Archive for the ‘Housing & Households’ Category

The American Community Survey (ACS) released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals a treasure trove of data about jurisdictions with populations of at least 65,000 people.  In Maryland, 16 jurisdictions meet that threshold, plus the state itself. The annual ACS report is derived from the U.S. Census Bureau’s nationwide monthly survey of 275,000 addresses covering demographic, social, economic and housing data. This report, which covers calendar year 2011, is a vital instrument to measure how far we have come since the Great Recession — and how far we have left to go to recover what was lost. (more…)


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The growth in the share of multifamily units in Maryland has been striking since the mid-2000s housing bubble burst. Multi-family housing — generally, apartments — made up 38 percent of all residential permitted units in 2011. That was the highest level since the early 1970s and well above typical rates over the last three decades. (more…)

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My colleague John Coleman talks about the relationship between data, information and knowledge: How data is vital, but not so useful until it can be turned into information and then disseminated as knowledge. Our boss, the Secretary of Planning, Richard E. Hall, puts the process in more industrial terms: turning pig iron into steel into automobiles.

The point is: data is raw material. The public, government, business and other institutions receive enormous amounts of it every day. But the trick — in fact, often the line between success and failure — is the ability to make sense of it.


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