Census Bureau Announces Most Populous Cities

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, CB07-91
From the news release:
Phoenix has become the nation’s fifth most populous city, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. As of July 1, 2006, this desert metropolis had a population of 1.5 million.

New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city, with 8.2 million residents. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million.

The estimates reveal that Phoenix moved into fifth place ahead of Philadelphia, the latest evidence of a decades-long population shift. Nearly a century ago, in 1910, each of the 10 most populous cities was within roughly 500 miles of the Canadian border. The 2006 estimates show that seven of the top 10 — and three of the top five — are in states that border Mexico.

Only three of the top 10 from 1910 remained on the list in 2006: New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Conversely, three of the current top 10 cities (Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; and San Diego) were not even among the 100 most populous in 1910, while three more (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) had populations of less than 100,000.

The estimates also reveal that many of the nation’s fastest-growing cities are suburbs. North Las Vegas, Nev., a suburb of Las Vegas, had the nation’s fastest growth rate among large cities (100,000 or more population) between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006. North Las Vegas’ population increased 11.9 percent during the period, to 197,567. It was joined on the list of the 10 fastest-growing cities by three in the Dallas metro area: McKinney (ranking second), Grand Prairie (sixth) and Denton (ninth). In the same vicinity, Fort Worth just missed the list, ranking 11th.

See Also: Table: Population Estimates for the 25 Largest U.S. Cities based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (PDF)
See Also: Table: Population Estimates for the 25 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities with Populations over 100,000 in 2006: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006 (PDF)
See Also: Table: Population Estimates for the 25 U.S. Cities with the Largest Numerical Increase from July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006 (PDF)
See Also: Table: Population Estimates of the 25 Fastest Losing Cities: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006 (PDF)
See Also: Fast Facts on Subcounty Population Estimates (PDF)
See Also: Detailed Tables
See Also: Methodology

Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006

Source: William J. Sabol, Todd D. Minton, and Paige M. Harrison, Bureau of Justice Statistics NCJ 217675, June 2007

Press release
Presents data on prison and jail inmates collected from National Prisoner Statistics counts and the Annual Survey of Jails, 2006. This annual report provides the number of inmates and the overall incarceration rate per 100,000 residents for each State and the Federal system. It offers trends since 2000 and percentage changes in prison populations since midyear and yearend 2005. The midyear report presents the number of prison inmates held in private facilities, the number of prisoners under 18 years of age held by State correctional authorities, and the number of noncitizen prisoners. It includes total numbers for prison and jail inmates by gender, race, and Hispanic origin as well as counts of jail inmates by conviction status and confinement status. The report also provides findings on rated capacity of local jails, percent of capacity occupied, and capacity added.

Highlights include the following:

• On June 30, 2006, an estimated 4.8% of black men were in prison or jail, compared to 1.9% of Hispanic men and 0.7% of white men.

• For the 12 months ending June 30, 2006, State systems reported a larger increase than the Federal system in the number of inmates housed in private prisons.

• Between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, the number of persons held in local jails increased 2.5% to reach 766,010 inmates, the lowest growth since the 1.6% increase in mid-year 2001.

2005 Nationwide Inpatient Sample Data Now Available

Source: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2007

HCUPnet is a free, on-line system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). It provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization. It allows users to generate tables and graphs on national and regional statistics and trends for community hospitals in the U.S. In addition, community hospital data are available for those States that have agreed to participate in HCUPnet.

Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2004

Source: Brian A. Reaves, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, NCJ 212749, June 2007

Reports the results of a census, conducted every four years, of all State and local law enforcement agencies operating nationwide. The report provides the number of employees of State and local law enforcement agencies as of September 2004, including State-by-State data for sheriffs’ offices, local police departments, State police and highway patrol agencies, and special jurisdiction police.
Highlights include the following:

• In September 2004, 17,876 State and local law enforcement agencies with the equivalent of at least 1 full-time officer were operating in the U.S.
• From 2000 to 2004, full-time employment by State and local law enforcement agencies nationwide increased overall by 57,400 (or 5.6%).
• Although local police employment was up slightly nationwide from 2000 to 2004, 20 of the nation’s 50 largest local police departments saw a decline in sworn personnel during this period, including 6 of the 7 largest.

+ Press release

GAO Report on Terminated Defined Benefit Pensions and Enforcement Challenges

Source: Report to Congressional Requesters, United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-07-703, June 28, 2007

To protect workers’ retirement security, the requesters asked GAO to assess: 1) What is known about conflicts of interest affecting private sector defined benefit (DB) plans? 2) What procedures does the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have to identify and recover losses attributable to conflicts? 3) What procedures does Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) have to detect conflicts among service providers and fiduciaries for PBGC-trusteed plans? 4) To what extent do EBSA, PBGC, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) coordinate their activities to investigate conflicts? GAO interviewed experts, including agency officials, attorneys, financial industry representatives, and academics, and GAO reviewed PBGC documentation and EBSA enforcement materials. GAO analyzed Labor, SEC, PBGC, and private sector data, including data on pensions, pension consultants, and rates of return data, and conducted statistical and econometric analyses.

Uninsured Veterans: A Stain on America’s Flag

Source: Steffie Woolhandler, Physicians for a National Health Program, Testimony Presented to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, June 20, 2007

In 2004, 1.8 million military veterans neither had health insurance nor received ongoing care at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals. Note that the surveys asked veterans if they had health insurance, and if they had veterans or military health care. We counted them as uninsured only if they answered no to both questions. The number of uninsured veterans has increased by 290,000 since 2000. The proportion of non-elderly veterans who were uninsured rose from less then one in ten (9.9%) in 2000 to more than one in eight (12.7%) in 2004.

An additional 3.8 million members of veterans’ households were also uninsured and ineligible for VHA care.

Virtually all Korean War and World War II veterans are over age 65 and hence covered by Medicare. However, 645,628 Vietnam-era veterans were uninsured (8.5% of the 7.56 million Vietnam-era vets). Among the 8.6 million veterans who served during “other eras” including the Persian Gulf War, 12.9% (1,105,891) lacked health coverage.

Almost two-thirds (64.3%) of uninsured veterans were employed and nearly nine out of ten (86.4%) had worked within the past year. Most uninsured veterans, like other uninsured Americans were in working families. Many earned too little to afford health insurance, but too much to qualify for free care under Medicaid or VA means testing.

The High Price of Being Poor in Kentucky

Source: Matt Fellowes and Dr. Terry I. Brooks, The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, June 2007

Kentucky’s working families frequently pay a premium for everyday necessities. Lower-income workers in Kentucky are more likely to pay double-digit interest rates for auto loans; more likely to pay hundreds of dollars more for car insurance; and more likely to pay a higher sticker price for their car compared to their higher income counterparts.

Additionally, lower-income workers are twice as likely to have purchased a high-cost mortgage compared to their higher income neighbors and are more likely to use alternative financial service providers, costing untold extra dollars for basic financial transactions and the purchase of home goods.

However, new innovative and practical initiatives are being implemented and improving the prices of key necessities for lower-income families around the country. Public and private leaders in Kentucky can follow suit and also reduce these higher costs of living, and do so in ways that defy the substantial budgetary, economic, and partisan pressures that limit so many efforts to grow the middle class.

The Financial Health of California Hospitals

Source: California Healthcare Foundation, June 2007

From the news release:
The financial health of California hospitals improved during a five-year period, but one-third of the state’s hospitals continue to lose money, reflecting a wide disparity in their performance, according to a comprehensive new report.

The analysis by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers builds upon an earlier CHCF report that warned of a looming crisis in which a large proportion of financially under-performing hospitals would face closure. The new report finds that that crisis has not materialized. Although 28 hospitals closed during 2001 to 2005, the decline was similar to the earlier five-year period. In fact, most survived in a stronger financial state than predicted.

However, a gap in financial performance between the most profitable and least profitable hospitals persists. In 2005, median operating margin for the lowest performers (bottom quartile) was negative 5.6% compared to positive 7.3% for the high performers (top quartile).
+ Report Snapshot
+ Full Text, 269 pages

BJS Report on Medical Causes of Death in State Prisons, 2001-2004

Source: Christopher J. Mumola, Bureau of Justice Statistics Data Brief, NCJ 216340, January 2007

From press release:
The nation’s state prison officials reported that 12,129 inmates died while in custody from 2001 through 2004, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The deaths over this four-year period constituted an annual mortality rate of 250 deaths per 100,000 inmates, which was 19 percent lower than the adult mortality rate in the U.S. general population. Overall, 89 percent of all state prisoner deaths were attributed to medical conditions and 8 percent were due to suicide or homicide. The remainder of deaths were due to alcohol/drug intoxication or accidental injury (1 percent each). A definitive cause of death could not be determined for an additional 1 percent. Two-thirds of inmate deaths from medical conditions involved a problem that was present at the time of admission to prison.