CNSTAT - TOPICS
Coordinating and Sustaining Federal Statistics
Decennial Census and American Community Survey
Federal Household and Business Surveys
Health and Social Welfare
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency
Statistical Methods and Estimates for Policy Use
"How is Rural America Changing?" , Live on C-SPAN’s “America by the Numbers” Segment of “Washington Journal”
For the first time, U.S. rural counties as a whole are losing population. Find out more on Friday, May 24, 2013, at approximately 9:15 a.m. EDT as John Cromartie, geographer in the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discusses statistics about changes in rural and small town America.
Watch “Rural America Changing” w/John Cromartie, @USDA_ERS, on @CSPANWJ Fri May 24 at 9:15 a.m. http://go.usa.gov/2yHY
Each Friday, C-SPAN’s “America By the Numbers” segment features information from the federal statistical system. The program highlights the trends and allows the public to call in or email their views. More information on previous C-SPAN programs is available at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan/.
— April 29, 2013 —
We welcome Charles Rothwell as acting director of the National Center for Health Statistics. In 1987, he became associate director of NCHS; in 2003, he became the director of its Division of Vital Statistics. Charlie spent 13 years in the State Health Department in North Carolina and became the first director of the State Center for Health Statistics. He was responsible for health statistics, public health IT, and statewide public health planning activities, and served as an adjunct assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health, and the University of North Carolina, Health Services Research Center. Previously, he was an advisor to the Agency for International Development and the United Nations for automating Peru's national statistical activities; served as a member of a U.S. multidisciplinary scientific team, providing onsite consultative services to East Germany; and was the U.S. representative to a UN technical advisory committee that helped develop electronic data transmission standards between countries, UN affiliates, and the UN. He served on the Robert Wood Johnson Advisory Committee on Information Technology for state governments, helped to develop the National Science Foundation's digital government initiative to build partnerships between computer science academia and nondefense federal agencies, and was a member of the IT Board of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Technology Program and NSF Computer Science Large Systems selection committee. He has an M.S. in operations research and systems analysis from the University of North Carolina, an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. degree in physics from the Virginia Military Institute.
We congratulate Brian Harris-Kojetin, senior statistician with the U.S Office of Management and Budget Statistical and Science Policy Office, for receiving the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for 2013, which will be bestowed at a meeting of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) on June 19. Brian chairs the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology and is the lead at OMB on issues related to standards for statistical surveys, survey nonresponse, survey respondent incentives, and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). He serves as the desk officer for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the demographic programs of the U.S. Census Bureau. Brian is also a frequent consultant with other OMB desk officers on statistical and methodological aspects of OMB “clearance” packages across all federal agencies and led the development of the OMB guidance on surveys. He regularly gives courses at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology and is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association. He served a detail with the Committee on National Statistics in spring 2011, during which time he contributed to several CNSTAT projects. The Griffith award is intended to encourage mentoring of junior staff in the federal statistical system; it is bestowed on a member of the federal statistical community each year, following a nomination that includes letters of support by those positively affected by the candidate’s mentoring and selection by a committee representing the range of co-sponsors, which are the Washington Statistical Society, the Government Statistics and Social Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, and the ICSP. We understand that the body of letters about Brian makes clear that his mentoring extends to graduate students, to OMB staff, and to staff all across the federal statistical system.
|Yu Xie, Otis Dudley Duncan distinguished university professor of sociology, statistics and public policy at the University of Michigan, will deliver the 2013 Henry and Bryna David Lecture, Tuesday evening, April 30, 2013, at 6:30 pm in room 100 of the NAS Keck Center, 500 5th St., NW. His topic, “Is American Science in Decline?,” addresses claims and counter-claims concerning the current state of American science, based on a book by Xie and Alexandra A. Killewald with the same title published in 2012. Dr. Xie is affiliated with the Survey Research Center and the Population Studies Center of the Institute for Social Research and the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. His main areas of interest are social stratification, demography, statistical methods, and the sociology of science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.|
Stephen Fienberg, the Maurice Falk university professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University, will deliver the 23rd Morris Hansen lecture, Thursday afternoon, October 3, 2013, at the USDA Auditorium, Washington, DC. His topic is “Envisioning the 2030 Census,” based on his work with Bill Eddy for the Carnegie Mellon research node of the NSF-Census Research Network. Steve served as the third chair of CNSTAT (from 1981-84 and 1985-87), having previously served as a member from 1978-1981. He has served on numerous NRC panels on such topics as sharing research data, statistical assessments as evidence in the courts, decennial census methodology, evaluation of bilingual education studies, measuring racial discrimination, the polygraph and lie detection, and the technical and privacy dimensions of information on terrorism. He most recently served on the CNSTAT panel that released its report in November 2012, Options for Estimating Illegal Entries at the U.S.-Mexico Border. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and co-chair of its Report Review Committee. Discussing Steve’s lecture will be Ivan Fellegi, former chief statistician of Statistics Canada, and Robert Groves, provost of Georgetown University and former director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, Fifth Edition, will be publicly released on May 8, 2013. The Committee on National Statistics first issued “P&P” in 1992. Beginning in early 2001, with the second edition, it committed to updating P&P every four years to coincide with a new presidential administration or second term, releasing updated editions in 2001, 2005, 2009, and now 2013. This slim document underscores for the executive and legislative branches of government the important public good provided by strong federal statistical agencies.
National Patterns for R&D Resources: Future Directions for Content and Methods: Summary of a Workshop was released in prepublication form on March 25, 2013. This CNSTAT workshop was chaired by Karen Kafadar (Indiana University) and sponsored by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. The workshop summary is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
Statistics on research and development (R&D) are important indicators of innovation, the transfer of ideas and knowledge, which in turn are key drivers of economic growth, and R&D expenditures are one indicator of the generation and diffusion of knowledge. A key aspect of the role of R&D in the process of economic growth is that it generates spillover benefits. Given the contribution of R&D to economic growth and, consequently, its role in policy decisions, NSF began to measure it in the 1950s. Although the idea of measuring R&D seems straightforward, there are complexities to carrying it out. To its credit, for more than 60 years NCSES (and its predecessors) has collected and produced consistent statistical tables and graphs on domestic R&D expenditures, producing the statistics in a timely fashion. Underlying the publication process are the efforts undertaken by the agency to overcome the complexities of definitions and various efforts to address issues such as missing data and international comparability. National Patterns of Research and Development Resources is a compendium of five annual surveys. Each publication in the series integrates and synthesizes the data from these periodic surveys of R&D expenditures by U.S. R&D performers in order to analyze current patterns of R&D activity in United States in relation to the historical record and to the reported R&D levels of other industrialized countries.
The steering committee identified seven topics for presentations and subsequent discussions at the workshop:
(1) the purposes and uses of National Patterns;
(2) advances in international comparability of the statistical outputs in National Patterns;
(3) the nature and estimation of R&D expenditure data for nonprofit organizations;
(4) the benefits of collecting and reporting on additional variables relevant to R&D funds;
(5) improving communication in National Patterns;
(6) potential methodological uses of administrative records for R&D estimation; and
(7) the use of small-area estimation techniques for estimating R&D amounts for small domains such as states crossed with industrial categories.
Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda, the final report of a CNSTAT panel chaired by Roger Tourangeau (Westat) for the Russell Sage Foundation, was released in prepublication form on February 15, 2013. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
For many household surveys in the United States, response rates have been steadily declining for at least the past two decades. A similar decline in survey response can be observed in all wealthy countries. Efforts to raise response rates have used such strategies as monetary incentives or repeated attempts to contact sample members and obtain completed interviews, but these strategies increase the costs of surveys. This review considers why response rates are declining and what that means for the accuracy of survey results. The evidence to date makes it apparent that current trends in nonresponse, if not arrested, threaten to undermine the potential of household surveys to elicit information that assists in understanding social and economic issues. The trends also threaten to weaken the validity of inferences drawn from estimates based on those surveys. High nonresponse rates create the potential or risk for bias in estimates and affect survey design, data collection, estimation, and analysis.
The survey community is painfully aware of these trends and has responded aggressively to these threats. The interview modes employed by surveys in the public and private sectors have proliferated as new technologies and methods have emerged and matured. To the traditional trio of mail, telephone, and face-to-face surveys have been added interactive voice response (IVR), audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI), web surveys, and a number of hybrid methods. Similarly, a growing research agenda has emerged that is focused on seeking solutions to various aspects of the problem of survey nonresponse; the potential solutions that have been considered range from better training and deployment of interviewers to more use of incentives, better use of the information collected in the data collection, and increased use of auxiliary information from other sources in survey design and data collection. Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda also documents the increased use of information collected in the survey process in nonresponse adjustment.
Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and NAS reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu.
Reminder: Slides from previous CNSTAT public seminars, and from several major workshops, are available on the Presentations page on the CNSTAT website. Recently posted presentations include those from the:
Also of interest:
- June 14-15, 2012, Workshop on the Benefits (and Burdens) of the American Community Survey
- September 6-7, 2102, Workshop on Future Directions for the NSF National Patterns R&D Resources Reports
- September 14, 2012, Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities for Exploring the Relationship of the Arts to Health and Well-Being in Older Adults
- September 20-21, 2012, Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) Principal Investigators’ Conference
- A steering committee of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences organized a workshop, March 21-22, 2013, on “Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences.” The steering committee membership, the workshop agenda, the presentations, and the video webcast are available on the BBCSS web site.
CNSTAT holds three regular meetings each year, with its spring and fall meeting dates following a set formula; our May meetings are always the Thursday–Friday preceding Mother’s Day and our October meetings are always the second-to-last Thursday–Friday of the month. Details for the next three CNSTAT meetings are given below:
- CNSTAT’s 121st meeting will be held May 9-10, 2013, in the NAS Keck Center at 500 5th St, NW. On the 10th, this meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads, followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 2 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm. The seminar will address:
“Changing Social Structures and the Meaning of ‘Household’ in Federal Surveys”
Presenting will be:
- Ongoing and related work to OMB’s Interagency Working Group on Measuring Relationships in Federal Household Surveys: Rose Kreider, chief, Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, Census Bureau, on trends over time in household and family structure as illustrated using decennial census, American Community Survey, and Current Population Survey data; and Nancy Bates, senior researcher for survey methodology, Census Bureau, on measuring same sex couples, including definitions, question design, and editing of responses.
- Judith Seltzer, professor of sociology, UCLA, on recent work with household rostering and measuring intergenerational relationships with the Panel Study of Income Dynamics
- Margo Anderson, professor of history, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, providing an historical context on the experience of federal statistical agencies in keeping up with social change.
Watch the CNSTAT home page for registration information.
- CNSTAT’s 122nd meeting will be held October 24-25, 2013, in the NAS main building at 2101 Constitution Ave., NW. This meeting will feature a public seminar on the 25th.
- CNSTAT’s 123rd meeting will be held February 6-7, 2013, in Washington, DC. It will be a retreat meeting; there will be no agency head lunch or public seminar.
CNSTAT News 2012
CNSTAT News 2011
CNSTAT News 2010
CNSTAT News 2009
CNSTAT News 2008
CNSTAT News 2007