Monday, July 21, 2014

When the Empty Nest Isn’t – A Regional Look at Millennials Who Remain At Home After the College Years

A recent request for data got me thinking about Generation Y, or the Millennials, and their role as fillers of an otherwise empty nest for their parents. As a matter of definition, Millennials are those born post-1980 and prior to the year 2000. For my purposes here I was really only interested in those that would normally be assumed to be post-college age. In other words, age 24 and older. In addition, I wanted to narrow this group down further to only those that presently live in their parents (or step-parents) home.

To start, more than 5,000 of the almost 37,000 Millennials between the ages of 24 and 34 who presently live in Herkimer and Oneida Counties have remained in their parents' homes. This is based on the 2012 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the 2012 ACS for the main two main PUMS areas covering the majority of our region. Of the 5,149 such “Millennial Nesters” identified in the PUMS, the majority are males (62%).

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Most “Nesters” are under the age of 30 than over it; about seven out of ten members of the targeted sample in between the ages of 24 and 29 years old. The vast majority are not currently attending school (84%), although about 12% are taking undergraduate courses, and another 4% are doing graduate work.

About 40% of “Nesters” have only a high school education or less. Around 30% have some sort of college degree – 11% an associate’s degree, 16% a bachelor’s degree, and 4% have advanced degrees.

Most “Nesters” have jobs – about 75% of this population are currently employed. Of the remaining quarter, 10% are unemployed while about 15% are technically “not in the labor force”, which includes those going to school, as well as those not pursuing work for other reasons.

Some of the Millennials who remain in their parents’ homes may be there as a result of marriages gone bad. One in ten (10%) of all “Nesters” are currently either divorced or separated. Another 4% are still married and assumedly with their spouse in their parents’ domicile.

So on the surface these Millennial Nesters appear to be mostly males, under the age of 30, many of whom have college degrees and most of whom have jobs. It is worth looking a bit closer however, particularly at differences between the sexes and among those that have those college degrees.

When it comes to male and female Nesters, an identical percentage of both groups are not currently attending school (84%). However, among the 16% of Nesters attending school but still living at home, almost all of the males (14%) are taking undergraduate courses; very few living at home while pursuing a graduate degree. In comparison, half of the females attending school while still living in their parents home (8%) are enrolled in graduate course work. This might make some sense given that females living at home are generally are older than their male counterparts - females were almost twice as likely to be age 30 or old than males in this sample.

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Almost half (44%) of all males had a high school diploma or less among Nesters. In comparison about a third of all females (34%) had similar levels of education.

In terms of work, more than a quarter (27%) of all male Nesters were not working. Some were unemployed while others were not in the labor force, meaning that they were not seeking employment for any number of reasons. About 21% of the females living at home among Millennials were currently not working.

As noted above, some of the Millennial Nesters have actually gotten married and returned to (or perhaps never left) the nest. Females were far more likely to have been in this situation than males. While only about 4% of Nesters of both sexes indicate that they are presently married, 21% of females said that they were either divorced or currently separated from their spouse while still living at home with their parents. Only about 4% of males said that they were either currently divorced or separated. 

In comparing those Nesters who have at least an Associate's degree or higher to those with no college degree (but perhaps some college course work) those with college degrees were more likely to be employed than those without a degree (81% versus 73%).

When it comes to ever having been married (either currently married or currently separated or divorced) Nesters without a college degree were more than twice as likely to have ever entered into matrimony. Around 17% of these less educated Nesters have been married and still live at home; only about 8% of Nesters with an Associate's degree or higher were living in the parents' homes while either presently married or having been married in the past.

Females were more likely to have gotten some sort of college degree than their male counterparts. Thirty-five percent (35%) of females who still lived at home with their parents had a college degree; around 28% of males had an Associate's degree or higher.

Probably one of the most interesting, and maybe concerning, pieces found in the data was the percentage of Millennial Nesters who are doing nothing: they are not taking college courses, they are not employed or they are not part of the work force due to other reasons.

Almost one out of five Nesters (19.4%) are doing nothing at the present moment. As the graph below points out, most are young males without any type of college degree. Compared to the general population of Nesters, a similar number have been ever married.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ZIP Code Business Patterns

Most of you may already be familiar with County Business Pattern data from the Census Bureau. County Business Patterns (CBP) is an annual series that provides economic data by industry down to the county level. This series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll. This data is useful for studying the economic activity of small areas; analyzing economic changes over time; and as a benchmark for other statistical series, surveys, and databases between economic censuses. Businesses use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. Government agencies use the data for administration and planning.

Well this data is also available on a ZIP code basis as well. If you click this link to the CB County Business Pattern page you'll also see the area for accessing ZIP code level data:


Once you enter a ZIP code and click go, you will then be at a page full of data for the area - for example here is the headers for the Herkimer 13350 ZIP:


Note that once there you can change the ZIP Code or the year you want to see ! So if ZIP code data works better for you when it comes to business activity data, there's now an easy way to get to it !

Characteristics of Those Age 65 and Over in the US and Regionally

Yesterday it was a post about young moms and female fertility - today it is about our elder population. The Census Bureau recently released what might be the definitive report of those age 65 and over in the US recently. It covers far, FAR more than could ever be generated locally. Take a look and perhaps there are a few areas of interest that we could try to replicate on a regional basis.

In the meantime, here is Table S0103 from the 2012 Five Year ACS estimates for the combined Herkimer-Oneida Counties area. It covers a LOT of data pieces showing the total population facts and figures compared to those for our older citizens.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fertility of Women in the United States and the Two County Region

The Census Bureau has released a new report on fertility of women in the United States. The report highlights three trends:
  • Births to adolescents continues to decline;
  • More than one in five women who gave birth in the last 12 months reported at the time of the birth that they were living in someone else's home; and
  • While the majority of first births occur in marriages (as they have for decades), first births to young mothers is more likely to occur in a cohabitation relationship than a married one.

To see some local fertility data for the two county region, click below.

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Our Changing Population: South Utica - 1980 versus 2010

As part of a continuing look at our changing neighborhoods, we now look at South Utica. More or less South Utica is everything in the city south of the Parkway. Using Census 2000 tract designations, it would include the following areas:
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Below is an infographic that compares the age, sex, race, nativity, employment, education, income and poverty levels for the South Utica neighborhood, for both 1980 and 2010.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Oneida County's 6th Annual Sidewalk Art Contest and Our Local "Creative Class" in the US Census


The Oneida County Youth Bureau will be sponsoring their 6th Annual Sidewalk Art Contest from July 7th to July 11th this year. The contest is open to Oneida County youth ages 5 through 18 in four (4) age specific categories; 5-7 years of age, 8-10 years old, 11-13 years old, and 14-18 years old. This initiative offers local youth a special opportunity to come out and show their creative talents to their peers and their communities.


 The details are as follows:
  • Individual agencies, cities, towns and villages hold their own contests the week of July 7th through July 11th ; youth should inquire to see if their agency, city, town or village participates. If not, youth should contact the Oneida County Youth Bureau at 798-5027 to see how they can participate.
  • The agencies, cities, towns and villages choose their winners in each age category.
  • The agency, city, town and village winners compete in the finals competition the following Thursday, July 17th (rain date July 18th) on the sidewalks in front of and around Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor on State Street in Utica; competition begins at 10:30 and the youth have 30 minutes to draw a positive image on a single sidewalk slab.
  • Medals are given to the top three (3) finishers in each age category and all the finalists are invited to a free tour of Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute after the competition.
  • Last year 966 youth county-wide participated and 115 competed the following week.

The Daily Yonder has an interesting article on what is being called the "creative class" by the Economic Research Services group. ERS researchers identified creative occupations listed in the 2000 Census and refined their selection criteria for use with the 2011 American Communities five year estimates (the fine print of the study’s methodology and the data itself are here, courtesy of Tim Wojan and David McGranahan). Then they identified the top quarter of U.S. counties that had the largest percentage of creative-class workers.

If you go to this webpage you can click on the map to explore the data county by county. Green locations are nonmetro counties in the top 25 percent of creative-class employment. Gray locations are metro counties in the top 25 percent (there are 568 of those, according to the ERS study). The map shows the number of creative-class jobs and the percentage of workers in creative professions. The map also lists the number and percentage of workers who are professional artists – a special category of creative-class workers that researcher Richard Florida, who developed the creative-class thesis, associates with new-firm start ups and high-tech specialization. Below are screen shots of Herkimer and Oneida Counties creative class information.

 Herkimer County

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 Oneida County

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Our Changing Population: North Utica - 1980 versus 2010

As part of a continuing look at our changing neighborhoods, I've turned the focus to North Utica. More or less North Utica is everything in the city north of the NY Penn train tracks. Below is an infographic that compares the age, sex, race, nativity, employment, education, income and poverty levels of those who have found the North Utica neighborhood to be their home, in 1980 and in 2010.

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