Posts Tagged by census
|June 19, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Federal Government, News, Policy, Research||
An April 2013 briefing to Congress on surveys and statistics focused on the problematic trend of declining response rates for federal surveys, including the American Community Survey and the National Survey of Child Health. The briefing, Policy Makers & Businesses Need Reliable Information and Data: The Impact of Falling Response Rates to Social Surveys and What Can Be Done, organized by The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), outlined the risks to research and the impact on policy-making if response rates to surveys on health, employment and household continue to subside. The largest risk is that of biased results. Other issues:
- Nonresponse rates currently range from 30 to more than 60 percent. This is an all-time high.
- Over 60 percent of nonresponses were refusals, while approximately another 1/4 were due to the inability to contact the intended recipient.
- Young single-person households, minorities, renters and the poor were less likely to respond.
- One-time surveys have higher nonresponse rates than more complex longitudinal studies that follow the same group of respondents over period of time.
While incentives (such as a gift card or a small amount of money) for completing and returning a survey would boost response rates, it would also increase costs – a risky proposition in an atmosphere of austerity. The authors of a related paper, Where Do We Go from Here? Nonresponse and Social Measurement, published in the January 2013 volume of AAPSS’s The Annals, suggest that a solution to this growing problem is a strategic outreach plan to inform both politicians and the public of the purpose of national surveys. Clear explanation of what the data is used for, as well as the regulations and protocols in place to protect it from being presented other than in aggregate form could have a favorable impact on perception. Unfortunately for these and other large-scale surveys, the recent news of metadata collected absent suspicion may have even the most tech-savvy survey-loving among us rethinking issues of privacy, transparency and information storage and retrieval.
Perhaps in the future these surveys that, by the way, inform funding decisions on infrastructure, education, and transportation to name a few, will be deemed too intrusive and/or obsolete and left behind. Funding and other governing decisions can then be made based on variables extracted from all that we have uploaded onto the digital data heap. So, will big data replace big surveys? Will traditional statistical methods be successful in tracking, analyzing and accurately reporting big data to inform policies at the federal, state and local level?
|March 5, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Federal Government, Health||
The steady increase of uninsured persons in the United States changed direction in 2011, with an overall decline in the number of uninsured persons age 64 and under (categorized as non-elderly by the Census) according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. This trend reversal seems to be linked to coverage changes in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). While coverage for children remained stable between 2010 and 2011, it increased among non-elderly adults. Although the proportion of low-income adults increased in 2011, so did the number of insured adults.
This decline and the coverage and population factors that may have influenced it are discussed in the brief Reversing the Trend? Understanding the Recent Increase in Health Insurance Coverage among the Nonelderly Population by John Holahan and Megan McGrath of The Urban Institute. The complete paper is available at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website.
|January 25, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, News||
Analysis from The Keystone Research Center paints a troubling picture of the extent of the recession’s impact on Pennsylvania families, with median family income down by nearly 1.5 percent between 2007 and 2009 and poverty rates on the rise. According to Census data, Pittsburgh’s poverty rate rose to 12.3 percent (up from 11.2 percent) between 2007 and 2009 while the rate for Allegheny County increased to 13.3 percent (from 11.7 percent). Centre, Dauphin and Lackawanna Counties also saw an increase in poverty rates.
Philadelphia County reported the highest rate of uninsured persons (over 14.5 percent). However, The Keystone Research Center’s analysis indicates that approximately twice the number of uninsured children reside in rural areas of Pennsylvania versus urban centers.
Read more about Pennsylvania poverty and uninsured rates at The Keystone Research Center website.
|September 17, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Federal Government, News||
I’m sure that many of you have heard about the findings from the latest report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009 from the U.S Census Bureau via the news headlines, RSS feeds or Twitter updates. Indeed, the report is grim; the nation’s poverty rate (14.3 percent) in 2009 is the highest since 1994, which translates into the reality that approximately 1 out of every 7 people in the United States lives in poverty. Even grimmer, the number of children living poverty grew by 1.4 million between 2008 and 2009, so that 20.5% of Americans under the age of 18 live in poverty.
According to the report, authored by Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, 11.1 percent of families are living below the poverty line. The authors explain that poverty impacted family units across the board, with the poverty rate increasing across all categories of families including married couples, female head-of-household without spouse present homes and male head-of-household without spouse present homes.
The information on health insurance is not much better. Over half of the persons in the country (55.8 percent) are covered by an employer-based health insurance plan, the lowest rate since 1987. The number of people who are uninsured (as of 2009) is 50.7 million or 16.7 percent of Americans. There appears to be a correlative relationship between income and insurance whereas the lower the income of the person, the higher the likelihood they lack health care coverage.
As bad as the picture is, are local nonprofits slightly cushioned from the terrible reality of these numbers – specifically their impact on services – due to our western Pennsylvania location? The data indicate that the Northeast has the highest median income (along with the West) and the highest rate of persons with health care insurance (although in PA, the number of uninsured persons under 65 increased according to analysis by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center). Further, the Northeast was the only region where the poverty rate in 2009 was not statistically different from the 2008 poverty rate, in other words, no significant increase. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 numbers for our region trend in a similar manner, especially as unemployment benefits expire and people who have been living off of their savings face a dwindling nest egg/emergency fund.