Who Bikes to Work in America?

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Written by: Brian McKenzie

As cities take steps to increase transportation options, many people choose to ride a bike to work or walk. Timed with National Bike to Work Month, the Census Bureau has released its first-ever report on biking and walking to work. If you have ever wondered who chooses this form of commuting, this report highlights annual American Community Survey information on biking and walking but also offers new information about these travel modes for specific populations.

Although changes in rates of bicycle commuting vary across U.S. communities, many cities have experienced relatively large increases in bicycle commuting in recent years. The total number of bike commuters in the U.S. increased from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 during the period from 2008 to 2012, a larger percentage increase than that of any other commuting mode. Walking_biking_ByIncome

There are notable differences across population groups when it comes to those who walk or bike to work. As one might expect, younger workers, those ages 16 to 24, had the highest rate of walking to work, at 6.8 percent and the highest rate of bicycling to work, at 1.0 percent. On the other hand, the oldest workers had the lowest rates of biking to work. The decline in biking and walking as age increases may be linked to factors such as workers’ physical abilities, residential location and income.Walking_biking_ByAge

In addition to age of workers, we also see different patterns emerge for income and education. Workers with both the highest and lowest education and income levels also have the highest rates of biking to work.

In addition, more than twice as many men bike to work as women at 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Differences in rates of walking to work were smaller. Men walked to work at a rate of 2.9 percent, compared with 2.8 percent of women.

Although, bicycling and walking make up a relatively small portion of commuting activity in the United States, they play important roles within many of the nation’s local transportation systems. Infrastructure that supports bicycling and walking expands transportation options, and the American Community Survey provides crucial information about changes in how people get to work each year.

For more information on bicycling and walking to work or other aspects of commuting, see our commuting home page at www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/.

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U.S. Population Will Get Older but Remain Younger than Most Developed Countries

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Written By: Victoria A. Velkoff, Jennifer M. Ortman and Sandra ColProjectionBlog_Graphicby

Between 2012 and 2050, the share of the world’s population age 65 and over is projected to double from 8 percent in 2012 to 16.7 percent in 2050 (see figure). Although the United States is also projected to age over this period, it will remain one of the youngest developed countries, with 20.9 percent of its population 65 and over in 2050.

In contrast, Japan is projected to continue to be the oldest country of those with a population greater than 50,000, with 40.1 percent age 65 and over in 2050. Other developed countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, are expected to have nearly one-third of their populations age 65 and over.

Compared to the largest countries in the world, the United States had the greatest proportion of the population 65 and over in 2012, 13.7 percent compared with 9.1 percent in China and 5.6 percent in India. However, by 2050, China is projected to have surpassed the U.S. with a larger proportion of its population 65 and older (26.8 percent versus 20.9 percent).

Although a larger proportion of the U.S. population is currently in the older ages, China and India have much larger populations overall, including 65 and over. In 2012, China had 122 million and India had 67 million people 65 and over, compared with 43 million in the United States.

Growth in the proportion of the population in the oldest ages is driven by trends in fertility, mortality and international migration within each country.

Declines in fertility rates throughout much of the world have led to slower growth at the youngest ages. Decreases in mortality rates result in longer life expectancies and increases in the number of people that survive to the older ages, resulting in growth of the older population.

In the United States, international migration, which bolsters the size of the population between the working ages (18 to 64), is an important component keeping the United States among younger developed countries.

For more information about the Census Bureau’s projections for the United States, please visit: www.census.gov/population/projections. For information about the Census Bureau’s  projections for other countries, please visit: www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb.

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About Half of Internationally Adopted Children were Born in Asia

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Written by: Rose M. Kreider

The United States adopts more children from abroad than any other nation. Over time, the countries from which American parents adopt have shifted. Some of these changes are evident in the age distribution of internationally adopted children.

A new report, Adopted Children and Stepchildren: 2010, uses multiyear data from the American Community Survey (2009 to 2011) as well as other data sources to provide a look at characteristics of adopted children, such as country of origin.

Thirteen percent of adopted children of the householder were internationally adopted. About half (51 percent) of these internationally adopted children under age 18 were born in Asia, about one-fifth (20 percent) in Latin America and about one-quarter (25 percent) in Europe.

Overall, China was the largest single-country source of internationally adopted children, comprising about 60,000 children or 29 percent of all internationally adopted children  and 57 percent of adopted children from Asia. However, this has changed since the 1990s.

During 2009-2011, 23 percent of adopted children from Asia were born in Korea. For adopted children 18 and over from Asia who lived with their parents, 71 percent were born in Korea. Although only a small proportion of adults live with their parents, these data reflect the dominance of Korea as a source country for adopted children prior to the 1990s (see discussion by Peter Selman).

Turning to adoptions from Europe, the majority (73 percent) of internationally adopted children under 18 came from Russia. When considering all internationally adopted children, we see that at least 20 percent of children in each age group, for those 6 to 17, were born in Russia. For internationally adopted children who were under age 6, however, only 12 percent were adopted from Russia.

From Latin American, the majority (71 percent) of adopted children weradoptedchildren_bloge born in Guatemala.

When considering all internationally adopted children, just 5 percent of older children age 15 to 17 were born in Guatemala, compared with 25 percent of children under age 6. This shows the growth in Guatemala as a source country for international adoption.

Figure 6 graphs the percent distribution of region of birth by the current age of the child.

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Shedding Light on Race Reporting Among Hispanics

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Written by: Merarys Ríos-Vargas and Fabián Romero

Over the last few decades, many Census Bureau studies have examined race reporting among Hispanics on the census questionnaire, but these studies did not specifically look at those who self-reported being of Hispanic origin.

A new working paper, “Race Reporting Among Hispanics: 2010,” examines this topic and found that more than 40 percent of Hispanics who self-reported their origin did not report belonging to any federally recognized race group as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

During the 2010 Census, questions on race and Hispanic origin were asked of everyone living in the United States. The standards of the Office of Management and Budget define “Hispanic or Latino”  as a person of  Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

In 2010, the vast majority of the Hispanic population self-reported their origin (94.2 percent) and 5.8 percent were imputed (i.e., assigned, allocated or substituted during data editing), see table below.  

Self-reported Hispanics are defined as those respondents who reported being of Hispanic origin. In other words, their Hispanic origin was not imputed (imputation is the process used to estimate missing data). If the question was left blank the origin was imputed by one of the following three imputation types: assigned, allocated or substituted

Hispanic or Latino Population by Response Type for the Question on Hispanic Origin: 2010

The table below shows the racial classification of Hispanics who self-reported their Hispanic origin in the 2010 Census.

It is interesting that more than two-fifths (43.5 percent) of self-reported Hispanics did not report belonging to any federally recognized race group. This includes 30.5 percent who reported or were classified as “Some Other Race” (SOR) only. Respondents are classified this way when they only check and/or write-in responses not categorized as any of the OMB race groups. An additional 13.0 percent of self-reported Hispanics did not provide a response to the race question.  

Hispanic or Latino Population by Type of Response to the Question on Race: 2010The top three SOR write-in codes reported in the 2010 Census shown in the table below— Mexican, Hispanic, and Latin American—constituted about three-fourths (77.0 percent) of all the SOR responses among Hispanics in 2010. The write-in codes Puerto Rican (3.7 percent), and Multiple SOR (3.6 percent) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The SOR write-in codes displayed in the last table represent edited SOR responses, and each code consists of multiple equivalent write-in responses. For example, write-in responses such as “Mexican American,” “Mexicana” and “Mexico” were coded as “Mexican.”

Top 5 Some Other Race Write-in Codes for the Hispanic or Latino Population: 2010The Census Bureau plans to examine race reporting among Hispanics throughout the decade through a series of regional and national census tests in order to provide more insights on Hispanic race reporting.

The findings from this study are intended to supplement the results presented in the “2010 Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment (AQE)” report.

For more detailed information, the working paper “Race Reporting Among Hispanics: 2010” also provides an overall demographic description of the self-reported Latino population and examines different types of responses to the race question by selected demographic characteristics and geographies.

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A More and More Metropolitan America

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Written by: Marc PerryCounty and Metro Population

Census Bureau population estimates released today reveal a nation becoming increasingly metropolitan. The percentage of our nation’s population living in a metropolitan area ticked up from 85.3 percent in 2012 to 85.4 percent in 2013.

While this may not look like much of an increase, it’s worth noting that the population living in such areas grew by 2.3 million over the period. At the same time, the population living in micropolitan statistical areas climbed by a mere 8,000, and the number living in neither metros nor micros dropped by more than 35,000. So metro areas were responsible for virtually all of our nation’s population growth.

Metro areas, by the way, contain a core urban area of at least 50,000 people and consist of the county or counties that area is located in, plus any adjacent counties from which a relatively large number of people commute to work in the urban core. Micro areas – the kid sister of sorts to metro areas ─ have a core with at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 people.

Large metro areas ─ those with populations of 1 million or more ─ collectively grew more than twice as fast as smaller ones (those with fewer than 250,000 residents).

Many of us now live in one of the biggest of the big metros. Nearly one in seven Americans reside in either the New York, Los Angeles or Chicago areas. And almost one in three live in one of the 10 most populous areas, which include the three just mentioned, plus Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Atlanta and Boston.

The 10 fastest-growing areas are relatively small in size. And virtually all are located either in or near the Great Plains or in or near the Gulf Coast.

For more information on population changes in metro areas, see our population estimates released today at http://www.census.gov/popest/.

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