September/October 2014 Issue • Volume 42 • Issue 7

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Science Policy

Census Bureau’s ACS Provides State and Local Income, Poverty, Health Insurance Statistics

Data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) finds that income levels and poverty rates were not statistically different for most states from 2012 to 2013. The state and local income and poverty statistics in the ACS, the nation’s most comprehensive and timely data source on American households, has included questions about health insurance coverage since 2008; September’s release provides statistics on coverage for all metropolitan areas and places with a population of 65,000 or more. The 2013 ACS provides a multitude of statistics that measure the social, economic and housing conditions of U.S. communities. More than 40 topics are available with today’s release, such as educational attainment, housing, employment, commuting, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs.

“The American Community Survey is our country’s only source of small area estimates for social and demographic characteristics,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “As such, it is indispensable to our economic competitiveness and used by businesses, local governments and anyone in need of trusted, timely, detailed data.” For more information, see www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-170.html?cid=NRACS01

PRB’s 2014 World Population Data Sheet Is Online

Population Reference Bureau’s 2014 World Population Data Sheet is available online at www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2014/2014-world-population-data-sheet.aspx. The theme is Progress and Challenges. The online data sheet features examples of achievements over the last several decades, such as that the proportion of people living in poverty has declined, infant mortality has dropped, and fewer mothers are dying in childbirth. But progress has been uneven. This year’s data sheet has detailed information on 16 population, health, and environment indicators for more than 200 countries. The website includes a video overview, interactive graphics, a searchable database, a population clock, and other interactive features. It also includes digital visualizations with highlights of population trends for the world and the United States and comparable trend data on infant mortality, total fertility rate, and life expectancy.

NICHD Partners with Other Federal Agencies to Support Young Children

A recent survey shows that one in four young children (ages birth to 5) are at moderate to high risk for developmental, behavioral, or social delays. To raise awareness of these risks and promote early screening, the NICHD has joined the Administration for Children and Families and a number of other federal partners in launching Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! This initiative seeks to: celebrate milestones through regular screenings; promote universal developmental and behavioral screenings; identify possible delays and concerns early; and support at-home learning and growth. To realize these goals, the initiative has released an online suite of free, downloadable materials. For more information, see www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/child-health-development/watch-me-thrive.

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