The U.S. Census Bureau today released the latest detailed statistics on the nation's 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in 40 categories measuring population, housing and economics. Oklahoma's overall statistics allowed it to move from its previous 45th position among all states to 42nd, reported NewsOK.com. The data for these statistics was obtained through the American Community Survey and represents information for 2010 through 2011.
Oklahoma Median Income Stable in a Nation of Falling Income Levels
The good news is, while many wage earners across the nation experienced a decrease in wages and overall income, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, Oklahoma residents' median income remained stable. The bad news is the Sooner State's income levels remain significantly lower than the national average.
The state's largest single annual income level, at 18.3 percent, for total household income was in the $50,000 to $74,999 range. Household incomes of $14,999 or less totaled 15.8 percent. Nationally, the largest single annual income level for a total household ranged from $75,000 to $99,999.
Oklahoma Population and Employment Statistics
Oklahoma had slightly fewer than 3 million residents who are age 16 or older; 62 percent of these residents are in the labor force, whether working for someone else or self-employed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's report. The highest rates of unemployment were among those age 16 to 19 years, with a rate of 22.7 percent unemployed and those age 20 to 24 years with a rate of 12.4 percent.
Interestingly, 24.6 percent of Oklahoma residents age 65 to 74 years were in the work force and 6.7 percent of residents aged 75 and older remained working.
Overall, the state's residents who were in the labor force had a poverty rate of 51.1 percent, which compares to 53.5 percent nationally.
The average family size for Oklahomans in 2010 through 2011 was 3.07; average household size was 2.5. Family households comprised the largest segment of the more than 1.4 million households throughout the state at 66.4 percent. Slightly less than half of those family households had their own children under age 18 living there at 30.3 percent.
Female householders living alone were at 15.6 percent of non-family households; 2.2 percent of female householders did not live alone. Male householders living alone represented 12.9 percent of non-family households with 2.9 percent of males not living alone.
Among Oklahoma's population age 30 years and over, totaling 2.1 million people, 3.7 percent lived with a grandchild or grandchildren and 52.2 percent of those who did were responsible for that grandchild or grandchildren.
The American Community Survey
The American Community Survey, ACS, is conducted each and every year and is done so through the U.S. Census Bureau. Both the Census Bureau and those conducting the ACS are sworn to confidentiality of the information obtained through the survey under penalty of law that includes five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
The ACS compiles data over and above the information gathered for the census. State and local officials rely on the information obtained to make determinations such as where funds are needed, what areas need improvement and more. Title 13 of the U.S. Code requires everyone to respond to both census questions and the ACS.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.