Entries in Census Bureau (5)


Census: Largest US Export is Oil, Despite Dependence on Foreign Oil

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It is a paradigm shift in the world of exports. The United States now exports more oil products than anything else.

For a country so dependent of foreign oil, you wouldn't expect the U.S. to be a major supplier of refined oil products.  But the Census Bureau says we are.

For the first time, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are expected to be the nation's top exports. Ten years ago, oil wasn't even among the top 25 exported products.

The new figures do not indicate that we are close to energy independence. The U.S. is still the world's largest importer of crude oil.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Poverty Hits Record Level

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of America’s poorest poor has reached a record high -- 1 in 15 people -- the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Some of the biggest jumps in poverty were reported not in the traditionally depressed inner cities, but in the once-booming suburbs of the Sun Belt, home to the worst ravages of the foreclosure crisis.  The largest increases were reported in Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Cape Coral, Fla.

From his rented apartment in Miami, Frank Gil keeps hearing the recession is over. “I don't know how they keep saying that,” he said. “It seems every day is a little bit worse.”

Gil is among the 7 percent of the American population that makes up the poorest of the poor -- those with a family income of less than $11,157.

“We try to just spend on necessities,” he said.

Since 2007, neighborhoods where at least four out of 10 people are living in poverty have stretched over broader areas -- increasing in suburbs twice as fast as in cities.

The Census Bureau says 40 states had increases in the number of its poorest poor since 2007.  No state saw a decrease.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Last Decade's Housing Slump Was Worst Since Great Depression

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The bigger the housing sales were during the last decade, the harder they fell, according to figures released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Until the housing bubble burst in 2007, sales of homes in the U.S. were on pace to be at an historic high.  However, that all changed with the recession and the slump that ended the first decade was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930's.

To get an idea of how the mighty have fallen, housing starts in 2005 numbered a whopping 2.1 million in 2005.  By 2010, they were down to around 587,000.

Needless to say, industry analysts say there were far more homes built than there were buyers, which helped lead to the collapse.

Yet, the Census Bureau says despite all the doom and gloom found in the report, the rate of home ownership from 2001 through 2010 was 65.1 percent -- the second highest since records began being kept in the 1890s.  Ninety percent of the buying occurred before 2007.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Survey: New York County Pays Highest Property Taxes in US

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Businesses in Westchester County, a suburb north of Manhattan, pay the highest property taxes in the nation and they are saying, "Enough is enough."

"Everyone assumes property tax is a homeowner issue, but it's really a business issue," said Paul Vitale, vice president of government and community relations with the Business Council of Westchester.

The organization has about 1,200 members and is lobbying to lower property taxes to keep businesses in the area.

Westchester is the county with the highest median real estate taxes in the country, at $9,044, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

According to Vitale, businesses pay 44 percent of property taxes in the state of New York.

Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, is in favor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to cap property taxes to combat the high costs businesses and residents pay.  Cuomo's bill was approved by the New York State Senate on Jan. 31.  The bill most recently went before the state assembly.

Along with Weschester, two other counties in New York made the American Community Survey's top 10 list of highest median real estate taxes paid in 2009.  Here is the complete list:

1. Westchester, New York, $9,044
2. Nassau, New York, $8,940
3. Bergen, New Jersey, $8,708
4. Hunterdon, New Jersey, $8,671
5. Rockland, New York, $8,542
6. Essex, New Jersey, $8,245
7. Passaic, New Jersey, $7,939
8. Morris, New Jersey, $7,904
9. Union, New Jersey, $7,793
10. Somerset, New Jersey, $7,720 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Homeownership Rate is Lowest in More than a Decade

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The number of households that own their homes is at the lowest it has been since 1999, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the current rate of homeownership is 66.9 percent, in 1999 the rate was only slightly lower, at 66.7 percent.

A weak economy, high unemployment, falling home prices, tight mortgage underwriting and slow sales are among the reasons analysts cite to explain the low ownership rate, according to Consumer Affairs.

Before 1999's low homeownership statistics, the nation's rate dropped to 64 percent from 1985 to 1995.  However, the cases of owned homes rose during the Clinton and Bush administrations, peaking at 69 percent in 2004.

Additionally, 18.8 million homes, or 14.4 percent of all houses and apartments in America sit vacant, according to the Census Bureau.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio