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America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

We feature stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, the economy, emergency management, and population.


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America Counts Story
Low-Income Renters Spent Larger Share of Income on Rent in 2021
The percentage of household income spent on rent plus utilities increased from 2019 to 2021 and renters with the lowest annual income saw the largest spikes.
The Stories U.S. Census Bureau Data Told in 2022
A look at some of the America Counts stories that revealed shifts in our population, from growing diversity and declining poverty to where and how we live.
Housing Costs a Big Burden on Renters in Largest U.S. Counties
New U.S. Census Bureau data show that renters are more likely than homeowners to spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
Homeownership by Young Households Below Pre-Great Recession Levels
Homeownership among households headed by adults ages 25-34 was highest at the start of the Great Recession and had not returned to those high levels in 2019.
Families and Living Arrangements
How Marital Status and Children Affect Social Safety Net Participation
An updated interactive data tool allows users to explore household composition and expanded age categories of those who received government benefits in 2020.
A House Tour by the Numbers
In recognition of American Housing Month and National Homeownership Month, we highlight U.S. Census Bureau data and tools on housing and construction.
Census Bureau Launches Operation to Review Group Quarters Counts
2020 Post-Census Group Quarters Review is unique to the 2020 Census because of the challenge of counting group quarters populations during the pandemic.
Who Is Receiving Social Safety Net Benefits?
A new data tool allows users to explore thousands of social safety statistics 2013-2019 and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of recipients.
Housing Vacancy Rates Near Historic Lows
Housing Vacancy Survey shows that availability of homeowner and rental housing tightened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exploring Census Data Made Easy
The new Census Survey Explorer provides a quick and comprehensive list of surveys by topic, geography and frequency.
1950 Census Records: A Window to History
Records for all people counted in the 1950 Census will be released by the National Archives and Records Administration April 1.
America Counts Story
Census Data Tool Helps FEMA Better Understand Disaster Vulnerability
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) tool helps FEMA better understand “at-risk” populations during a natural disaster.
Census Bureau Construction Data: From Stone Age to Space Age
The U.S. Census Bureau is phasing in improvements, including satellite imaging, to improve construction data products that are key federal economic indicators.
Novice Data Users: Help Is on the Way
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Census Academy launches the 2022 Back to Data Basics Webinar Series this week to help less experienced data users navigate census data.
Got a Problem? Census TOP Summit May Have an App or Tool to Solve It
TOP Summit will display tools designed to address COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, financial inequity and other real-world issues.
How Do We Support America’s Veterans?
Veterans are less likely to be in poverty than non-veterans, in part because of programs that support them and their families after service.
Housing Growth Highest in Urban Cores of Fast-Growing Metros
The 2020 Census shows the nation’s housing stock increased from 2010 to 2020 but growth was uneven across the country.
First 2020 Census U.S. Island Areas Data Released Today
The first 2020 U.S. Island Areas Censuses shows that the combined population of the four U.S. Island Areas was just under 339,000 in 2020.
Zillow and Census Bureau Data Show Pandemic’s Impact on Housing Market
The housing market stalled in spring 2020 but rebounded by summer.
Manufacturing Industries That Make Materials to Build, Furnish a Home
The Annual Survey of Manufactures has a new interactive visualization that showcases housing-related manufacturing in America.
8.2 Million People Counted at U.S. Group Quarters in the 2020 Census
The 2020 Census data released today provide counts of the group quarters population down to the block level for the first time in a decade.
Growth in Housing Units Slowed in the Last Decade
The 2020 Census results released today provide a count of vacant and occupied housing units across the nation.
U.S. Housing Vacancy Rate Declined in Past Decade
The percentage of housing units vacant in 2020 dropped to 9.7% from 11.4% in 2010, according to 2020 Census data released this week.
What Do We Know About the Quality of 2020 Census Redistricting Data?
To assess the quality of the redistricting data released today, we compared 2020 Census to key data benchmarks.
Solving the Nation’s Problems Through Civic Tech Collaboration
Through The Opportunity Project, federal agencies, cities and organizations have quickly created 135 tools to help solve big problems like low-income housing.
Bracing for the 2021 Hurricane Season
A U.S. Census Bureau infographic shows the impact of last year’s three major hurricanes that hit the United States.
Business and Economy
Not All Industries Experienced Declines During the Pandemic
Estimates from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey show that some industries grew despite the pandemic while others saw declining revenue.
Income and Poverty
What's the Financial Condition of Homes Getting Government Benefits?
The Survey of Income Program Participation shows that many families that received government aid in 2017 lacked assets but had similar levels of unsecured debt.
How Many American Homes Have Pests?
The 2019 American Housing Survey shows that about 14 million occupied housing units reported seeing roaches and 14.8 million saw rodents in the last 12 months.
Were American Homes Ready for the Pandemic?
Isolating when someone is infected with COVID-19 is challenging when 38% of U.S. multi-person households don’t have two bathrooms and enough bedrooms.
Income and Poverty
Many American Households Use Stimulus Payments to Pay Down Debt
Millions of Americans are poised to receive a third stimulus check, one of the benefits of the American Rescue Plan Act. Many have used stimulus to pay debt.
New Apartment Construction Declined Nationwide between 2017 and 2019
The Census Bureau’s Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units provides information on new apartment construction and rental costs.
New Single-Family Homes Sold Not as Large as They Used to Be
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Characteristics of New Housing provides details from house size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms to wall types and sales prices.
Families and Living Arrangements
Gaps in the Wealth of Americans by Household Type in 2017
The recently released Survey of Income Program Participation shows household wealth gaps. Home equity and retirement accounts make up 61.7% of household wealth.
Old Housing, New Needs
Only 10% of homes in the U.S. are aging-ready, while a quarter of all older households have trouble using some of the features of their home.
How Disasters Affect the Nation’s Housing
Using administrative records from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Census Bureau housing unit estimates now reflect the impact of natural disasters.


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