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This Week's Facts:

  1. Set Aside June 27 to Raise AIDS Awareness, Encourage Testing

  2. Expert Provides Testimony to Value of Statistics in Everyday Life

  3. Five Hurricane Preparedness Tips that Apply to Most Natural Disasters

June is Carribbean-American Heritage Month

In June 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution recognizing the significance of Caribbean immigrants and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. In February 2006, the resolution passed the Senate. Since that time, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This month’s commemoration marks the eighth Caribbean-American Heritage Month. In celebration of this observance, the Census Bureau presents a variety of data it publishes related to people of Caribbean heritage.

How Many of Caribbean Ancestry in the United States?

2.7 million - The estimated U.S. population of West Indian ancestry. Some of the largest West Indian ancestry groups in the United States include:
--Jamaican (1.0 million)
--Haitian (908,000)
--Trinidadian and Tobagonian (196,000)
--Barbadian (62,000)
--Bahamian (53,000)
--U.S. Virgin Islander (17,000)
Note: The estimates for Barbadian and Bahamian are not significantly different from each other.

In addition, there are Hispanic or Latino origin groups in the Untied States who can trace their heritage to this part of the world:

--Puerto Rican (4.9 million)
--Cuban (1.9 million)
--Dominican (1.6 million)
Note that these populations are not mutually exclusive, as people may be of more than one ancestry or ethnic group.

Source: 1-year 2011 American Community Survey, Tables B04006 and B03001.

This information is from a U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features news release.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program


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Set Aside June 27 to Raise AIDS Awareness, Encourage Testing

National HIV Testing DayHIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a lot like other viruses, including those that cause the flu or the cold. The major difference is that over time, your immune system clears most viruses out of the body. With HIV, the human immune system can’t get rid of it. Scientists are still trying to figure out why.   HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body and that it attacks a key part of your immune system-your T-cells. Your body needs to have these cells to fight infections and disease, but HIV invades them, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them. Over time, HIV can destroy many of the T-cells that your body can’t fight infections and diseases anymore. When that happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS.

Due to the severity and devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, there’s a national day set aside for people to get tested – June 27. National HIV testing day was first observed June 27, 1995. AIDS.gov has tools, resources, and information about HIV/AIDS and how to live with the disease. Knowing your status is the first line of defense in keeping you and your loved ones safe. Click here to find the closest Testing site and care services near you.  Take the test and take control.

Expert Provides Testimony to Value of Statistics in Everyday Life

US Census: Research Matters BlogBy Thomas A. Louis, PhD, Associate Director for Research and Methodology, May 30, 2013.

Statistics touch every part of daily life and provide measures of most everything – the rise and fall of the tides, the size of communities and of the U.S. economy, the probability of storms, the balance of trade, the prevalence of disease, the financial cost of hurricanes, commuting patterns and time use, the effectiveness of medical treatments, performance in sporting events, the health effects of environmental exposures; plus thousands of other aspects of human behavior and natural phenomena.  The substantial societal benefits of these measures depend on their quality and relevance.

International Year of Statistics
To draw attention to the value statistics play in our lives and the importance of our profession, the statistical community has designated 2013 “The International Year of Statistics.”  Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty. It provides the navigation essential for directing the course of scientific and societal advances.

Statistics and statisticians will play increasingly important roles as complex “big data” inform and empower our future. How will society mine the haystacks of information on social networks, time-use, economic, and other activities to benefit science and business? The answer is sound statistical practice.

Statistics inform public policy
A few examples: Each year billions of dollars are allocated to school districts based on the Census Bureau’s county-specific estimates of income and poverty, produced by combining information from the most recent decennial census, from the Current Population Survey, from the American Community Survey and administrative records.  Municipalities use these and other data sources to make decisions on transportation infrastructure.  The nation uses Economic Census statistics in setting the industry benchmarks that shape the Gross Domestic Product, our best indicator of economic health.

Growing demand
Academia, business, government, and individual stakeholders increasingly rely on data-driven decisions.  As Marie Davidian (current president of the American Statistical Association) and I highlighted in our editorial in Science (Vol. 336, April 6, 2012), substantially more statisticians and other data scientists are needed to meet the burgeoning demand to develop valid information and make sense of the data tsunami.   Success will depend on novel statistical designs and analyses, and on innovative communication strategies.

Our data-rich future demands that scientists, policy-makers, and the public be able to interpret increasingly complex information and recognize both the benefits and potential pitfalls of statistical information.  Consequently, it is a good sign that there is a strong push to promote statistics as a key component in precollege education.  We must encourage students to develop skills in describing data, developing statistical models, making inferences, evaluating the consequences of decisions, and asking questions that help calibrate quality.  These are skills that students will use throughout life, whatever their careers.  A data-driven future awaits, and statisticians must lead the way.

In my role as Associate Director for Research and Methodology at the U.S. Census Bureau, I will support our talented researchers in developing new approaches that ensure the Census Bureau remains a world leader in achieving the highest attainable quality of our statistical products. Through substantive collaboration we identify the highest priority issues, develop and evaluate approaches, then transfer the best to practice, thereby ensuring that Census statistics continue to support the public good. Visit Research@Census to learn more.

This information is brought to you by the U.S. Census Bureau , from its Research Matters blog.

Five Hurricane Preparedness Tips that Apply to Most Natural Disasters

Ready.govHurricane season is officially under way, and if you live in certain regions of the United States—including Hawaii and coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico—preparing for a hurricane may be especially critical. The high winds and heavy rainfall of hurricanes can lead to flying debris, flooding, landslides, and other dangerous situations.

Use these five tips to make sure you have what you need to stay safe:

  1. Have a family communications plan. In an emergency situation, your family might not all be together and traditional means of communication (like cell phone service) may not be readily available. Have an alternative plan in place to contact your family. Follow these tips from FEMA to put together a plan.
  2. Create an emergency kit. Strong storms can knock out power for a long time and if you’re unable to evacuate, you’ll need to have enough food and water on hand until power can be restored. FEMA recommends having enough to last for at least 72 hours for all members of your household. Find out what other items to include in your kit.
  3. Don’t forget about your pets. Animals are an important part of many families, so you want to make sure they’re prepared for a hurricane as well. That means having additional food and water on hand for them and making sure their tags are up to date in case you get separated. If you evacuate, don’t leave your animals behind. They often can’t fend for themselves during a storm.
  4. Learn the appropriate evacuation routes. Knowing the evacuation routes in advance will help you react calmly during an evacuation and help move your family to safety. Follow the direction of local emergency officials and law enforcement. If they tell you to evacuate, make sure you do so.
  5. Know whether you live in a flood zone. Hurricanes can cause serious flood damage to your property. If you live near rivers, streams or other bodies of water that could overflow, make sure you are prepared to deal with flooding and have proper insurance coverage to protect you. Learn more about your flood risk and finding flood insurance coverage.

If you’re impacted by a storm, you can also find resources to help you recover and rebuild. Take care of your safety first by finding the nearest shelters, and then you can see if you’re eligible to receive any form of disaster assistance.

For easy access to hurricane information on your phone, download the free Hurricane App from the American Red Cross (iPhone and Android). It will help you track storms, prepare your family and home, get help, and more.

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