Friday, April 27, 2012

For Richer or Poorer: How States Fair In Federal Taxes and Benefits

The citizens and businesses in every state of the union of course pay federal taxes that ultimately get redistributed in many forms as government benefits. The table and graphic below, based on data regularly assembled by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, convey a feel for the direction of these transfers. The data clearly identify which states have donor roles in this process (states in which the ratio is below $1.00) and recipient states (those that have a ratio in excess of $1.00).

Night Shift: US Workers Getting Less Sleep

Nearly a third of workers in the U.S. aren't getting enough sleep, according to a new government report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 30 percent of employed U.S. adults reported getting less than six hours of sleep a night, according to the CDC. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults get seven to nine hours of sleep.
People who usually work the night shift — especially those in transportation, warehousing, health care and social assistance industries — were more likely than day-shift workers to report not getting enough sleep. Forty-four percent of the night shift workers participating in the survey said they got less than six hours of sleep, compared with 29 percent of workers with day shifts.

In Herkimer County about one out of every twenty workers works a late or night shift. In Oneida County almost one in twelve workers works the late or night shift. The table below shows the time that workers leave for work in both counties for both the Census 2000 and the American Communities Survey Five Year Estimate covering 2006-2010. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pain at the Pump: An Infographic on Gas Prices in the US

Although this was created based on data from early March, it does take an interesting look at gasoline prices as a percent of annual income.

Traffic Fatality Data Mapped for US

ITO World, a transport information specialist group based in the UK, produces mapping and visualizations to help people understand and analyze complex transport data. Their clients include Google, the UK Department of Transport and also many transport agencies and operators.

One of the mapping functions they have available shows traffic fatalities for anyplace in the US. The fatality data for the USA is supplied via the Fatality Analysis Reporting System of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their site can be used to view information about virtually every fatality that occurred on roads in the United States as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle between between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2009. For each incident you will be able to see the person's age, sex and the year in which the crash took place. Where information is not available fields are left blank.

To see local data, you can look at this map of the Herkimer and Oneida Counties region. To look at other locations, enter a place name into the search box, press return and then select the correct result from the results list. If the place is not listed then try a larger place nearby.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day 2012: Recycling in Herkimer and Oneida Counties

Managing the waste our region generates is everyone’s responsibility. Preserving the environment through recovery and disposal is the stated mission of the Herkimer Oneida County Solid Waste Authority. The Authority was created more than 20 years ago by both Oneida and Herkimer Counties who voted to create a comprehensive solid waste management system.

Components of this self-contained system include:
  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction - including a regional compost facility
  • Waste disposal - including solid waste, hazardous household waste, and construction and demolition debris
Dedicated to advancing solid waste solutions in an environmentally friendly way, the Authority has pioneered the greening of Oneida and Herkimer Counties. This includes a regional recycling program that is regarded as one of the most expansive in the country that includes both school and community recycling programs. As a result, the Authority has helped our community become a national model for solid waste management systems.
Since 1991, the Herkimer Oneida County Solid Waste Authority has run its Recycling Center which  accepted recyclables from households, businesses, industries, schools, and institutions in the two-county area. Since opening, the Authority has processed over 700,000 tons of recyclable material.

In July of 2011, the Authority began the process of upgrading the Recycling Center. A new, state-of-the-art single stream processing system will take the place of the previous dual stream processing system. The project is expected to be complete in December of 2011.

The Authority is currently accepting all recyclable items- paper, plastic, metal and glass- mixed together. Plastic #7 has been added to the list of acceptable material. Items will continue to be added to the list of acceptable material as recycling markets are secured for additional items.

Here are some three charts showing the state of recycling in Herkimer and Oneida Counties in 2011. they come from the Solid Waste Authority 2011 Annual Report.

2011 Recycling Revenue 2011 Recycling Tonnage 2011 Recycled Hazardous Materials

Profile America: Earth Day 2012

April 22, 2012, marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day — a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day — and Earth Week (April 16-22) — this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.


Collecting Waste

$1.6 billion

Estimated revenue for “hazardous waste treatment — radioactive waste” in 2010 for U.S. employer firms was up 36.0 percent from 2009. 

Source: 2010 Sevice Annual Survey 

$715 million

Estimated revenue for “residential nonhazardous recyclable collection services” in 2010 for U.S. employer firms was up 26.5 percent from 2009.
Source: 2010 Service Annual Survey

$2.5 billion

Estimated revenue for “building remediation services — asbestos contamination” in 2010 for U.S. employer firms was up 22.8 percent from 2009.
Source: 2010 Service Annual Survey


Heating and Cooling the Home

2.2 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by wood in 2010, which is less than 2 percent of all homes.
Source: 2006-2010 ACS Five Year Estimates Table B25040


Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by solar energy in 2010.
Source: 2006-2010 ACS Five Year Estimates Table B25040

57.0 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2010, which is about half of all homes.
Source: 2006-2010 ACS Five Year Estimates Table B25040


Estimated percent of newly built single-family homes across the country with air-conditioning in 2010. In 1974, it was 48 percent.
Source: 2010 Characteristics of New Housing


Commuting to Work

25.3 minutes

Estimated average time for workers 16 years and older across the country spent getting to work in 2010, up from 25.1 minutes in 2009.
Source: 2010 ACS

31.8 minutes

Estimated average time for workers 16 years and older in Maryland spent getting to work in 2010, the longest commute time in the nation.
Source: 2010 ACS

16.1 minutes

Estimated average time workers 16 years and older in North Dakota spent getting to work in 2010, the shortest commute time in the nation.
Source: 2010 ACS

Working in the Nuclear and Forestry Fields


Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation across the U.S. in 2009. They had an average salary of $110,355.
Source: 2009 County Business Patterns


Number of workers employed in forestry and logging across the U.S. in 2009. They had an average salary of $35,127.
Source: 2009 COunty Business Patterns


Building a House

2,392 square feet

The average size of a single-family house built in 2010, down from 2,438 square feet in 2009.
Source: 2010 Characteristics of New Housing


The average sales price of a new single-family home in 2010, up from $270,900 in 2009 but down from $313,600 in 2007.
Source: 2010 Characteristics of New Housing


The number of multifamily buildings built across the U.S. in 2010. Of these, 62 percent had at least five units.
Source: 2010 Characteristics of New Housing


Watching Nature's Fury

36.8 million

The 2010 Census population (as of April 1, 2010) of the coastal portion of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas ― the area most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. Approximately 12 percent of the nation's population live in these areas.
Source: 2010 Census


The number of hurricanes to hit Florida's Monroe County from 1960 to 2008, the most in the country. The 2010 population of 73,090 was down 8.2 percent from 2000. Lafourche Parish in Louisiana and Carteret County in North Carolina have each seen 14 hurricanes from 1960 to 2008. Lafourche's population has risen 7.1 percent over the past decade while Carteret's population has risen 11.9 percent.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Census Bureau State and County QuickFacts

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Can't Get There From Here: In and Out Migration for Herkimer and Oneida Counties Within New York State

Data was released last week  by the Census Bureau through the American Communities Survey (ACS) showing the in-flow and out-flow of people on county level geography. The data, based on the 2005-2009 five year ACS estimates, allows policymakers to get a sense of who is coming to their county, as well as where former residents are relocating.

Below is a table covering both Herkimer and Oneida County migration within the state of New York. It shows the top 5 counties residents are coming from over the period 2005 to 2009, as well as the top 5 places they are going to within New York. It also has data on the top 5 most positive net in-state migration gains.

To see the complete in-flow and out-flow of residents for Herkimer and Oneida Counties within New York State, here is a table showing the estimated migration to and from each county (as well as the net impact) for our region.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Made in New York – Where Our Agricultural Products End Up Internationally

So an earlier post showed us the types of agricultural products we export from New York to the rest of the world, now the question is on whose tables do they end up ?

The map above, provided through International Trade Association and TradeStats Express, shows a thematic map of the world and where our agricultural products are exported to. It is basically broken down by quintiles, so the red represents the top countries we export agricultural products to, while the grey shows us those we don’t export to at all.

Note that the quintiles are quite wide ranging. In order to provide a little more insight, below you can see the top 10 countries that New York agricultural producers export to. 

NYS Agricultural Exports: 2001-2010

Just a snapshot of agricultural exports from New York State to the rest of the world over the last decade. Who knew wheat was one of the top three exports from New York State ? Or that soybeans were the second fastest growing agricultural commodity exported from New York over the past ten years ?

2010 National Teen Birth Rates From the CDC

There is interesting piece about teen pregnancy from the Centers for Disease Control on Yahoo News, and it does have some good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. The CDC reported that the U.S. teen birth rate dropped 9% from 2009 to 2010, reaching a historic low of 34.3 births per 1,000 teens aged 15 to 19. This is 43% below their peak in 1970. It attributed the drop to several factors, including strong pregnancy-prevention messages aimed at teens and increased use of contraception. But the geographic variation is substantial.

Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. On the other end of the equation, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grandparents in the Herkimer and Oneida Counties ACS Data

The general consensus is that we, as a region, are growing grayer, which is a nice way to say are getting older. With the aging of the baby-boomer generation, we certainly expect to see our median age continue to rise. Since 1970, the median age for Herkimer and Oneida Counties has risen by about 11 years – from 31.1 years old to 42.1 in Herkimer County, and from 29 to 40.8 in Oneida County.

So it seems pretty reasonable to assume that people over the age of 65 are becoming a larger part of our makeup. The data, however, don’t show that to be quite true.

Let’s start first with the actual numbers. It IS true that if you look back, let’s say, 50 years ago to the 1960 Census, there were fewer elderly people (those age 65 or older) living in either county. In Herkimer County the number has risen from about 8,300 elderly living there in 1960 to nearly 11,000 in 2010. Similarly, Oneida County has seen a rise from about 29,000 people age 65 or older in 1960 to more than 38,000 in the most recent census. But those numbers are a little misleading.

ALL of the increase in numbers of elderly came prior to 1990. Between 1960 and 1990, Herkimer County saw its older population grow by about 2,700; in Oneida County it rose nearly 10,000. But in the twenty years since then, both counties have seen a decline in the actual numbers of elderly – roughly 200 fewer elderly were counted in the 2010 Census in Herkimer County, and about 600 fewer in Oneida County.

When we look at the percentage of the population people age 65 and over represent, it shows a similar pattern – a steady rise from 1960 through 1990, and then a flattening out of this age group as a proportion of our population. In 1960 older persons (age 65+) made up about 11% or 12% of the population. Now they represent about 16% to 17%. That proportion however, hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. In Herkimer County it has remained dead flat at 16.8%; in Oneida County it as hovered around 16%.

So does this mean that the baby-boomers are not going to have the impact that we thought in our region ? Hardly. If we look at the working age population that is within 20 years of retirement age (assuming retirement age is 65 years old), we can see how the number of people that will soon be joining the ranks of the elderly is much different now than it was 20 years ago. In 1990, there were almost 60,000 people between the ages of 45 and 65 that were poised to move toward retirement. In 2010, we have more than 85,000 people in that latter stage of the “working age” range. So have no fear, the Baby Boomers are just around the corner from having their full impact felt.

So who are our present age 65+ seniors? Well, many of them are grandparents. The American Communities Survey now collects data about grandparents and their changing roles in our communities. To see both Herkimer and Oneida Counties data on grandparents (including their demographics, income, and living conditions) view the pdf from the 2010 Five Year ACS profile on Grandparents.

Profile America: Tax Day 2012

The US Census Bureau has a daily update they call Profile America. It typically has a daily clip that gives a snap shot of the history, as well as current state, of some relevant daily topic. Being April 16th, or the day that federal taxes are due, today's clip deals with tax collection and preparation in the US. You can go here for the audio file, or read the transcript below for today's topic.

Profile America -- Monday, April 16th. Debate about income tax rates ebbs and flows through the years, but has been especially heated during this presidential election year. Federal income taxes have been around since 1913, when the 16th Amendment to the Constitution gave Congress the right to levy such taxes. The first year, fewer than 360,000 returns were filed. Now, some 142.5 million returns are submitted annually. For those who don't like to compute their own taxes, there are nearly 112,000 tax preparation offices around the nation. Of these, close to 87,000 are single person businesses. We spend nearly $7 billion a year to have our taxes prepared. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

For other clips, visit the Profile America page at the Census website.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Happiest (and Unhappiest) Jobs in America

When you think of a cheerful job, you probably don’t think of loan officer, warehouse manager, or accountant. But it turns out these are some of the happiest careers in America, according to online jobs site CareerBliss is a career community dedicated to helping people “find happiness in the workplace and therefore in life”. In essence they are career counselors and help people find jobs.

CareerBliss compiled a list of the happiest, and unhappiest, jobs based on analysis from more than 100,400 employee-generated reviews between February 2011 and January 2012. Employees were asked to rate 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, including one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis.

The employees valued each factor on a five-point scale, and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness at work. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of overall employee happiness for each respondent, and then sorted by job title to find which occupations had the happiest workers. A minimum of 50 employee reviews was required to be considered for CareerBliss’ Happiest Jobs in America, and executive level jobs, like chief executive, were excluded from the study.

Below are the 10 Happiest and Unhappiest jobs found by CareerBliss in the country.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2011 Population Estimates for NYS Counties

As noted earlier, the US Census Bureau has released the July 1, 2011 county level estimates for our region. Below are the estimates for every county in New York based on the estimates program.

Release of 2011 Estimates of Population from the Census Bureau

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts its decennial census. In the non-decennial years, the Bureau produces and publishes estimates of the population for each state and county, as well as the nation as a whole. This series of estimates is part of the (no surprise here in its name) Estimates Program.

The most recently released estimate (the July 1, 2011 estimate) is the first based solely on the 2010 Census counts and what are referred to as the components of change. As estimates are produced each year between the decennial censuses, the entire estimate series is revised and updated. For each state and county, the Census Bureau each July releases annual estimates of the resident population by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. These estimates are produced largely through an analysis of three components of population change: births, deaths, and migration.

To estimate births, the Census Bureau utilizes birth certificate data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS provides final individual birth records for births occurring before January 1, 2010.

To estimate deaths, the Bureau utilizes death data collected by NCHS. NCHS provides final individual death records for all deaths occurring before January 1, 2010 by residence, age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin of each decedent, as well as the place and date each death occurred.

International migration estimate has several parts: immigration of the foreign born, emigration of the foreign born, net migration between the United States and Puerto Rico, net migration of natives to and from the United States, and net movement of the Armed Forces population to and from the United States.

The Census Bureau also estimates net domestic migration separately for two population universes – those living in household and group quarters and for those in each of two age groups (0 to 64 years and 65 years and older).

For the 0 to 64 year old household population, the Census Bureau uses Federal income tax returns supplied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to track person-level data on filers and dependents aged 0 to 64 years. Two years of IRS tax returns are matched and the addresses are compared to identify the number of individuals (represented by exemptions) who moved from one county to another between tax filings. A process is used to account for non-tax filers.

For the 65 years and older household population, the Bureau uses annual Medicare enrollment data for each county from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. As with the IRS data, not all U.S. residents aged 65 and older receive, or are eligible to receive, Medicare benefits. Therefore, a separate process accounts for those not part of the Medicare process.

To estimate the net domestic migration of the group quarters population, data from the Census 2010 is used, in combination with data collected from a special survey of these facilities called the Group Quarters Report.

To see all of the estimates for the country you might want to visit the Census Bureau Population Estimates web page.

To see some great analysis of NYS counties you may want to read this piece by Cornell Program of Applied Demographics.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Top 25 Countries From Which Foreign Born Residents Come to OC

Oneida County, and specifically Utica and Rome, are centers in which foreign born residents often reside. With the Refugee Center in Utica, the last 20 years has seen the county become home to many foreign nationals.

Below you can see the Top 25 countries from which foreign born residents are coming to Oneida County.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cost of Living Data For Herkimer and Oneida Counties to Improve

The Herkimer Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program (HOCCPP) has recently joined with the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) to begin collecting data to be used to establish a local cost of living index, or COLI. Years ago HOCCPP participated in such an endeavor when it was run under the auspices of the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association (ACCRA).

While cost-of-living data is available through the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), this data is not particularly relevant to most of upstate New York. The basis for the BEA cost-of-living data is a rather large geographic area that does include upstate New York. But it also includes all of New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, and most of New Jersey. It's easy to understand then how the living standards it measures in the greater New York metro area have little in common with the standards in the far more rural areas upstate.

The C2ER COLI is based on local market prices. For our region it would include stores and purchases made within Herkimer and Oneida Counties. This allows for far better comparisons with other metro areas such as Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo. Since each area's COLI is based on it's own local prices, the index becomes more meaningful for planning and promotional purposes.

C2ER helps regions that participate gather data on a variety of items to create the cost-of-living index. These include groceries, housing, transportation, health care, clothing and other miscellaneous items. To see a complete list of what items are priced as part of the COLI, take a look at their price survey.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Race and Ethnicity for Herkimer and Oneida County Towns and Cities

Attached is the racial breakdowns and ethnicity data released in the SF1 data of the 2010 Census for the towns and cities of both Herkimer and Oneida Counties. the data provides insight into the number of people with a single racial identity, as well as though selecting multiple racial identities. Also, there is data on the Hispanic or Latino self-identification of the populations of these various municipalities.