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Blog Category: Economics and Statistics Administration

White House Releases First Comprehensive Federal Report on the Status of American Women in Almost 50 Years

Cover of report

Report released on first day of Women's History Month

Today, the White House released a new report entitled Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, a statistical portrait showing how women are faring in the United States today and how their lives have changed over time.  This is the first comprehensive federal report on women since 1963, when the Commission on the Status of Women, established by President Kennedy and chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, produced a report on the conditions of women. Women in America Report.

Women in America focuses on five critical areas: people, families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence.  The administration will be honoring Women’s History Month throughout March, and will highlight a different section of the report every week.

“The Obama administration has been focused on addressing the challenges faced by women and girls from day one because we know that the success of women and girls is vital to winning the future,” said Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls Valerie Jarrett. “Today’s report not only serves as a look back on American women’s lives, but serves as a guidepost to help us move forward.”

“This collection of data from across the federal government offers the most comprehensive look at women in America since the 1960s,” Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank said. “With this report, this administration can more effectively manage programs that support women and girls and America’s families, and foster the growth of the U.S. economy.” 

The Office of Management and Budget and the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce worked together with federal statistical agencies to create Women in America in support of the Council on Women and Girls. The information informs the efforts of the Council and is aimed at providing facts to a broad range of interested parties, including policymakers, journalists and researchers.  |  White House press release  |  Presidential proclamation

Secretary Locke Touts U.S.-India Trade, Opens U.S. Pavillion

Locke Meets with Chairman Tata, Minister of Defence A.K. Antony on the margins of Aero India

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stressed the importance of innovation in the U.S.-India trade relationship today in Bangalore with remarks and a discussion with students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) before officially opening the U.S. Pavilion at Aero India 2011.  Bangalore is the second stop of his three-city high-technology business development trade mission with U.S companies to India.

During the discussion at IISc, Locke interacted with students, research scholars, and professors at one of India's premier educational institutions for science and research.  Locke discussed how India's efforts to build a more open commercial environment will help empower the next generation of Indian innovators to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems like climate change, poverty and disease.

"I'm optimistic and confident the world is equipped to deal with the challenges we face – and a big part of the reason is seeing young people like you," said Locke.  Because although these problems are daunting, they do have solutions.  Many of them can be solved with the science, math and engineering skills that are taught and learned at IISC every day."

The secretary added that unlocking the full potential of IISc students and researchers, and indeed the entire U.S.-India trade relationship, depended on India continuing to work towards "a regulatory infrastructure that encourages the freer flow of ideas, people, and technologies across its borders."

Census: The 2010 Holiday Season

Commerce headquarters with holiday wreaths

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to reflect and give thanks. At this time of year, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau presents holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection, including details about mail, retail sales, toys, trees and decorations and much more. The Census Bureau this week announced the nation’s population at 308,745,538 as of April 1 for the 2010 Census. Happy holidays from the U.S. Department of Commerce!  Holiday facts and features

Secretary Locke Delivers 2010 Census Counts, Announces Nearly $1.9 Billion in Savings

Secretary Locke Introduces the Results of the 2010 Census

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves at the National Press Club today to unveil the official 2010 Census population counts – 10 days before the statutory deadline of Dec. 31. The nationwide population as of April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538. Locke also announced a final 2010 Census savings of $1.87 billion.

“Without the help of the American people and the more than 257,000 partner organizations that worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to raise awareness and encourage participation, we would not have been able to achieve $1.87 billion in 2010 Census savings and a final mail response rate of 74 percent in a time of declining survey participation,” Locke said.  

The 2010 Census counts show how the U.S. population has grown and shifted over the last decade. More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed every year to states and communities based in part on Census population data and American Community Survey (ACS) results. State and local governments use this data to plan new roads, new schools and new emergency services, and businesses use the data to develop new economic opportunities. | Full DOC release | Census Bureau release  | Noticias en español | More releases and data

Acting Deputy Secretary Blank Speaks at U.S. Chamber on Impact of Women in Business on the Economy

Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Addresses the CrowdU.S. Commerce Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank discussed women in business at a forum today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blank highlighted key findings from a recent Commerce Department report on “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century,” produced by the department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, and addressed the prospects and opportunities of starting a business in today’s economy.  

The Women in Business Forum included a series of remarks and panels with successful women from the public and private sectors. Learn more about the Commerce Department report on women-owned businesses

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U.S. Census Bureau Releases First Set of 5-Year American Community Survey Estimates

American Community Survey graphicThe U.S. Census Bureau today released 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for the first time, making available social, economic, housing and demographic statistics for every community in the nation.

Until now, small geographic areas had to rely on outdated 2000 Census figures for detailed information about the characteristics of their communities. Consisting of about 11.1 billion individual estimates and covering more than 670,000 distinct geographies, the 5-year ACS estimates give even the smallest communities more timely information on topics ranging from commute times to languages spoken at home to housing values.

Public officials, including mayors and governors, and private organizations such as chambers of commerce, rely on ACS estimates on education, housing, jobs, veteran status and commuting patterns to help them make informed decisions that will affect their community, such as where to build new schools, hospitals and emergency services.

The extensive data are based on a rolling annual sample survey mailed to about 3 million addresses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009. By pooling several years of survey responses, the ACS generates detailed statistical portraits of smaller geographies.

Separate from the 2010 Census, ACS estimates complement the decennial count and provide estimates of population characteristics that are far more detailed than the basic demographic information that will be released from the 2010 Census starting in February.  |  Noticias en español

Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2010

Image of cornucopeiaIn the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.  Facts and more for Thanksgiving Day

Census Bureau Introduces New Economic Indicators Search Tool

The Department of Commerce's Census Bureau has introduced a new, user-friendly Internet tool that takes all the guesswork out of finding, downloading and using data from economic indicators. For the first time, users can access data from multiple indicators in one place and all in the same format. This tool provides an easy way to create data tables in ASCII text or time series charts in your favorite spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose data by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus. Of the Census Bureau's 12 economic indicators, four are operational in the new tool now -- international trade, manufactures' shipments, monthly wholesale trade and quarterly services; the remainder are expected to be available in this database throughout the course of 2011.

New Commerce Department Report Shows Broadband Adoption Rises Though 'Gap' Persists

Cover of Digital Nation II reportThe Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released a new report that analyzes broadband Internet access and adoption across the United States. “Digital Nation II” – the most comprehensive study of its kind – finds that socio-economic factors such as income and education levels, although strongly associated with broadband Internet use, are not the sole determinants of use. Even after accounting for socioeconomic differences, significant gaps remain along racial, ethnic and geographic lines.

According to the report, seven out of ten American households used the Internet in 2009. The majority of these households used broadband to access the Internet at home. However, almost one-fourth of all households did not have an Internet user.

The report analyzes data collected through an Internet Usage Survey of 54,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in October 2009. Earlier this year, NTIA released initial findings from the survey, which showed that while virtually all demographic groups have experienced rising broadband Internet adoption at home and 64 percent of households overall have broadband at home, historic disparities among demographic groups have persisted over time.

Read the full report | Release

Efforts to Support American Women Highlighted in Commerce and White House Reports

Sec. Locke Meets with Economic Team This week the National Economic Council released a report on the impact of the recession on women and how the Obama administration’s economic policies benefit American women. Some of these policies include a tax credit for college for working families, expanded and increased student aid, and more manageable loan repayment so women can get the education they need to succeed. The report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details some of the many ways the administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans, especially American women.

The Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) further explored the state of American women and Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century in a report issued earlier this month for the White House Council on Women and Girls.  According to the report, women-owned businesses are steadily expanding and account for $1.2 trillion in economic output. Yet they continue to lag behind other companies in several key indicators.

To help reverse this trend, the Obama administration has invested in women’s education and expanded the capital available for women to start a business. The White House has already given out more than 12,000 Small Business Administration Recovery Act loans totaling more than $3 billion to women-owned small businesses.

Learn more about what the administration is doing on behalf of women and the economy and women-owned businesses, or read the reports.