Tags : census

Don't miss at IRE 2013: Breaking local stories with economic data

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will offer a free workshop from 2-5 p.m. on June 19 at the IRE Conference in San Antonio: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data. Government data offer unparalleled opportunities to distinguish your reporting with trend stories about what’s happening in your local economy.

Especially this year, with the release of the every-five-year Economic Census, journalists will have a unique opportunity to track changes in their local community from 2007 — before the recession — to 2012. Instructors Paul Overberg of USA Today and Jeannine Aversa, late of The AP, now with ...

Read more ...

Investigating income inequality with the Gini coefficient and other data

Paul Overberg, of USA TODAY, points to a graph of the Gini Index, which is a measure of income inequality. The diagonal line is perfect distribution of income and the curved line is a representation of actual distribution income. Overberg is interested in the space between them and what it describes. Photo by Travis Hartman.

Allow me to introduce you to your newest friend, Corrado Gini, an early 20th century Italian statistician. He created the “Gini coefficient,” the best yardstick to measure income inequality in your area and around the world.

Writing about income inequality isn’t about the poor ...

Read more ...

Hack the Census

By Anna Boiko-Weyrauch
@AnnaBoikoW

"Hacking the Census" was a collection of lightning talks on tools, tricks and codes to hack the Census and American Community Survey, ranging from introductory to advanced.

Steve Doig, professor at Arizona State University, said the Census has information about people and households, of course, but there’s also info on business, education, foreign trade, and more. The McCormick SRI project gathered speakers and taped 17 lectures of 45 minutes where each expert addressed these different facets of the data.

Ron Campbell of The Orange County Register demonstrated how to use the New American FactFinder, the ...

Read more ...

Mapping it Out: Population growth around nuke plants

Our biggest mistake was thinking it’d be easy.

In late 2009, long before the nuclear accident in Japan, I had embarked on an investigative series on nuclear power. Under the direction of Associated Press National Investigative Editor Rick Pienciak, I was examining how well nuclear power plants hold up as they age. I was focusing on considering harmful factors within the plants, everything from radiation to rust. Soon, I began to wonder about safety outside the plants’ grounds. Had population growth in surrounding communities undermined what was once viewed as a fundamental safety feature of the plants: remote locations ...

Read more ...

Tech Tip: Making census maps in GeoCommons

This tutorial assumes:

  • You’ve created an account on GeoCommons [3]
  • You know how to unzip files
  • You know how to delete columns in a spreadsheet, filter records and write basic formulas for subtraction and percent change

Making interactive maps on deadline has been a longtime goal of mine since taking over as Database Editor for The Oklahoman in late 2007.

Interactive maps are a worthwhile addition to our online coverage. But many times the payoff after coordination and fact-checking among departments isn't worth the pain and frustration for a one-person data shop like ours.

In an era of ...

Read more ...

Census offerings at CAR conference

Confused by the 2010 Census? Not sure of the difference between the decennial census and the annual American Community Survey? Worried about data issues? Looking for fresh census story ideas? If so, the 2011 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference has you covered. If you haven't registered, you have until noon (CST) on Monday, Feb. 14, to register online. During the Feb. 24-27 conference in Raleigh, N.C., we will offer six census training opportunities, including a special track on Thursday afternoon:

Thursday, Feb. 24 2-2:50 p.m. – American Community Survey: Mining the every-year census

  • Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times ...
Read more ...

Census webinar ready for download

This month, new American Community Survey data for census tracts will be released. This will be the first detailed demographic data at the neighborhood level from the U.S. Census Bureau since the 2000 “long form.” To help you make sense of the treasure trove of story ideas at the local level, IRE has produced a 25-minute webinar. It’s available for download here ($5 for IRE members, $10 for nonmembers). You will need version 9.0 or newer of the free Adobe Reader to view it and hear the audio narration. The American Community Survey gathers information every year ...
Read more ...

PUMS data tells immigrant labor story

Immigration is one of the hottest of hot-button issues. I wanted to inject some facts into the debate.

To do that, I decided to analyze nearly four decades of census microdata for California. It was a ridiculous idea, like slipping into the Pacific Ocean one morning for a quick swim to Hawaii.

But it worked – barely – because of two things: the extraordinarily rich microdata and my statistical software, SPSS.

Among my findings:

  • California is more dependent on immigrant workers than any other state and almost any developed economy on the planet.
  • Immigrants have filled most of the new jobs created ...
Read more ...

IRE census training in Vegas plus webinars

Investigative Reporters and Editors will present a half-day census workshop Oct. 4 during the SPJ national convention in Las Vegas. Full details are online at http://www.spj.org/c-halfday.asp. USA TODAY database editor Paul Overberg and IRE training director Doug Haddix will lead the in-depth sessions. You’ll leave with story ideas, a better understanding of how to use the data, and details about the ongoing American Community Survey for rich demographic information down to the neighborhood level. In addition, IRE has scheduled two full-day census workshops this fall: Read more ...

Big Changes for 2010 Census Reporting

The census is underway.

This summer, the U.S. Census Bureau is attempting to take an inventory of every man, woman and child living in the country. Since 1790, the bureau has counted heads every 10 years — an effort that constitutes the largest peacetime mobilization undertaken by the U.S. government. This year more than 700,000 people will conduct the census at a total cost of over $14 billion.

Among other things, the government will use the data to determine congressional districts and distribution of federal funds. Journalists will use the data to to tell the story of the ...

Read more ...