Foreign-born population in U.S. higher than ever
Immigrants wave flags after being sworn in as U.S. citizens in naturalization ceremonies in Pomona, California.
May 10th, 2012
10:25 PM ET

Foreign-born population in U.S. higher than ever

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – The United States is becoming increasingly international, according to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau  in the 2010 American Community Survey Thursday.

The number of foreign-born people in the United States is at an all-time high, at 40 million - an increase of about 9 million since the 2000 census. The 2010 census put the total U.S. population at almost 309 million.

But the foreign born comprise a smaller proportion of the total population (13%) than they did during the peak immigration years of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The 2010 American Community Survey also reveals that more than half of the nation’s foreign-born population lives in just four states: California, New York, Texas and Florida. FULL POST

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Number of interracial couples in U.S. reaches all-time high
Census data showed that non-Hispanics and Hispanics are the highest among interracial opposite-sex married couples.
April 25th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Number of interracial couples in U.S. reaches all-time high

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The number of interracial couples in the United States has reached an all-time high, with one in every 10 American opposite-sex married couples saying they're of mixed races, according to the most recent Census data released Wednesday.

In 2000, that figure was about 7%.

The rate of interracial partnerships also is much higher among the unmarried, the 2010 Census showed.

About 18% of opposite-sex unmarried couples and 21% of same-sex unmarried partners identify themselves as interracial.

The term interracial, as it pertains to the study, is defined as members of a couple identifying as of different races or ethnicities.

Analysts suggest the new figures could reflect U.S. population shifts, broader social acceptance of such unions and a more widespread willingness among those polled to be classified as mixed race.

Read the full story

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Opinion: Why the huge interest in the 1940 U.S. Census?
Census Bureau employees process microfilm records, circa 1940 -- now, the records are online.
April 9th, 2012
04:08 PM ET

Opinion: Why the huge interest in the 1940 U.S. Census?

Editor's note: Michael S. Snow is a historian on the history staff of the U.S. Census Bureau.

(CNN) - A reporter last week asked me if many people cared about the release of individual records from the 1940 Census. "Are they just a historic relic?" was the followup from someone else unimpressed that the general public would finally have access to more than 100 million census records locked away for 72 years.

Americans answered those questions loud and clear. The National Archives and Records Administration website housing 1940 Census records registered over 60 million hits in just three hours on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, the second day they were open. The outpouring of demand for such information calls on us to examine what is driving it.

The individual records help Americans gain a greater sense of who our ancestors were and with it an understanding of the blood that runs through our own veins. Each image from the 1940 Census is a lined page called a population schedule, containing the records of up to 40 individuals.

They might not look like much - the penmanship of 123,000 census takers varied, the cursive may be hard to read, ink from fountain pens ran too light on some letters. One line on a 1940 Census record, however, has the power to confirm a family legend we have heard for years, or it can make us confront a troubling truth buried long ago.

Read Snow's full column

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The new American household: 3 generations, 1 roof
The Moura family has found that living together helps ease the pain of the recession.
April 3rd, 2012
02:00 PM ET

The new American household: 3 generations, 1 roof

By Les Christie, CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) –– As the economy continues to take a toll on consumers' finances, a growing number of people are discovering that becoming roommates with mom and dad, or a 20- or 30-something son or daughter, helps to ease some of the financial pain in tough times.

As of 2010, 4.4 million U.S. homes held three generations or more under one roof, a 15% increase from 3.8 million households two years earlier, according to the latest data available from the Census Bureau.

When Alicia Moura's father-in-law, Aecio D'Silva, retired from teaching at the University of Arizona in 2010 to pursue private-sector projects in aqua-culture and bio-fuel, he didn't expect to wait long before his efforts paid off. But then the economy tanked, development funds dried up and his ventures languished.

Soon afterward, Alicia started experiencing some medical issues with her pregnancy and the family decided it would be best to move in together. Now everyone - Alicia, her husband, their two young daughters and the in-laws - live under one roof.

"We not only save money by having a joined household, but we save on stress, time and other resources by having in-home day care," said Moura.

Read the full story on CNNMoney

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After 72-year wait, 1940 U.S. Census records released online
A "Test Census" taker prepared for the 1940 door-to-door Census in South Bend, Indiana, in 1939.
April 2nd, 2012
02:35 PM ET

After 72-year wait, 1940 U.S. Census records released online

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - Personal, historic details of more than 132 million people were released online through the 1940 Census Monday, providing the public with free access to a slice of American history.

The National Archives and Records Administration unlocked the records after a mandatory 72-year waiting period and released more than 3.8 million digital images in collaboration with Archives.com.

Earlier Census records were made available to the public, but not all of them are searchable online free of charge, said Megan Smolenyak, family history advisor at Archives.com. Monday's release marks the first time researchers, genealogists and history hunters can find detailed records online in one place for free.

The 1940 Census was conducted as the Great Depression was winding down and before the country’s entry into World War II, reflecting the economic tumult of the era and the New Deal recovery program of the 1930s.

See more LIFE magazine photos of 'test' Census takers preparing for 1940

"The 1940 set is really special because of the time it captures, which was so pivotal in American history," Smolenyak said. "It's not only for people seeking information about their families; for people 72 and older it provides a snapshot into their early lives."


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Asian population booming throughout U.S., Census says
New York, Los Angeles, and San Jose, Calif. had the largest numbers of people of Asian descent.
March 21st, 2012
07:26 PM ET

Asian population booming throughout U.S., Census says

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) –  The Asian proportion of the United States population grew faster than any other racial group, according to "The Asian Population: 2010," a census brief released Wednesday.

People of Asian descent in America represent a booming and diverse section of the population. "Asian" was defined as any person whose ancestry originates among the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent – including countries such as China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census, the number of people identifying as Asian or Asian plus another race rose 45.6%, yielding a total of 17.3 million people. The U.S. population as a whole grew by 9.7%

All of the U.S. states had increases in Asian population of at least 30%, except for Hawaii (where people of Asian descent make up more than half of the total population), which had growth of 11%.

Nicholas A. Jones, head of the Census' Racial Statistics Branch, told callers in a webinar presenting the results that the major factor in the growth of America's Asian population was fueled by several factors, but the most significant was international migration – people moving to the United States from other countries.


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Census report reveals education milestone
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as recently as 1998, less than one-quarter of Americans older than 25 held a degree.
February 27th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Census report reveals education milestone

By Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) – In March 2011, for the first time ever, more than 30% of adults older than 25 had a college degree, according to information released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.  As recently as 1998, less than one-quarter of Americans older than 25 held a degree.

The findings are published in a new report, "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2011." This was one in a series of educational reports released today.

“This is an important milestone in our history,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “For many people, education is a sure path to a prosperous life. The more education people have the more likely they are to have a job and earn more money, particularly for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree.”

The Census Bureau also published "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009." This report reveals that in 2009, 85% of adults age 25 or older had at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. It also states that workers with a bachelor’s degree had median earnings of $47,510, about $20,000 more than workers with a high school diploma, who earned about $26,776, and nearly $25,000 more than those with a GED, who earned $22,534.

Read the full post on CNN's schools of thought blog

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Report: Golden years of blacks, Latinos more likely to be tarnished by poverty
Nearly a fifth of black and Latino elders are living in poverty, says a University of California, Berkeley researcher.
February 23rd, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Report: Golden years of blacks, Latinos more likely to be tarnished by poverty

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – Nonwhite older Americans are more likely to suffer from poverty in retirement, according to a study released by the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education.

"Black and Latino Retirement (In)Security," released Tuesday, found that the poverty rate for blacks (19.4%) and Latinos (19%) over 65 is more than twice that of the national average and nearly triple that of whites.

The report analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census' American Community Survey.

Another of the report’s findings offers a clue to why such a disparity exists – nonwhites are less likely to work for an employer who offers a retirement plan, and are also less likely to contribute to it when it is offered.


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December 21st, 2011
09:08 AM ET

5 ways the suburbs are changing

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories about the changing American suburbs.

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Manicured lawns, minivans and modest-homes-turned-McMansions: They’re the sorts of symbols that might come to mind when we think modern suburbia.

But peer inside the windows at the people living there and the American suburbs are increasingly complex, the 2010 U.S. Census and other reports show. We’ve come a long way since “Leave It to Beaver.”

The suburbs – or rather suburbanites – represent an evolving America. And what exists today would leave June Cleaver’s perfectly coifed head, and even her strand of pearls, spinning.

Relying on various census reports culled and crunched by seasoned demographers like those at the Brookings Institution, we present a mere taste of what can be learned about the changing face – or faces – of suburbia.


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December 20th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

Times are changing in the early 'all-alike' suburb Levittown

Editor's note: This is part of a series of stories about the changing American suburbs.

By John D. Sutter, CNN

Levittown, New York (CNN) - As Polly Dwyer drove from Queens, New York, to "the boondocks" of central Long Island, she felt like she'd fallen off the face of civilization.

"My God!" she thought. "Where are we going?!"

She stared out the windows of her husband's 1940s Chevy, aghast at the potato farms and cabbage fields. How were they going to live all the way out there, 45 minutes from the city? She was a college student, after all, not a farmer. And what would this new-era community be like, anyway?

The word "suburb" didn't even exist back then, in the late '40s and early '50s. It was a concept they would help create in a new community called Levittown.

More than 60 years later, Dwyer - an 83-year-old who wears a short, Janet Napolitano-style haircut and a gold necklace that says "Polly" in cursive - is firmly rooted in Levittown, New York, the place heralded as the first true example of an American suburb.

The suburban, auto-based ideal Levittown created in 1947 has plowed its way across the United States, reproducing "like a strange, unnatural new life form," Esquire magazine wrote in the '80s, in copycat communities from Florida to Alaska.

These days, however, times are changing. It's not that the suburb is dead, but in an era of home foreclosures, environmental concerns and urban revival, some Americans are starting to turn their backs on the Levittown mold. These changes are beginning to show in Levittown, too, a place that still longs for the sense of community and purpose that it had at its inception six decades ago.

Dwyer and other Levittown pioneers say they'll stay here until they die. But here's the uncomfortable truth:

The Levittown they knew may fizzle out with them.


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