Data Sources for Arts and Livability Indicators

The data used in this ADP on arts and livability indicators draw from three main data sources: the American Community Survey (Census Bureau); County Business Patterns (Census Bureau); and Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (Federal Bureau of Investigation). The “bonus” indicator in Issue Brief #3 used data from Occupational Employment Statistics (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Below are brief descriptions of each of these data sources.

American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau)

The American Community Survey (ACS) samples more than 3 million U.S. households annually to provide demographic, social, economic, and housing data. ACS products are available as “1-year” estimates (for geographic areas with populations of at least 65,000), and as “5-year” estimates (for areas with populations less than 65,000). 1 The 5-year ACS products combine ACS data to provide reliable estimates for areas such as small counties, Census tracts (i.e., neighborhoods), and other local areas such as Census places (which are similar to cities and towns).

Subjects included in the ACS come under four general topics: demographic, social, economic, and housing. Demographic subjects include age, sex, and race, while social subjects cover topics such as citizenship, language, and educational attainment.

The respondent’s income and earnings and employment status are included among ACS economic estimates; and housing covers a wide array of subjects such as occupancy status, median value of home, and computer ownership and internet access.

In addition to ACS data, the Census Bureau provides detailed supporting documentation to the survey. Two documents recommended here are the Bureau’s explanation of ACS geography, and its detailed ACS subject definitions.

County Business Patterns (U.S. Census Bureau)

County Business Patterns statistics provide the only annual source of complete county-level data for U.S., Puerto Rico, and “Island Areas” business establishments with industry detail. 2

The CBP series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first-quarter payroll, and annual payroll. 3 The data are useful for studying the economic activity for small areas and for analyzing economic changes over time.

Metro Business Patterns provide the same data items and layout as CBP, while Zip Code Business Patterns, which are available shortly after the release of CBP, provide the number of establishments by employment-size classes by detailed industry.

CBP and related data are based on the Census Bureau’s Business Register, a multi-relational database that contains a record for each business establishment in the U.S. and Island Areas.

In addition to tables, the Census Bureau provides CBP data in an interactive mapping tool, Measuring America: County Business and Demographics Map.

Uniform Crime Statistics (FBI)

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects statistics on violent and property crimes. Violent crime is defined as: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are: burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

In addition to reporting crime statistics for the nation and for states, the UCR Program also provides estimates for those cities and counties meeting the FBI’s data requirements. For example, crime statistics are reported for counties with populations of 25,000 or more, and, to be included in the UCR Program, county agencies must report data for all 12 months in the year.

The FBI reports violent and property crime rates for the U.S., states, and selected cities. However, crime rates are not shown for counties. UCR crime statistics for a county, for example, exclude data for cities located within a particular county—city crime data are reported separately. Alternatively, the Census Bureau’s county-level population data, which are used to calculate crime rates, typically include the population of the entire county, including cities located within counties.
Because factors affecting crime are complex, the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone. For more information, see the FBI’s guide, Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics: Their Proper Use.

Bonus Data: Occupational Employment Statistics (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program collects data on wage and salary workers in non-farm establishments in order to produce employment and wage estimates for about 800 occupations. Data from self-employed persons are not collected and are not included in the estimates. The OES program produces these occupational estimates for the nation as a whole, by state, by metropolitan or nonmetropolitan area, and by industry or ownership.
In addition to analysis of occupational employment and wages, OES data are well suited to industry skill and technology studies, and, market analysis, which is relevant to the calculation of arts and livability indicators.

In addition to data tables, the BLS provides interactive maps showing OES data by detailed occupation for states and metropolitan areas.

1. In March 2015, the Census Bureau announced that it was discontinuing ACS 3-year products, which were previously produced for areas with populations of at least 20,000. The Census Bureau will continue to release 1-year and 5-year ACS products annually.

2. In addition to Puerto Rico, the “Island areas” are: the U.S. Virgin Islands; Guam; American Sonoma; and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

3. A business establishment is a single physical location at which business is conducted or services or industrial operations are performed. It is not necessarily identical to a company or enterprise, which may consist of one or more establishments.