Households on the Move

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Written by:  David Ihrke

During the previous year, 13.7 percent of householders living with their own children moved. What may seem surprising is that this rate is higher than for those without kids at home. We also see differences in households with younger children compared to older ones. New statistics released today from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey allow us to examine these differences and look at a variety of statistics about people who moved in the last year.

The population examined in this blog post is householders in family households between the ages of 15 and 54. Family households must contain at least one other person related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. What constitutes an “own” child? Own children are defined as the householder’s children (biological, adopted, or step) who are under 18 years old, never married, and live with them.

The left side of Figure 1 below shows mover rates of householders who live with their children and compares them to those who do not. Householders with none of their own children at home moved at a rate of 12.1 percent, while the rate for householders with their own children is 13.7 percent. This information raises additional questions about the age of the child in the household.

Mover Rate of Householders by Presence and Age of Own Children: 2012 to 2013

Digging deeper, we can separate householders based on not only the presence of their children but also the children’s ages. Householders were most likely to move if they had very young children. Those with children only under 6 have the highest mover rate at 20.5 percent, followed by those with both children under 6 and 6 to 17 at 14.5 percent. Householders with children just ages 6 to 17 were the only group to have a mover rate lower than householders with no children present in the home (10.4 percent). In part, this reflects the ongoing desire of some families to relocate prior to children entering school.

Mover Rate of Householders with Own Children Under 6 by Age of Householder: 2012 to 2013

We can also consider the age of householders with children when examining who moved in the last year. Generally, the younger the householder, the more likely they are to move. For example, the mover rate for householders with children under 6 years old varies tremendously by age of the householder. Householders 15 to 24 years old with children under 6 moved at a rate of 38.4 percent, while householders 35 to 44 years old and 45 to 54 years old with children under 6 had much lower mover rates (10.8 percent and 9.6 percent respectively, rates not significantly different from one another). In summary, presence and age of own children impact the mover rate, as does age of the householder.

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What is the Supplemental Poverty Measure and How Does it Differ from the Official Measure?

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Note: This is an updated version of a blog that ran last year. It provides important information on the differences between the official and supplemental poverty measures.

Written by: Trudi Renwick

Since the publication of the first official U.S. poverty statistics in 1964, there has been a continuing debate about the best way to measure income and poverty in the United States.

 In 2009, an interagency group recognized that alternative measures could provide useful information to the public and asked the Census Bureau, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to develop a new way to measure poverty. The Census Bureau will release the latest supplemental poverty measure statistics tomorrow.

The official poverty measure compares an individual’s or family’s before-tax cash income to a set of thresholds that vary by the size of the family and the ages of the family members. These official poverty calculations do not take into account the value of in-kind benefits, such as those provided by nutrition assistance programs, and housing and energy assistance. Nor do they take into account regional differences in living costs or expenses, such as housing.

However, the supplemental poverty measure takes into account family resources and expenses not included in the official measure as well as geographic variation. First, it adds the value of in-kind benefits that are available to buy basic goods to cash income. In-kind benefits include nutritional assistance, subsidized housing, and home energy assistance. Then it subtracts necessary expenses for critical goods and services not included in the thresholds from resources. Necessary expenses that must be subtracted include income taxes, Social Security payroll taxes, child care and other work-related expenses, child support payments to another household, and contributions toward the cost of medical care and health insurance premiums.

Poverty Measure Concepts: Official and Supplemental

Thresholds used in the new measure are derived from Consumer Expenditure Survey data that show how much people spend on basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing and utilities) and are adjusted for geographic differences in the cost of housing. The new thresholds are not intended to assess eligibility for government assistance.

This week’s report will compare 2012 supplemental poverty estimates with 2012 official poverty estimates for numerous demographic groups. It will also provide state-level supplemental poverty statistics using three years of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement data and compare 2011 supplemental poverty statistics with 2012 statistics. In addition, the report will examine the effect of excluding individual resource or expenditure elements on supplemental poverty rates.

The technical design of the supplemental poverty measure draws on the recommendations of a 1995 National Academy of Sciences report and the extensive research on poverty measurement conducted over the past 15 years.

For more details on the new measure, please see the technical appendices of the November 2011 and November 2012 reports or the technical webinar presented in November 2011.

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74,134 Census Tracts and More Geographic Area Tallies Information

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Written by: Tom Morton

Have you ever wondered how many counties, incorporated places, census tracts or census blocks there are in a particular state or in the nation as a whole?  Or, have you wondered how the number of 2010 census tracts compares to the number of 2000 census tracts in each state?  If so, you should check out the Geographic Tallies webpage.  Here you will find counts of 2010 Census geographies and comparisons of 2000 and 2010 counts of areas by state.

  • 31433,143 – Total number of counties and equivalents in the United States.  Puerto Rico has 78 and the Island Areas (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands) have 13.


  • 32,98932,989 – Number of ZIP code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in the United States as of the 2010 Census.


  • 29,261 – Number of incorporated places and census designated places (unincorporated places) in the United States for the 2010 Census.  There are 19,540 incorporated places and 9,721 census designated places.



  • 74,134 – Number of census tracts in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas for the 2010 Census.

These tallies give you an idea of the vast amount of statistics we provide.  You can obtain information for more than 12 million geographies from the 2010 Census and more than 400,000 geographies from the American Community Survey annually. 

Since communities and their boundaries grow and change, tallies, evaluated over time, provide insight into areas where populations have changed and/or development has occurred.  Counts of geography are also important for public and private organizations in determining regional assignments of resources. 

Study up if you plan to see us at a professional meeting.  We think these tallies make great trivia questions, which we post online and we may quiz you when you stop by our booth. 

There are several ways to view the information from the Geographic Tallies webpage.  You can select a state and click “Go” from the “Tallies of Geographic Entities by State” dropdown menu to see tallies for a state.  Or, to view a comprehensive chart of all state and geographic entity tallies, select “Tallies of Geographic Entities by State and Type.”  Here you can view and compare all geographic entity tallies for which the Census Bureau tabulates data, including American Indian areas, congressional districts, counties, county subdivisions, places, ZIP code tabulation areas and many more. Download the Microsoft Excel version of the chart and customize it to fit your needs.

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American Community Survey Statistics Give Communities Detailed Look at Income, Poverty, Health Insurance and Many other Statistics

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Written by: James B. Treat

The American Community Survey statistics released today provide information for geographies with populations of 65,000 or more on many different topics, including income, poverty and health insurance. While national level statistics on these topics were released earlier this week from the Current Population Survey, many states and communities also rely on getting this information from the American Community Survey.

These ACS statistics that cover 2012 will be followed by new releases of statistics from data collected over three- and five-year periods later this year, allowing you to explore these topics for every community in the nation.

As the nation’s most comprehensive survey, the American Community Survey is unique in its ability to produce annual statistics on housing, economic and population measures for even the smallest geographic areas and population groups.  With today’s release, you can find statistics on a variety of topics including commute times, housing costs, educational attainment and characteristics of veterans.

Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results.

Looking at income, poverty and health insurance statistics provided by the American Community Survey helps communities measure their economic well-being as well as plan resource needs, such as allocating funds for food, health care, job training, housing and other assistance programs.  For more information on the American Community Survey please visit

You can read more about income, poverty and health insurance at the state and local level in the American Community Survey briefs released today. Here are a few highlights:

• Between 2011 and 2012, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oregon were the only states that showed an increase in real median household income.

• Missouri and Virginia were the only states where median household income decreased from 2011 to 2012.

• The number and percentage of people in poverty did not have a statistically significant change in 43 states and the District of Columbia between 2011 and 2012, while in three states (California, Mississippi and New Hampshire) the number and percentage of people in poverty increased.

• For 2012, states with the lowest poverty rates included New Hampshire (10.0 percent), Alaska (10.1 percent), Maryland (10.3 percent), Connecticut (10.7 percent) and New Jersey (10.8 percent). Not all of these states are statistically different from one another. States with the highest poverty rates for 2012 included Mississippi (24.2 percent), New Mexico (20.8 percent), Louisiana (19.9 percent), Arkansas (19.8 percent) and Kentucky (19.4 percent). Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky are not statistically different from one another.

• Of the 25 most populated metro areas, the Minneapolis metro area was the only one that had a statistically significant increase in private health insurance coverage for individuals under 65 from 2010 to 2012, going from 74.4 percent to 75.5 percent.

For more information, please see the news release and briefs on income, poverty and health insurance coverage.

Posted in Health Care, Income, Poverty | Tagged | 1 Comment

Medicare and Medicaid, Age and Income

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Written by: Jennifer Cheeseman Day

Today, the Census Bureau released new statistics on the percentages of people receiving health insurance coverage. The report shows that 15.7 percent of people were covered by Medicare and 16.4 percent by Medicaid last year.

Medicare and Medicaid are often confused. In general, Medicare is health insurance coverage for people 65 and older, or for people under 65 with disabilities; whereas, Medicaid is health insurance coverage for low-income people.

When the Census Bureau started measuring participation in these two programs with the Current Population Survey in 1987, the percentage of people with Medicare outnumbered the percentage with Medicaid.  However, since the economic downturn, more people have relied on Medicaid for their health insurance, for the fourth year in a row, than for Medicare.

Government Health Insurance Program Participation 1999 to 2012

Yet, this trend masks a great deal of variation between race and Hispanic origin groups.  As the figures show, the non-Hispanic white population is the only group that participates more in Medicare than Medicaid.  Given that to be eligible for Medicare, participants must be 65 and older, one of the biggest reasons for this is the different age distributions among these groups, and the non-Hispanic white population is much older than the other groups. For instance, in 2012, 17 percent of non-Hispanic whites were 65 and older compared with 10 percent of blacks, 10 percent of Asians and 6 percent of Hispanics. Moreover, with the large non-Hispanic white baby-boom population now starting to enter the Medicare-eligible age group, higher Medicare coverage rates for non-Hispanic whites will continue for some time.

At the same time, disparities in income levels among the race and Hispanic origin groups reveal different rates of Medicaid eligibility. In 2012, 10 percent of non-Hispanic whites were in poverty compared with 27 percent of blacks, 12 percent of Asians and 26 percent of Hispanics.  Medicaid health insurance coverage rates may increase in the future due to changes in public policy that extend coverage to those in higher income groups.

Government Health Insurance Program Participation by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1999 to 2012

To see more about the Census Bureau statistics on health insurance, click here.

Posted in Health Care | Tagged | 1 Comment