas, director of external affairs for the anti-poverty group Community Renewal Team, said 32 percent of the 33,000 household that received energy assistance between August 2008 and April 2009 had not applied in the previous two years.  The number of families turned away from the organization's East Hartford Community Shelter because it was full nearly doubled from 2007 to 2008, Pappas said.

Ann Foley, a senior policy adviser with the state Office of Policy and Management, said that she was concerned about the trend, but that many of the state's efforts to fight poverty don't show up in the census numbers. For instance, she said, the poverty rate is based on income, alone, while subsidies for health care, child care, rent and other assistance the state provides help mitigate the problem.  David Dearborn, spokesman for the state Department of Social Services, said the HUSKY A program, which provides Medicaid coverage for children and eligible parents, grew from 330,381 people in October 2008 to 350,708 people in September 2009.

On Tuesday at the state Capitol, the Speaker's Task Force on Children and the Recession held its first meeting with the goal of preparing legislative recommendations for next session.  Some advocates want measures such as a state earned-income tax credit adopted, which they say would have an immediate impact on poverty.  But it also would reduce state revenue, a tough prospect with increasingly tight budgets.

State Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, co-chairwoman of the task force, said it will study low-cost and efficient anti-poverty programs, but if the crisis deepens the state may need to consider more immediate and expensive measures.

"We're not just talking about money," Urban said. "We're talking about children's lives."

Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

US income gap widens as poor take hit in recession
Published on 9/29/2009

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The recession has hit middle-income and poor families hardest, widening the economic gap between the richest and poorest Americans as rippling job layoffs ravaged household budgets.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans - those making more than $138,000 each year - earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008, according to newly released census figures. That ratio was an increase from 11.2 in 2007 and the previous high of 11.22 in 2003.

Household income declined across all groups, but at sharper percentage levels for middle-income and poor Americans. Median income fell last year from $52,163 to $50,303, wiping out a decade's worth of gains to hit the lowest level since 1997.

Poverty jumped sharply to 13.2 percent, an 11-year high.

"No one should be surprised at the increased disparity," said Richard Freeman, an economist at Harvard University. "Unemployment hurts normal workers who do not have the golden parachutes the folks at the top have."

Analysts attributed the widening gap to the wave of layoffs in the economic downturn that have devastated household budgets. They said while the richest Americans may be seeing reductions in executive pay, those at the bottom of the income ladder are often unemployed and struggling to get by.

Large cities such as Atlanta, Washington, New York, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago had the most inequality, due largely to years of middle-class flight to the suburbs. Declining industrial cities with pockets of well-off neighborhoods, such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y., also had sharp disparities.

Up-and-coming cities with growing middle-class populations, such as Mesa, Ariz., Riverside, Calif., Arlington, Texas, and Henderson, Nev., were among the areas showing the least income differences between rich and poor.

It's unclear whether income inequality will continue to worsen in major cities, said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. Many Americans are staying put for now in traditional cities to look for jobs and because of frozen lines of credit.

"During the years of the housing bubble, there was middle-class movement from unaffordable metros with high-income inequality," Frey said. "Now that the bubble burst, more of the population may be headed back to the high-inequality areas, stemming their middle-class losses."

Among other findings:

_Income at the top 5 percent of households _ those making $180,000 or more _ was 3.58 times the median income, the highest since 2006.

_Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia had higher poverty rates than the national average, many of them in the South, such as Mississippi (21.2 percent), Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana (each with 17.3 percent). That's compared with 19 states and the District of Columbia that ranked above U.S. poverty in 2007.

_Use of food stamps jumped 13 percent last year to nearly 9.8 million U.S. households, led by Louisiana, Maine and Kentucky. The increase was most evident in households with two or more workers, highlighting the impact of the recession on both working families and unemployed single people.

_Pharr, Texas, and Flint, Mich., each had more than a third of its residents on food stamps, at 38.5 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively.

_Between 2007 and 2008, income at the 50th percentile (median) and the 10th percentile fell by 3.6 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, compared with a 2.1 percent decline at the 90th percentile. Between 1999 and 2008, income at the 50th and 10th percentiles decreased 4.3 percent and 9 percent, respectively, while income at the 90th percentile was statistically unchanged.

_Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, had the highest median income among larger cities, earning $85,003. Cleveland ranked at the bottom, at $26,731.

The findings come as the federal government considers new regulations to rein in executive pay at companies in which it has invested. President Barack Obama also typically cites the need for higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for health care overhaul and other measures, arguing that the wealthy have disproportionately benefited from tax cuts during the Bush administration.

The 2008 figures come from the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, which gathers information from 3 million households. The government first began tracking household income in 1967.

Hanged census worker found naked
Washington Times

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BIG CREEK, Ky. (AP) | A part-time census worker found hanging in a rural Kentucky cemetery was naked, gagged and had his hands and feet bound with duct tape, said an Ohio man who discovered the body two weeks ago.

Authorities have also said the word "fed" was scrawled with a felt-tip pen across 51-year-old Bill Sparkman's chest, but they have released very few details about the case and said investigators have not determined whether it was a homicide. But a man who found the body said the scene looked like a homicide to him.

Federal, state and local authorities have refused to say whether Mr. Sparkman was at work going door-to-door for census surveys in the time before his death, but his U.S. Census Bureau identification tag was found taped to his body.

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told the Associated Press on Friday that he was among a group of relatives who made the gruesome discovery on Sept. 12.

"The only thing he had on was a pair of socks," Mr. Weaver said. "And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something."

"And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder."

Two people briefed on the investigation said various details of Mr. Weaver's account matched the details of the crime scene, though both people said they were not informed who found the body. The two spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

Mr. Weaver said he couldn't tell whether the tag was a Census Bureau ID because he didn't get close enough to read it. But both of the people briefed on the investigation confirmed Mr. Sparkman's Census Bureau ID was found taped to his head and shoulder area.

While authorities confirmed for the first time Thursday that asphyxiation was the cause of death, the details behind that were murky. According to a Kentucky State Police statement, the body was hanging from a tree with a noose around the neck, yet it was in contact with the ground.

Mr. Weaver said he was in town for a family reunion and was visiting family grave sites at the cemetery when he and family members including his wife and daughter came across the body.

The scene left Mr. Weaver without a doubt over how Mr. Sparkman died.

"He was murdered," he said. "There's no doubt."

Mr. Weaver said the body was about 50 yards from a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. He said Mr. Sparkman's clothes were in the bed of the truck.

The truck's "tailgate was down," Mr. Weaver said. "I thought he could have been killed somewhere else and brought there and hanged up for display, or they actually could have killed him right there. It was a bad, bad scene."

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson declined to comment on the investigation because the department is only playing a supporting role, but he said patrols have increased in the Daniel Boone National Forest since the body was found.

The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural county pending the investigation.

Although anti-government sentiment was one possibility in the death, some in law enforcement also cited the prevalence of drug activity in the area -- including meth labs and marijuana fields -- although they had no reason to believe there was a link to Mr. Sparkman's death.

Census Bureau Drops Acorn From 2010 Effort
National Review
September 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Census Bureau on Friday severed its ties with Acorn, a community organization that Republicans have accused of voter-registration fraud.

“We do not come to this decision lightly,” the census director, Robert Groves, wrote in a letter to Acorn that was obtained by The Associated Press.

In splitting with Acorn, Mr. Groves sought to tamp down negative publicity that the partnership would taint the 2010 census.  Acorn, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is one of 80,000 groups of unpaid volunteers working with the bureau to raise awareness of the effort.

“It is clear that Acorn’s affiliation with the 2010 census promotion has caused sufficient concern in the general public, has indeed become a distraction from our mission, and may even become a discouragement to public cooperation, negatively impacting 2010 census efforts,” Mr. Groves wrote.

Stephen Buckner, a bureau spokesman, confirmed the letter, but declined to comment further.  Scott Levenson, an Acorn spokesman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Republicans had become increasingly critical of the bureau’s ties with Acorn.

Some members of the group, which conducted an extensive voter registration effort last year, were accused of submitting false registration forms with names like Mickey Mouse.  Acorn has said only a handful of employees submitted false forms and did so in a bid to increase their pay.

U.S. Births Hint at Bias for Boys in Some Asians
June 15, 2009

The trend is buried deep in United States census data: seemingly minute deviations in the proportion of boys and girls born to Americans of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent.

In those families, if the first child was a girl, it was more likely that a second child would be a boy, according to recent studies of census data. If the first two children were girls, it was even more likely that a third child would be male.

Demographers say the statistical deviation among Asian-American families is significant, and they believe it reflects not only a preference for male children, but a growing tendency for these families to embrace sex-selection techniques, like in vitro fertilization and sperm sorting, or abortion.

New immigrants typically transplant some of their customs and culture to the United States — from tastes in food and child-rearing practices to their emphasis on education and the elevated social and economic status of males. The appeal to immigrants by clinics specializing in sex selection caused some controversy a decade ago.

But a number of experts expressed surprise to see evidence that the preference for sons among Asian-Americans has been so significantly carried over to this country. “That this is going on in the United States — people were blown away by this,” said Prof. Lena Edlund of Columbia University.

She and her colleague Prof. Douglas Almond studied 2000 census data and published their results last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In general, more boys than girls are born in the United States, by a ratio of 1.05 to 1. But among American families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the likelihood of having a boy increased to 1.17 to 1 if the first child was a girl, according to the Columbia economists. If the first two children were girls, the ratio for a third child was 1.51 to 1 — or about 50 percent greater — in favor of boys.

Studies have not detected a similar preference for males among Japanese-Americans.

The findings published by Professors Almond and Edlund were bolstered this year by the work of a University of Texas economist, Prof. Jason Abrevaya. He found that on the basis of census and birth records through 2004, the incidence of boys among immigrant Chinese parents in New York was higher than the national average for Chinese families. Boys typically account for about 515 of every 1,000 births. But he found that among Chinese New Yorkers having a third child, the number of boys was about 558.

Joyce Moy, executive director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute of the City University of New York, said that family values prevalent in China, including the tradition of elder parents depending on their sons for support, have seeped into American culture even among younger immigrants, and even when some of the historic underlying reasons for the preference are less relevant here than in China, Korea and India.

“Inheritance in the old country is carried through the male line,” she said. “Families depend on the male child for support.”

Dr. Norbert Gleicher, medical director of the Center for Human Reproduction, a fertility and sex-selection clinic in New York and Chicago, said that from his experience, people were more inclined to want female children, except for Asians and Middle Easterners.

The preference for males among some immigrant Asians may fade with assimilation, experts said. And no one expects it to result in the lopsided male majorities like those in China, where, according to a study published this year in the British Medical Journal, the government’s one-child policy has resulted in the world’s highest sex disparity among newborns — about 120 boys for every 100 girls.

“The patients come in and they all think they owe me an excuse, but the bottom line is it’s cultural,” said Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, medical director of the Fertility Institutes, a California clinic that began sex-selection procedures in New York in March.

The Fertility Institutes, which does not offer abortions, has unabashedly advertised its services in Indian- and Chinese-language newspapers in the United States.

“Culturally, there are a lot of strange things that go on in the world,” Dr. Steinberg said. “Whether we agree with it, it’s not harming anyone.”

Efforts by clinics to appeal to Indian families in the United States provoked criticism and some community introspection in 2001. Some newspapers and magazines that ran advertisements promoting the clinics, which offered sex-selection procedures, expressed regret at the perpetuation of what critics regard as a misogynistic practice.

In this country, some Asian families are having more than the two children they had planned for if the first two are girls. “I do have girlfriends who have had multiple children in anticipation there will ultimately be a boy,” Ms. Moy said.

Experts say that Asian-American families are using sex-selection techniques, also called family balancing.

In China, sex selection is usually achieved by aborting female fetuses, which doctors say also occurs in this country, although few parents were willing to be interviewed about it.

“It’s a real touchy thing,” Dr. Steinberg said. “It’s illegal in Asia, and culturally, it’s private.”

One New York couple, Angie and Rick, Chinese immigrants who were brought here by their parents as young children and now own several food markets in the city, agreed to be interviewed only if their last name was not used.

The first time Angie became pregnant and learned that the baby was a girl, she and her husband were merely disappointed. They had planned on having a second child anyway. When she learned she was pregnant with a girl again, though, the couple considered an abortion.

Their doctor argued against terminating the second pregnancy, they said. The couple reluctantly agreed to try for a third child.

“Our theory was that to raise kids, it’s tough already, so we didn’t want too many,” Rick recalled.

They explored various forms of sex selection, which could cost $15,000 or more, but they feared that because Angie was so fertile, the process would result in multiple births. She became pregnant a third time naturally. The couple were delighted to learn they were finally having a boy.

“If the third one was going to be a girl, then I would say probably I would have terminated,” Angie said.

A 1989 study of sex selection in New York City, conducted by Dr. Masood Khatamee, a clinical professor at N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center, found that all the foreign-born couples — mostly from Asia and the Middle East — preferred boys, predominantly for cultural and economic reasons. Often, the pressure comes from the husband’s parents.

“I have two daughters and am married to an only child,” said a Chinese-American professional woman who is married to an engineer. “Early on, after the two girls were born and another two years went by and there was not a third, I found myself in the living room with four or five older relatives in a discussion of ‘Wouldn’t it be lovely for you to have a boy?’ It’s extremely uncomfortable.”

Dr. Lisa Eng, a Hong Kong-born gynecologist who practices in Chinatown and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said she tried to discourage couples who prefer boys from having abortions.

But, she said, “If it’s going to be a third, they’re pretty determined to have a boy. If it’s a boy, they keep it. If it’s a girl, they’ll abort.”

As Housing Market Dips, More in U.S. Are Staying Put
April 23, 2009

Fewer Americans moved in 2008 than in any year since 1962, according to census data released Wednesday, and immigration from overseas was the lowest in more than a decade.

The Census Bureau reported that the annual rate at which people moved dipped last year to 11.9 percent, compared with 13.2 percent in 2007 and a recent high of 20.2 percent in 1984-85. It was the lowest rate since the bureau began measuring mobility six decades ago.

The declines appeared to be directly related to the housing slump and the recession.

“It represents a perfect storm halting migration at all levels, since it involves deterrents in local housing-related moves and longer distance employment-related moves,” said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.

Moves from one state to another plunged the most, to half the rate recorded at the beginning of the decade. There were fewer total moves than in any year since 1949-50, when returning veterans and others streamed to the suburbs and the nation’s population was about half of what it is today.

“It does show that the U.S. population, often thought of as the most mobile in the developed world, seems to have been stopped dead in its tracks due to a confluence of constraints posed by a tough economic spell,” Dr. Frey said.

He predicted that the foreclosure crisis might spur more local mobility, within or between counties, as families are forced to rent or move in with relatives.

In 2008, the bureau said, 35.2 million people changed residences, compared with 38.7 million the year before.

People who moved were more likely to be unemployed, renters, poor and black. Those surveyed listed their reasons for moving as housing, family and job, in that order.

In all, 2.2 million people moved to the suburbs last year, while the major cities lost 2 million people.

The South recorded the largest net gain of people moving in, including a large influx of blacks. While the South also drew more children than any other region, it also lost more.

The Northeast lost the most residents of any region, as it has for years, but the West also registered a decline.

Obama Turns to Survey Researcher for Census Post
Filed at 10:21 p.m. ET

April 2, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday selected Robert M. Groves to be the next census director, turning to a survey researcher who has clashed with Republicans over the use of statistical sampling to lead the high-stakes head count.

The White House announced Obama's intention to nominate Groves, a former Census Bureau associate director of statistical design from 1990-92. If confirmed by the Senate, Groves will take the helm less than a year before the census, which has been beset by partisan bickering and will be used to apportion House seats and allocate billions in federal dollars.

Groves, 60, has spent decades researching ways to improve survey response rates, helping design surveys for agencies from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics to the EPA and National Institutes of Health.

''The decennial census faces significant challenges, but I am confident that Robert's leadership will help us meet those challenges,'' said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. ''He is a respected social scientist who will run the Census Bureau with integrity and independence.''

House Republicans expressed dismay over the selection of Groves, saying he raised serious questions about Obama's political intentions.

''We will have to watch closely to ensure the 2010 census is conducted without attempting ... statistical sleight of hand,'' said House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

When he was the bureau's associate director, Groves was among several officials who recommended the 1990 census be statistically adjusted to make up for an undercount of roughly 5 million people, many of them minorities in dense urban areas who tend to vote for Democrats.

But in a fierce political dispute that prompted White House staff to call advisers to the bureau and express opposition, the Census Bureau was overruled by Republican Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher, who called the proposed statistical adjustment ''political tampering.''

The Supreme Court later ruled in 1999 that federal law barred the use of statistical sampling to apportion House seats. Justices, however, indicated that adjustments could be made to the population count when redrawing congressional boundaries.

Locke has made clear that sampling will not be used for apportionment. He stated during his confirmation hearing that there are no plans to use sampling for redistricting, while indicating that sampling could be used to measure census accuracy or collect a wider range of demographic data.

Census experts have said it would be difficult at this point to make plans for sampling in the 2010 census for congressional redistricting purposes since the count is only a year away. It is more likely that Groves could have an impact on statistical methods as part of long-term planning for census surveys after 2010.

Groves, a professor at the University of Michigan, would take over at a critical time. Census officials acknowledge that tens of millions of residents in dense urban areas -- about 14 percent of the U.S. population -- are at high risk of being missed because of language problems and a deepening economic crisis that has displaced homeowners.

The government is devoting up to $250 million of the $1 billion in stimulus money for outreach, particularly for traditionally hard-to-count minorities.

But Hispanics, blacks and other groups are warning that traditional census outreach will not be enough, citing in particular rising anti-immigration sentiment after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, praised Groves as a well-regarded academic, calling the question of statistical adjustment in the 2010 census a ''non-issue'' because there are no plans for it.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., who chairs a House subcommittee on the census, said Groves will be a strong and effective manager for the bureau. ''I look forward to working closely with him to reduce the undercount of minorities,'' said Clay, speaking also on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Republicans have been crying foul after the White House earlier this year indicated that it would take greater control over the census to address minority group concerns about Obama's initial nomination of GOP Sen. Judd Gregg as Commerce secretary.

Gregg later withdrew his nomination, partly citing disagreements over handling of the census. The White House has since made clear that Locke will make the final decisions regarding the 2010 head count.

Democrats and Republicans for years have disagreed on whether the census should be based on a strict head count or cross-checked against a ''statistical adjustment'' to include hard-to-track people, particularly minorities, who might have been missed.

Meanwhile, the cost of the 2010 census is estimated to be $15 billion, the most expensive ever, and experts have long said the Census Bureau must do more to reduce a persistent undercount among minorities, as well as to modernize what is basically a paper mailing operation that has been in place for decades.

On the White House: The Political Stakes Are High as U.S. Counts Noses
February 20, 2009

WASHINGTON — If they were injected with truth serum, most politicians in Washington would admit they do not really care much who runs the Commerce Department. But many of the most astute politicians in both parties care very much who runs the Census Bureau.

That’s why Senator Judd Gregg’s withdrawal as President Obama’s nominee for commerce secretary provoked such a furor among Republicans: they concluded that he pulled out because of White House plans to take control of the Census Bureau, part of the department he would have run. The White House denied it was trying to politicize the census, but the damage was done.

While most Americans do not think much about the census, it looms large in the lives of the nation’s political leaders, with the next decennial nose-count due next year. The constitutionally mandated “enumeration” determines how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives, and helps to determine where the district lines are drawn within each state. It will also shift billions upon billions of federal dollars over the next decade from some parts of the country to others because of population-driven financing formulas.

The parties have been at loggerheads for years over how to conduct the census. Most everyone agrees that the traditional method — mail-back surveys and door-knocking follow-ups — fails to count millions of Americans. Democrats argue that the solution is to use statistical sampling models to extrapolate figures for the uncounted people. If minorities, immigrants, the poor and the homeless are the most likely to be undercounted, then such sampling would presumably benefit the Democrats.

Republicans, for their part, argue that statistical sampling is unreliable and that the Constitution mandates an actual count. In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, that under current law, sampling techniques could not be used to reapportion House seats from one state to another. But some experts still believe that it could be used in drawing district lines within the states, and to determine money flows.

Mr. Gregg’s rise and fall brought that rift to the forefront. After Mr. Obama announced his nomination, the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Association of Latino Officials and others complained about having a Republican heading the department overseeing the census. The White House responded with a statement meant to assuage them, but which in the end provoked a Republican outcry and may have helped precipitate Mr. Gregg’s withdrawal.

The White House statement said: “There is historic precedent for the director of the census, who works for the commerce secretary and the president, to work closely with White House senior management, given the number of decisions that will have to be put before the president. We plan to return to that model in this administration.”

Republicans quickly took that to mean that Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, would be in charge of the census. Nothing could be more alarming for them, given Mr. Emanuel’s history as a fierce partisan and a former head of the campaign committee that helped orchestrate the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006.

When Mr. Gregg pulled out last week, he issued a statement saying he had “found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me.” He did not elaborate, and at a news conference later that day, he minimized the census dispute, calling it “only a slight issue.” Mr. Obama’s aides brushed the matter aside, saying the Census Bureau was never going to be taken out of the Commerce Department, only instructed to coordinate its efforts with the White House, as in the past.

Karl Rove, the political strategist for former President George W. Bush, said the episode underscored the stakes in the 2010 census. “It shows how difficult and fraught with implications this is,” he said in an interview. “Even small changes in policy can have big ramifications.”

He cited an example: The census counts military personnel deployed overseas as residents of the states where they deployed from, Mr. Rove said, but it has no policy regarding religious missionaries living abroad. After the 2000 census, he said, that made the difference between assignment of a House seat to North Carolina or to Utah, home of many Mormon missionaries.

Democrats do not disagree about the consequences of the upcoming census. But they said Republicans had drummed up false issues. Kenneth Prewitt, who directed the 2000 census under former President Bill Clinton, said the bureau always answered to the White House as well as the commerce secretary, and he saw no change under Mr. Obama. As for politicization, he said an appointed commerce secretary is just as liable to politicize the census as the White House is.

“The census has many bosses,” Mr. Prewitt said in an interview. “The idea that somehow the White House could control the census in a manner that would have implications for the allocation of seats to the states or to the redistricting process is silly.”

Mr. Obama now has to pick another commerce secretary to replace Mr. Gregg. But he also has to pick a director of the Census Bureau itself. Mr. Prewitt denied speculation that he would return to do the job again. “That’s just chatter in the system,” he said.

Carol Hogue;  "About Weston" water color that evokes Whidbey Island look.

Whidbey Island, WA article
Recession breeds fewer babies

By Mike Stobbe, Associated press
Updated: 08/07/2009 11:20:30 PM EDT

ATLANTA -- There aren't just fewer jobs in a recession. There are fewer babies, too.

U.S. births fell in 2008, the first full year of the recession, marking the first annual decline in births since the start of the decade and ending an American baby boomlet.  The downturn in the economy best explains the drop in maternity, some experts believe. The Great Depression and subsequent recessions all were accompanied by a decline in births, said Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology.

And the numbers have never rebounded until the economy pulled out of it, she said, calling the 2008 recession the most likely culprit for fewer babies. It's not clear that it's the only explanation, however. Another expert noted a recent decline in immigration to the U.S. may also be a factor.

The nation recorded about 4,247,000 births last year, down about 68,000 from 2007, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

This recession began in December 2007, and since then the economy has lost almost 7 million jobs. Housing foreclosures worsened in 2007 too, and fell into a state of crisis in 2008.  The largest decline in births were in California and Florida, two states hit hardest by the housing crisis.

"I wasn't surprised," Hogue said, of the new numbers, which are not final and will be updated.

But the downturn's effect on the public psychology -- and amilies' willingness to have babies -- may not have really hit until the fall of 2008, said Stephanie Ventura of the health statistics center, the agency that put out the report.

Of course, 2007 was a year in which more babies were born in the United States than any other year in the nation's history. In the past, a fluctuation of births by 1 or 2 percent would not be seen as very significant, especially from such an unusual year.  But the drop seems to break an unusual trend. Births had been rising since 2002, and birth rates had been increasing in women of different age groups, said Ventura, chief of the agency's reproductive statistics branch.

The new report is an early count of births from each state, and does not contain demographic breakdowns that might more completely explain whether birth declines occurred in some groups, but not others.  Births were up in January, February and April of 2008 compared to 2007, but were down every month after that except September. The largest declines were in October and November.  Births were down in all but 10 states, primarily the northwest quadrant of the country, including North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Alaska.

In contrast, births in California were down by 15,000 and in Florida, by 8,000, compared to 2007.  While the recession probably played an important role in fewer babies, another factor may be the net decline in recent years in immigration to the United States, said Mark Mather, demographer with the Population Reference Bureau.

"If there are fewer immigrants coming to the U.S., there are fewer moms and dads," said Mather, noting that California and Florida are states with large immigrant populations.

"I don't think we have enough data to know for sure what's going on," he added.

About half of U.S. pregnancies are unplanned. But Hogue, the Emory professor, said the recession likely affected the other half.  The recession also may have cut into the number of unplanned
pregnancies that progressed to live births, but it's hard to say. Abortion statistics for 2008 are not yet available, Hogue said.

American Community Survey the substitute for the "long form" of the Census (which we think 10% received each decade - so that the data was really, really old by the time it came out)?

The Orwellian American Community Survey

Weekly Standard
BY Daniel Freedman
April 1, 2010 12:00 AM

 The American Community Survey wasn't around when Ronald Reagan declared that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." If it was, he'd probably agree that having a government representative knock on your door, try to threaten their way into your home, and demand that you give them very personal information is far more terrifying.

My nightmare started in January when I received the American Community

Survey (ACS) form in the mail. The ACS is an extension of the U.S. Census that all households receive. While the U.S. Census form contains 10 questions and is sent out every 10 years, the ACS form contains 48 questions and is sent to 250,000 households each month on a rolling basis.

The ACS itself is a lesson in government overreach. Article 1 of the Constitution allows for a census every 10 years so that seating in Congress is proportional to state populations. Lawmakers gave the Commerce Department the power to ask more questions, and it took the power and ran, and ran, with it -- ending up asking questions unrelated to districting. (ACS answers, according to its website, are to help "manage or evaluate federal and state government programs" -- not to help with congressional seating.)

What's especially problematic about the ACS are the answers it demands from citizens. The least threatening of them are just strange -- such as asking whether your home has a flush toilet and whether "there is a business (such as a store or barber shop) or a medical practice" on your property. Then there are the financial questions. The ACS asks everything from your sources of income (in dollar amounts) to how much you spend on gas, electricity, and water. The IRS just asks what you earn; the Commerce Department wants to know how you spend your money as well.

Even more invasive are the personal questions. The questionnaire asks how many people live with you and their relationship to you, along with their names, ages, gender, and race. Most creepy of all are the questions about your daily routine. The ACS wants to know where you work, what time you leave for work, how you get to work, how long it takes you to get to work, and how many people travel with you.

Downright Orwellian. That was my first thought when I received the form. And initially I didn't quite believe that the government would demand such personal information and threaten citizens with fines (up to $5,000) if they don't hand it over. When friends, from Justice Department officials to university lecturers, heard about it from me, their first thought was that it was some kind of sophisticated mail fraud. After learning that the ACS was real, I reluctantly spent an hour answering the questions -- vowing at the same time to protest to my representatives in Congress -- and dropped the form in the mail toward the end of January.

A few weeks after sending in the form, a representative of the ACS left a note at my apartment asking me to contact her. When I did, she said she'd like to come to my apartment to go through the questions. I replied that I'd already filled out the form, and if they'd lost it, it was their duty to find it. I also didn't want a stranger entering my home and asking personal questions (and ones that I'd already answered), I told her.

The ACS representative ignored my comments and later turned up twice unannounced at my apartment, demanding entry, and warning me of the fines I would face if I didn't cooperate. I cited the Fourth Amendment ("The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches..."), and reiterated what I told her on the phone. After that, on March 14, I sent a letter of complaint to her regional director.

My saga ended on March 23 when an ACS program supervisor investigated my case and discovered my form had in fact been received on February 8, only it was sitting on the side and never processed. She thanked me for writing in to complain -- she said it was my letter that prompted the search for my form -- and said she would investigate the harassment I received.

My experience exposes that a basic problem with the government having the kind of detailed information the ACS asks is not only from some rogue bureaucrat abusing it, but from an incompetent one losing or misplacing it. U.S. Census Bureau workers have even in the past accidentally published people's personal information on public websites.

But the bigger problem with the ACS is the underlying government mentality it exposes. From the Commerce Department thinking it can demand any personal information it wants, to a government representative thinking she can threaten her way into a private home to get those answers -- what today's government and its workers have forgotten is that government is accountable to the people, not the reverse. It is "government of the people, by the people, for the people," in Abraham Lincoln's immortal words. But in today's America, the servants are increasingly acting like the masters.

Daniel Freedman is director of strategy and policy analysis at the Soufan Group.

Experts predict what the Census will show us
By Angela Carter, New Haven Register Staff
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ten years ago, the U.S. census presented a picture of Branford.

The town had 28,683 residents across 13,342 households and the median age of its citizens was 41.4.

Among them, 94 percent were white, 1.3 percent were African-American, 2.6 percent were Hispanic and 2.7 percent were Asian. Census responders in 2000 were able to, for the first time, select multiple races or ethnicities.  The 69.9 percent of residents in the workforce earned a median household income of $58,009.

But First Selectman Anthony “Unk” DaRos said that snapshot is far from the whole story.  Over the past 10 years, he has watched the town’s population become more diverse, a little older and the school enrollment decline.

“I see every face there is on the face of the earth. It’s a beautiful thing to see. This diversity is our strength. That I’ve noticed, it bodes well for everybody,” DaRos said.

Branford likely will hit a population of 30,000 in the 2010 census, he said, or come very close and the median age could inch higher.

“We have a large and growing senior population here. Over the last decade, we’ve been paying attention to housing and developing units close to the center of town, where doctors and services are, where the restaurants are and the coffee shops, so they can still enjoy quality of life,” DaRos said.

Branford, like every community in the nation, has changed since the last census. Experts predict the 2010 census will reveal that Branford’s experience is not unique.

David Fink, policy director for Hartford-based Partnership for Strong Communities, said Connecticut as a whole leads the nation in the loss of 24- to 35-year-olds, while the 65 and older age group is growing.  According to research conducted by Orlando Rodriguez and Charles Venator for the University of Connecticut’s Connecticut State Data Center, education enrollment declined not just in Branford, but statewide by 8,792 students in grades 1 through 12 from the 2006-07 school year through 2008-09.

Rodriguez said future enrollment is not expected to increase by large amounts. “We might bottom out and go up a little,” he said.

The researchers are predicting that state’s so-called “dependency ratio” of nonworking individuals (those aged 0 to 19 and over 65) per 100 workers (ages 20 to 64) will increase from 68.5 in 2000 to 70.3 in 2010.

“Individuals who comprise the elderly dependent population will be, in many cases, retiring out of the work force and likely living on a fixed income,” Rodriguez and Venator said in a 2009 report. “Consequently, Connecticut public policymakers can anticipate a decrease in the income tax base (after adjusting for inflation) with a simultaneous increase in demand and utilization of health services.

“Additionally, the increase in the elderly dependent population will result in an increase in the utilization rate of Medicare providers and services statewide,” they said in the report titled, “Projected Population in 2010 for Congressional Districts in Connecticut.”

Rodriguez said in an interview that Connecticut’s population is growing mainly by immigration.  The state’s young work force is increasingly minority, but not yet a majority, he said, adding that young, college-educated professionals tend to leave.

“Our work force is going to decrease in size, by about 60,000 by 2030,” Rodriguez said. “Connecticut is really a microcosm of what’s happening nationally, as an average. As a country, if we want to increase the number of young workers, we need to allow for immigration. The federal laws don’t allow enough immigration, so we have a lot of illegals coming in.”

Rodriguez now works for New Haven-based Connecticut Voices for Children.

Fink said the Census is likely to reflect that Connecticut is headed for a “nightmare scenario” because currently, there are 4.5 workers to every person 65 and older contributing tax revenues that support programs such as Medicaid and Social Security Income or disability income.

“If we don’t correct those demographic trends, that 4.5 number will fall to 2.6 by 2030,” Fink said. “We’ve got to bring in more young, skilled, educated workers or we’re going to be in a bad place in the next 20 years.”

Providing affordable apartments, condominiums and starter homes will be an important factor in being able to retain them, Fink said. “We don’t have enough of those options here,” he said.

Hamden Mayor Scott D. Jackson said Hamden is “pretty well built out” and most of any new housing developments have been shared-wall construction, such as apartments and condos.  More dense developments purposely have been built in proximity to major corridors such as Whitney and Dixwell avenues and State Street, he said.

“We have seen decreased competition for housing,” Jackson said. “We are seeing an absolute lack of interest in single-family construction,” which was more popular in the early 2000s.

Hamden’s population was 56,913 as of the 2000 count, among 23,464 housing units. Whites made up 98.1 percent of the population, blacks 15.5 percent; Hispanics 4.3 percent and Asians, 3.5 percent, figures that don’t add up to 100 percent because census responders were able to select multiple ethnicities or races.  Back then, 29,959 people were in the work force and the town’s median household income was $52,351.

“Our numbers will likely be a little bit skewed because of Quinnipiac University. If the date was July 1, the numbers might be a few thousand less,” Jackson said. “I think that our numbers will be unnaturally younger than we really are and unnaturally slanted toward Caucasian.”

Both DaRos and Jackson grew up in the towns they now lead.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on things,” DaRos said.

Source:  South Western Regional Planning Agency

A MAP OF POPULATION DENSITY IN WESTON 2010, U.S. Census of Population and Housing

THE ACTUAL DATA FOR WESTON;  American Community Survey Data 2005-2009 here, offering the snapshot of Weston population and housing in greater depth.

Click on spread sheet above to get 2005-2009 "Rolling Census" American Community Survey data for Weston.   This source will give you much of the detail Weston got from the Census 2000 and earlier - statistically it was collected differently - but it might even be more accurated than samples from the past!  Mostly because it has come out sooner!



More Immigrants, More Advanced Degrees, Same Old Commute
Changes In Census Data Collection And Release Help To Pinpoint Population's Evolution In State

The Hartford Courant

6:28 PM EST, December 18, 2010

For the first time since 2001, we can see how our towns and neighborhoods are changing.

The U.S. Census no longer sends a detailed questionnaire about housing, immigration, education, ancestry, commuting and income to one in six households every 10 years. Instead, it has expanded its annual surveys and uses that data to show what's happening in our country.

"We're changing dramatically as a society," said William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington. And getting more frequent data is a huge improvement. He said when people can see how immigrants are arriving, how people are getting older, how people are delaying marriage, and how more people are living alone, it changes how we view ourselves.

"It's important for ordinary citizens to learn who their neighbors are, how it's different from other parts of the state, how it's different from other parts of the United States," he said.

To find out about where you live, click here to search the town-by-town Connecticut Census database.

Over the coming months, The Courant will tell stories about wealth and poverty and the middle class, integration and segregation, immigration and staying put, marriage, widowhood, cohabitation and singletons, and more.

But for now, here's a tiny taste of the flood of information released this week about how we live today.


The number of immigrants in the state between 2000 and 2009 rose 24 percent The data released this week, which show averages from 2005 to 2009 for every municipality in the state, revealed that some cities and towns changed far more. Averages are used because for smaller towns the sample sizes are too small to give accuate data year by year.

Among cities, Norwich had the fastest increase, as its immigrant population doubled to about 4,800. Meriden was next, with a 59 percent increase, as the number of immigrants in the city grew from about 3,760 to 6,000 during the period.

New Haven had the third-highest gain among cities, at 42.5 percent. A little more than half of New Haven's 20,000 foreign-born residents come from Latin America. Yale's labs, hospitals and classrooms include thousands of immigrant doctors, researchers and students from China, India, South Korea, England, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.


The number of adults with advanced degrees — masters, Ph.Ds, M.D.s and legal — increased 21 percent between 2000 and '05-'09 and is now 15.5 percent. Connecticut is No. 3 in the country for the percent of its population with advanced degrees, behind Massachusetts and Maryland.

You might expect one of Fairfield County's suburban towns to have the most highly educated population, but that's not the case. Woodbridge, a suburb of New Haven, is tops, with 44 percent of adults having advanced degrees. Fairfield County towns are No. 2 through No. 6, and University of Connecticut professors bring Mansfield in at No. 7.

West Hartford, where 31.2 percent of adults have advanced degrees, moved up the education ladder in greater numbers than any of the towns in the state's top 10. Ten years ago, 26.2 percent of adults had more than a bachelor's degree.


You may feel like you sit in traffic more each year, but the census surveys say that our average commuting time remained at 24 minutes from 2000 to 2009.

The town whose residents have the longest commute is Weston at 41 minutes; the town with the shortest commute is North Canaan, at 17 minutes.

Public transit use was also flat. The town with the highest percentage of public transit commuters is Darien, where 26 percent ride Metro-North trains. Despite Metro-North passing through Bridgeport and New Haven, Hartford is the heaviest public transit user among the state's big cities, at just under 15 percent.

Median Income

The rich get richer (and they mostly live in Fairfield County), but the poorest towns' rankings have changed over the decade.

In 1999, the top 10 towns had a midpoint income for households at more than $99,000 and less than $146,800. During this survey period, the top town changed from Darien to Weston, and the richest town in the state had a median household income of about $206,500.

In 1999, the poorest 10 towns, were, in order, Hartford, New Haven, New London, New Britain, Waterbury, Bridgeport, Windham, North Canaan, Norwich and Killingly.

During this period, Hartford was still poorest, at barely over $29,000, but the other players shifted. Windham fell four slots, and now is third-poorest in the state, after New Haven. Killingly and Norwich prospered enough to move out of the bottom 10. Now Torrington is No. 9, and East Hartford is No. 10, at about $48,750.



Educational attainment


Journey to work

Households with children


Journey to work ("travel time")

Household with children

Employment type (Profession, Managerial or Finance, Insurance and Real Estate)

The Hartford Courant article above notes that Yale professors have gravitated to Woodbrige - but us overeducated folks in Weston still hold a lead!

Weston has fluctuated over the years between more of one over the other - but clearly is headed back to the" professional" category.


This map will probably remain in play for the 2010 Census


Our analysis and advice:  wait for the official numbers...but the comparisons between U.S. Census 2000 and U.S. Census 2010 may fall short because there was no "long form" sample done in the most recent decenial census, if I am remembering this accurately... below please find the tables with all of the data as supplied in the Hartford Courant for the release of the "rolling census" which is not supposed to be taken as anything but an estimate.