Thursday, October 29, 2015

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance in Regional Households with Elderly Present

Over the last decade, more and more households where at least one member was age 60 or older have received what used to be called "food stamps". It now goes by the name the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Since 2005, our region has seen participation in this assistance program basically triple among households where the elderly reside. In 2005, about 5.4% of households where someone age 60 or older resided used food stamps; in 2014 nearly 15% of those households do. This represents an actual increase of some 4,600 households where an elderly person resides that now are participating in SNAP that hadn't been a decade ago.

Click on the chart below to enlarge it and see how this has changed over the last 10 years.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Demise of the Three Year ACS

As you may or may not know, the American Communities Survey came in three iterations: a ONE year version for communities of 65,000 or more people; a THREE year version for communities with a population of 20,000 or more; and a FIVE year version, for every other geography regardless of the population size.

The Census Bureau, due to budgetary considerations, has decided to do away with the Three Year ACS. What this means is that the data collected through the ACS process will now be available in only two formats - the single year and the five year compilations. Basically if you are a geographic entity of 65,000 people or more, you will get both forms of the data releases. If you are smaller than 65,000, then you get a single data release, the five year ACS.

Does this impact us ? Well not like in some devastating way, no. But it does limit our ability to get insight, in particular, to trends in the data over short periods of time for our smaller communities and counties. And remember, as old questions get "adjusted" to make them more accurate, or new questions get introduced, our smaller communities will lose out on that data until a five year cycle of information can be collected and processed. The larger communities (over 65,000 people) will get these in a matter of a year or two.

Regardless, the Three Year ACS was barely 7 years old at the time of its fall and leaves its associated ACS brethren to carry on in its place!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Declining Enrollment in Colleges

According to data from the Census Bureau, as cited on this post at Demo Memo, national college enrollment fell for the third year in a row in 2014. While getting local numbers of college enrollments isn't possible as far as I know without contacting the local schools directly, there is this interesting data (as shown in the chart below) graphing the percentage of regional 18 to 24 year olds who were enrolled in college between 2008 and 2014. Click on the graph to enlarge it.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

September 2015 Labor Market Profile from DOL

With both Herkimer and Oneida Counties seeing a decline in unemployment in the last 12 months - from 5.8% to 5.2% in Herkimer County and from 5.6% to 5.1% in Oneida County - the following Labor Market Profile provides some region insight into our workforce. It comes from the NYS Department of Labor. Click the spreadsheet to enlarge it.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

World Statistics Day !

Official statistics help decision makers develop informed policies that impact millions of people. Improved data sources, sound statistical methods, new technologies and strengthened statistical systems enable better decisions that eventually result in better lives for all of us. On 20 October 2015, the global statistical community will showcase their achievements and their ongoing work to help this vision come true by celebrating World Statistics Day.

A small contribution - by subtracting out the Oneida County single year ACS data from our regional data for 2014, we can see what the Herkimer County data MIGHT look like. Full data estimates from the Census Bureau based on five year estimate samples will be released in December. In the meantime this is as close as we can guess what those numbers might look like!


Click on the table below to see the data.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Regional Changes in the Percent and Number of Persons Insured Since ACA Implementation

Insurance numbers and percentages for the Herkimer-Oneida Counties region since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The data comes from the single year American Communities Survey between 2012 and 2014.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Uninsured Regional Population Traits (2014)

Based on the recently released 2014 American Communities Survey data, here are a few traits of the regional uninsured population. Click the graphic to enlarge it.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Indexing Our Community Opportunities

The Opportunity Index, created by Opportunity Nation and Measure of America, is designed to provides a snapshot of what opportunity looks like at the state and county levels. The Index focuses on the conditions present in different communities and is designed to help local communities connect economic, academic, civic and other factors that support increased opportunity and economic mobility.

The Opportunity Index is made up of a set of indicators grouped into three broad dimensions: Jobs and Economy; Education;  and Community Health and Civic Life.

Below is the summary for Herkimer County. Visit The Opportunity Index to see how your community fares.

2015 Bridge Conditions: Crossing That Bridge When We Get To It

Transportation For America has taken USDOT data on bridges and mapped them out so they are viewable in a 10 mile radius from any given address. The bridges within that 10 radius are then shown based on their ranking. Clicking on an individual bridge gives you a popup explaining the ranking.

Given that 1 in 9 bridges in the U.S. is structurally deficient, requiring significant repairs, maintenance or replacement. You can find out which bridges near you are deemed structurally deficient using the 2015 Bridge Conditions map from Transportation For America.

Below is a screen shot of bridges in a ten mile radius from the Village of Herkimer. Click on it to enlarge it.


Monday, October 5, 2015

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

According to, bullying is "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."
 In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

There are three types of bullying:
  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions 
Visit their website ( to learn more about how to prevent bullying. In the meantime, the most recent Teen Assessment Program survey data from Oneida County teens shows a leveling in the percent of kids reporting being bullied, and a decline in the percent that say that they have bullied others. Click the graphic to enlarge it. The full 2015 Oneida County TAP report is scheduled to be released sometime in November.


Visualizing Home Visiting Programs In NYS

"Home visiting" encompasses a range of models that offer services to pregnant women, infants and families with young children in their homes. Six research-based home visiting programs are available in parts of New York State. 

The Council on Children and Families, with input from the Schuyler Center-led Home Visiting Work group, has developed a series of maps that provide a big picture view of home visiting in New York State. These maps show the availability of home visiting across the state, layered with the number of children in poverty, as one indicator of need.

Check out this mapping tool on the Council's website and visualize home visiting in New York -- where they are now and where they need to go! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Goldilocks Temperature: Finding the Right Place For You

Using  30-year temperature averages maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find out which places in the country had the most days where the average temperature within a range that wasn't too hot, or too cold, but juuuuuust right - hence the Goldilocks reference - the Washington has created an interactive map that allows you to find your ideal location based on temperatures.

The site lets you select the high and low temperatures of the range you most think is comfortable, and then provides a map which shows you, by county, which areas are most in line with what you find to be perfect! As you slide the upper or lower temperature guide, notice how the map changes. If you hover over a county, it will give you the number of days the temperature is in that range ! Below is a screen shot for Herkimer County I did for temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees. Click to enlarge the graphic.


Go to the website and try your own range and see where you might be more comfortable !