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Study: Five Percent of Consumers Had Errors on Their Credit Reports, Results in Less Favorable Terms for Loans
A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry found that five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports that could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.
Overall, the congressionally mandated study on credit report accuracy found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports.
“These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. “The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”
The study, in which participants were encouraged to use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) process to resolve any potential credit report errors, also found that:
• One in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores;
• One in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed, on at least one of their three credit reports;
• Four out of five consumers who filed disputes experienced some modification to their credit report;
• Slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report; and
• Approximately one in 20 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 25 points and only one in 250 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 100 points.
Other study results can be found in the executive summary of the report.
“Your credit report has information about your finances and your bill-paying history, so it’s important to make sure it’s accurate,” said Charles Harwood, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The good news for consumers is that credit reports are free through annualcreditreport.com, and if you find an error, you can work with the credit reporting company to fix it.”
The FTC report is the first major study that looks at all the primary groups that participate in the credit reporting and scoring process: consumers; lenders/data furnishers (which include creditors, lenders, debt collection agencies, and the court system); the Fair Isaac Corporation, which develops FICO credit scores; and the national credit reporting agencies (CRAs). It is based on work with 1,001 participants who reviewed 2,968 credit reports with a study associate who helped them identify and correct possible errors on their credit reports.
Consumers in the study were selected to match the demographic and credit score information of the general public, and participants were encouraged to dispute errors that could affect their credit standing. Credit reports with potential errors identified by study participants were sent to Fair Isaac (FICO) for rescoring.
After completing the FCRA dispute process, study participants were provided with new credit reports and credit scores. The original reports were then compared with the new reports. If any modifications were made as a result of the disputes, the impact of errors on the consumer’s credit score was determined.
Congress directed the FTC to conduct a study of credit report accuracy and provide interim reports every two years, starting in 2004 and continuing through 2012, with a final report in 2014. The reports are being produced under Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACT Act.
Source: Federal Trade Commission
President Barack Obama nominated veteran Rep. Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the government regulator that oversees lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He also has chosen a former telecommunications lobbyist to head the Federal Communications Commission, the White House said.
Watt, a North Carolina Democrat who has been in Congress for 20 years, would replace Edward DeMarco, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, who has been a target of housing advocates, liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers.
“Through his many years representing North Carolina in Congress, Mel has been a key advocate for fairer lending and financial practices for consumers. His deep experience with housing and finance issues makes him a natural for this new role,” said North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Sen. Kay Hagan also issued a statement of support, saying:
“Congressman Mel Watt is an outstanding choice to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Throughout his career Mel has been a champion for affordable housing in North Carolina and across the country, and has worked tirelessly to protect families from predatory and deceptive lending practices. With experience in the private sector and more than two decades of service on the House Financial Services Committee, Mel has the background, skills, and history of bipartisan cooperation necessary to confront the challenges facing our recovering housing market. I know he will work successfully with Congress to strengthen the backbone of our current housing finance system, and I look forward to his hearing before the Senate Banking Committee and his confirmation before the full Senate.”
Obama also has settled on Tom Wheeler, one of his top campaign fundraisers, to become the country’s top telecommunications regulator. The president is expected to name FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to serve as acting chairwoman.
Senate confirmation is required for both posts.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that Obama believes Watt and Wheeler both are excellent candidates for the positions he’s nominating them for.
Carney noted Watt’s two decades in the House, including his long service as the Financial Services Committee and his “proven track record of fighting to reign in deceptive mortgage lenders” and his advocacy for the “little guy.”
“That’s the kind of experience the president wants in this position,” Carney said.
Wheeler raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election effort, according to data provided by the campaign. He also contributed more than $17,000 combined to Obama’s re-election and to several Senate campaigns, including Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine’s successful effort.
Wheeler is former head of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association and the National Cable Television Association. Since 2005, he has been a venture capitalist at Core Capital Partners. Wheeler would replace Julius Genachowski, who announced in March he would be stepping down from the FCC.
Obama was scheduled to announce the nominations last Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press; NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press
There’s a new, controversial “currency” lurking amidst the financial horizon. Reportedly, it’s being used universally and several service providers are considering accepting it as a legitimate form of payment including bars, social media websites and even larger companies like WordPress and Paypal. It’s not a debit card, credit card, check or money order, it certainly isn’t cash and chances are, you’ve never heard of it.
Acquaint yourself with the Bitcoin, which according to Bitcom.org, is an Internet protocol and open-source software platform that enables a new, completely digital and decentralized currency called bitcoins.
In layman’s terms, a Bitcoin strictly exist as a digital or electronic entity and it is not regulated by any government and has not yet been deemed legal tender by an authorized central body. Still, a growing global population has been using the “funny money” to pay for goods and services.
Bitcoins are enigmatic and are considered a kind of “crypto-currency” which means it is fashioned around secrecy. This is the reason why experts studying the new currency feel it is heavily utilized in the illegal drug industry and other illicit trades.
In a related matter, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia penned an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2011, asking him to shut down “Silk Road,” the Internet black market drug trade, and Bitcoin which they believe funds it.
“The only method of payment for these illegal purchases is an untraceable peer-to-peer currency known as Bitcoins,” the letter read. “After purchasing Bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days. We urge you to take immediate action and shut down the Silk Road network.”
Coincidentally, law enforcement authorities have already begun using sophisticated techniques to analyze Bitcoin transactions in their criminal investigations making the Bitcoin software not very attractive for criminal enterprises, according to the Bitcoin.org website.
Needless to say, all consumers should be keeping an eye on this controversial so called “coinage.” In the meantime, we will leave you with the most succinct definition of a Bitcoin we could find (on the Bitcoin.org website):
Unlike a physical currency, such as gold, Bitcoin is a completely virtual currency. Bitcoin is a triple entry bookkeeping system where a public ledger of every Bitcoin transaction is validated and distributed in real-time through the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network. The whole network is secured and regulated through cryptography which is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties. Anyone can process Bitcoin transactions using computer processing power, often with specialized hardware, and potentially earn a reward in bitcoins for this service. This is often called “bitcoin mining”.
For additional information on the Bitcoin, please visit Bitcoin.org.
By Larissa M. Tyler
Child care costs have nearly doubled in the last quarter century while the percentage of families who pay for child care has declined, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011 released today. The percent of family income spent on child care has stayed constant between 1986 (the first time these data were collected) and 2011, at around 7 percent, for families who paid for child care even though the cost of child care has increased over time.
“Perhaps the most critical decision parents make in balancing their work and home life is choosing the type of care to provide for their children while they work,” said report author Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. “Child care arrangements and the financial burden they impose on families are important issues for policymakers and anyone concerned about the welfare of children.”
Families with an employed mother and children younger than 15 (see chart) paid an average of $143 per week for child care in 2011, up from $84 in 1985 (in constant 2011 dollars).
The median wage for a full-time child care worker did not increase over the last 20 years. The median wage for a child care worker in 2011 was $19,098, not different from $19,680 in 1990 (in constant 2011 dollars).
The percent of families who reported they made a cash payment for child care for at least one of their children declined from 42 percent to 32 percent between 1997 and 2011.
Since 1997, the use of organized day care centers and father-provided care for preschoolers has increased, while the proportion of children cared for by nonrelatives in the provider’s home has declined. (There was a change in the data collection methodology in the mid-1990s; 1997 was the first year of data that was affected by this change.)
The report, Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011, and accompanying detailed tables provide data on child care arrangements of preschoolers and grade-schoolers by various demographic characteristics of employed and nonemployed mothers..
Meanwhile, more older children (age 5 to 14) have some sort of adult supervision after school or in the evening. Specifically, about one in seven grade school-age children living with a single, employed parent cared for themselves on a regular basis in 2011, down from almost one in four in 1997. That’s a fall from 7.3 million to 4.2 million.
According to the report, self-care was much more prevalent among middle school-age children than among those in elementary school. Five percent of children age 5 to 11 (1.3 million) and 27 percent of children (2.9 million) age 12 to 14 regularly cared for themselves. On average, children spent an average of seven hours per week in self-care. Fifty-six percent of children age 5 to 14 spent less than five hours per week without adult supervision, and 23 percent spent more than 10 hours a week unsupervised.
“The decline in self-care among these children may be related to changes in child care arrangements,” Laughlin said. “More children are in after-school programs as funding for them has increased. Additionally, parents’ work schedules may now be more closely mirroring school schedules.”
Child care options outside the home have expanded in recent decades. This is illustrated by a series of maps and detailed tables also released today for states and counties from the economic census indicating that the supply of child care facilities varies across the United States. The tables show that in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 766,401 child care facilities in the U.S., up from 262,511 facilities in 1987. These establishments include family day care, for-profit child care centers and nonprofit child care centers.
• In a typical week during spring 2011, 12.5 million, or 61 percent, of the 20.4 million children under 5 were in some type of regular child care arrangement.
• Family members continue to serve as an important source of child care for preschoolers. In 2011, 24 percent of preschoolers were regularly cared for by their grandparents, 18 percent by their fathers (while their mothers worked) and 10 percent by a sibling or other relative. The percentage of preschoolers cared for by grandparents has risen from 1997, when it was 21 percent.
Hours in Care
• On average, preschoolers with employed mothers spent 15 hours more in child care than children with nonemployed mothers: 36 hours per week and 21 hours per week, respectively.
• Preschoolers whose mothers worked nights or evenings were more likely to have their father as a child care provider than those with mothers who worked a day shift (42 percent and 23 percent, respectively).
• The use of any father care among Hispanic children with employed mothers increased to 32 percent in 2011, up from 20 percent in 2005.
Child Care Costs
• Mothers with children under 5 were more likely to make child care payments than mothers with children only between 5 and 14 (46 percent and 23 percent, respectively).
• While the cost of child care increased over time, the percent of monthly family income spent on child care stayed constant between 1997 and 2011, at around 7 percent.
Are you a Zero-TV household? No, I don’t mean restricting the kids’ TV viewing to the weekends or until after they’ve completed homework. I mean – do you watch TV the traditional way or on any of the growing techy options available to us? So many of us are watching video content on our phones, computers, or tablets, that Nielsen designates this group of consumers: Zero-TV Households. This consumer segment is so significant; it will soon be included in our measured samples.
For those of us who are hard-core holdouts or just plain tech-challenged, don’t worry. Ninety-five percent of Americans still get entertainment and information the old-fashion way – via traditional TV. In fact, according to Nielsen’s latest Cross-Platform report, American TV viewing time was up in late 2012 over the same period the previous year, averaging more than 41 hours a week. That makes sense. There were a few notable, life-altering events towards the end of 2012 which kept our eyes on the continued coverage. Several states along the East Coast suffered the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy. The Newtown, Conn. tragedy touched all of our hearts, and the highly anticipated 2012 Presidential Election was also noteworthy. Since you and I have been together in this space for a while now, you know that the Black community tends to log more TV viewing hours a week than other demographic groups. The latest numbers show that African-Americans average 55 hours a week in front of the telly.
The new kids in town, the Zero-TV households, do own televisions – about 75% of those in this category have at least one in the house, but they prefer to watch, or consume content, on other devices. The data shows that 36% of viewers feel cost and 31% of viewers say a lack of interest are reasons for their preferred choice. Right now, about five percent or five million American households fall into this Zero-TV category. African-American consumers make up almost 10% of that number. Nielsen’s latest African-American consumer report looks at our alternate traditional TV viewing numbers more closely. We enjoy our multiple-screen options. Thirty-one percent of us watch video online. I have to admit it took me a minute to get there, but I’ve learned to appreciate the charms (and convenience) of other screens. (I know, I know. In some instances, size does make a difference and only a nice, large, flat screen will do). And, these are our favorite video sites:
• YouTube (48%),
• Other (31%)
• Netflix (10%)
• Hulu (8%)
• VEVO (3%)
• Yahoo! (1%)
Our technological world is spinning so rapidly, and the way we respond as consumers is having such a tremendous impact. Another adjustment could ultimately be made in the way TV ratings are measured. As much as we love to watch TV, we also love to let our fingers do some of the talking, too. A new Nielsen/SocialGuide study shows that 32 million people in the U.S. tweeted about whatever they were watching in 2012. You know what I’m talking about. Some 68% of African-Americans own smartphones and we tweet on those phones 30% more than other groups. So, chances are, when you’re nearly hyper-ventilating over the antics of your favorite Real Housewife or blown away by a performance on your favorite talent competition show or the score during some championship sporting event, you’re talking about it with the rest of the world by tweeting. Fun, isn’t it? The data confirms what most of us already know – as consumers, we are master multi-taskers. At least several times a month, 80% of U.S. tablet and smartphone owners use those fancy gadgets to visit a social network while watching TV.
Research shows that the decision-makers in the TV industry would be smart to take notice of the numbers attached to all that tweeting that’s going on while live television is being watched, whether traditionally or through multi-screen viewing because tweeting affects the numbers. And, it’s interesting how the Twitter numbers correlate with ratings depends on the age group. For younger people, 18-34, an eight and a half percent increase in Twitter activity equals a percent ratings point increase. But, it takes a 14% increase in Twitter volume to see an extra ratings boost of a percent among 35-49-year-olds. (I can’t help but wonder where that leaves those of us who have outgrown that demo, but watch TV and tweet, too). Once again, our behavior, our choices as consumers have the power to influence industries. What you watch and how you watch it, matters. So, choose wisely.
By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Nielsen
Most U.S. drivers reported talking on their cell phone and about one in three read or sent text or email messages when driving, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, examined two specific types of self-reported distracted driving behaviors: cell phone use while driving and reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving, among drivers aged 18-64 years in the United States and in seven European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom).
CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys and found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed compared to 21 percent of drivers from the United Kingdom. The study also found that 31 percent of drivers in the United States reported that they had read or sent text messages or emails while driving, compared to 15 percent of drivers in Spain.
“The cell phone can be a fatal distraction for those who use it while they drive,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “Driving and dialing or texting don’t mix. If you are driving, pull over to a safe place and stop before you use your cell phone.”
CDC researchers also looked specifically at U.S. drivers and found that in the 30 days before they were surveyed:
• There were no significant differences between men and women in terms of cell phone use or reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving.
• A higher percentage of 25-44 year-old men and women reported talking on a cell phone while driving than those ages 55–64, and;
• A higher percentage of 18-34 year-old men and women reported reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving than those ages 45-64.
“Everyone, of every age and generation, has the ability to make a decision to drive distraction-free,” said Linda C. Degutis, Dr.P.H., M.S.N., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “It’s especially risky for young, inexperienced drivers—who are already extremely vulnerable to crashes—to be distracted when they are behind the wheel. Answering a call or reading a text is never worth a loss of life.”
Many strategies have been applied to try to reduce distracted driving in the United States and other countries. These include law enforcement efforts, communication campaigns, vehicle and cell phone technologic advances, legislation, and safe driver education. Some strategies have been aimed specifically at high risk drivers such as teens and new drivers. As of February 2013, 33 states and the District of Columbia have laws in place restricting at least some teens or new drivers from using cell phones while driving. More research is needed to identify strategies that can decrease distraction-related crashes.
Parents also have a crucial role in keeping their teens safe on the road. They can model safe driving behavior and consider using tools like parent-teen driving agreements to set and enforce rules for their teens, such as always driving distraction-free. Safe driving habits for teens include never talking on the phone or texting behind the wheel, never drinking and driving, following state Graduated Driver Licensing laws, and wearing a seat belt on every trip.
For more information, please visit CDC’s Motor Vehicle Safety webpage. In addition, CDC’s Parents Are the Key campaign offers parents of teen drivers information, tools, and proven tips to help protect their teens from crashes.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
WASHINGTON — A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts, Payday Lending in America: How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans, sheds light on the decision 12 million Americans make every year to use a payday loan.
Pew’s survey results reveal that people choose these loans to avoid outcomes like long-term debt, borrowing from family or friends, overdraft fees, and cutting back further on expenses. But the average loan requires a repayment of more than $400 in two weeks, the typical duration, when the average borrower can only afford $50. When borrowers have trouble paying off the loan, they return to the very same choices they initially tried to avoid.
“Payday loans are marketed as an appealing short-term option, but that does not reflect reality. Paying them off in just two weeks is unaffordable for most borrowers, who become indebted long-term,” said Nick Bourke, Pew’s expert on small-dollar loans. “The loans initially provide relief, but they become a hardship. By a three-to-one margin, borrowers want more regulation of these products.”
Previous Pew research shows the average payday loan is $375. Americans spend $7.4 billion per year on the loans, including an average of $520 in interest per borrower who ends up indebted for five months of the year.
Additional findings from the national telephone survey of payday loan borrowers and 10 focus groups held across the country reveal why people turn to these loans and how they are deeply torn about the experience.
• Fifty-eight percent of payday loan borrowers have trouble meeting monthly expenses at least half the time. These borrowers are dealing with persistent cash shortfalls rather than temporary emergencies.
• Only 14 percent of borrowers say they can afford to repay an average payday loan out of their monthly budgets.
• Seventy-eight percent of borrowers rely on information from lenders—who sell these loans as a safe, two-week product—when choosing to borrow money. This reliance reinforces the perception that payday loans are unlike other forms of credit because they will not create ongoing debt. Yet the stated price tag for a two-week, $375 loan bears little resemblance to the actual $520 cost over the five months of debt that the average user experiences.
• While payday loans are often presented as an alternative to overdrafting on a checking account, a majority of borrowers end up paying fees for both.
• Some borrowers ultimately turn to the same options they could have used instead of payday loans to finally pay off the loans. Forty-one percent need an outside cash infusion to eliminate payday loan debt– including getting help from friends or family, selling or pawning personal possessions, taking out another type of loan, or using a tax refund.
• By almost a three-to-one margin, borrowers favor more regulation of payday loans. A majority of borrowers say the loans both take advantage of them and that they provide relief. Despite feeling conflicted about their experiences, borrowers want to change how payday loans work. Payday Lending in America: How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans is the second in a series of reports that will provide research for policymakers as they consider the best ways to ensure a safe and transparent marketplace for small-dollar loans.
Methodology: Pew’s survey of payday loan borrowers is a nationally representative telephone poll conducted in two parts. Demographic data is derived from 33,576 responses (margin of error +/- 0.2%). The information about borrowers’ experiences with payday loans is based on 703 interviews representative of payday loan borrowers (margin of error +/- 4.2%). Borrower quotations in this report come from a series of 10 focus groups.
Pew’s safe small-dollar loans research project focuses on small-dollar credit products such as payday and automobile title loans, as well as emerging alternatives. The project works to find safe and transparent solutions to meet consumers’ immediate financial needs. www.pewtrusts.org/small-loans
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, and stimulate civic life.
San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week to include strict privacy protections for data collected by vehicle “black boxes” to protect drivers from long-term tracking as well as the misuse of their information.
Black boxes, more formally called event data recorders (EDRs), can serve a valuable forensic function for accident investigations, because they can capture information like vehicle speed before the crash, whether the brake was activated, whether the seat belt was buckled, and whether the airbag deployed.
NHTSA is proposing the mandatory inclusion of black boxes in all new cars and light trucks sold in America. But while the proposed rules would require the collection of data in at least the last few seconds before a crash, they don’t block the long-term monitoring of driver behavior or the ongoing capture of much more private information like audio, video, or vehicle location.
“The NHTSA’s proposed rules fail to address driver privacy in any meaningful way,” said EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo. “These regulations must include more than minimum requirements of what should be collected and stored – they need a reasonable maximum requirement as well.”
The current NHTSA proposal mandates a boilerplate notice to consumers that “various systems” are being monitored. The plan also calls for a commercial tool to be made available to allow user access to black box data. In its comments submitted to the NHTSA today, EFF calls for complete and comprehensive disclosure of data collection as well as a free and open standard to access black box information.
“The information collected by EDRs is private and must remain private until the car owner consents to its use,” said Cardozo. “Consumers deserve full disclosure of what is being collected, when, and how, as well as an easy and free way of accessing this data on their own. Having to buy access to your own data is not reasonable. ”
In addition to submitting its own comments to the NHTSA, EFF also joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center and a broad coalition of privacy, consumer rights, and civil rights organizations in comments urging the NHTSA to adopt specific, privacy-protecting amendments to its proposed rules.
Source: The Electronic Frontier Foundation
The U.S. Mint is offers a collectable medal that is a bronze duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Republican Senator Edward William Brooke III ((born October 26, 1919) in recognition of his unprecedented and enduring service to our Nation. Brooke was the first African-American elected by popular vote to the United States Senate and served with distinction for two terms from January 3, 1967, to January 3, 1979.
Brooke defeated former Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody with 1,213,473 votes to 744,761. The black vote had “no measurable bearing” on the election as less than 3% of the state’s population was black, and Peabody also supported civil rights for blacks.
Brooke remained the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois in 1993. Also, Brooke was the last Republican Senator elected from Massachusetts until Scott Brown was elected in 2010, and is the most recent Republican of African-American heritage to be elected to the Senate in his own right and the only one to win re-election. His many accomplishments include:
• Serving as chairman of the Boston Finance Commission, where he established an outstanding record of confronting and eliminating graft and corruption and proposed groundbreaking legislation for consumer protection and against housing discrimination and air pollution;
• Serving as attorney general of Massachusetts – the first African-American in the Nation to serve as a state attorney general;
• Serving in the Army in the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment during World War II, attaining the rank of captain and earning a Bronze Star Medal for “heroic or meritorious achievement or service” and the Distinguished Service Award;
• Being appointed to the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders, where his work on discrimination in housing would serve as the basis for the 1968 Civil Rights Act; and
• Receiving many high honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit from the Government of Italy, a state courthouse in Massachusetts being named in his honor, the NAACP Spingarn Medal, and the Charles Evans Hughes Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Brooke’s medal was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, and the obverse features an image of Brooke with the inscription EDWARD WILLIAM BROOKE on the right side.
The reverse depicts the United Sates Capitol Building at the top of the medal and the Massachusetts State House at the bottom between two olive branches. The center of the design showcases the inscription AMERICA’S GREATNESS LIES IN ITS WONDROUS DIVERSITY, OUR MAGNIFICENT PLURALISM HAS MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT, OUR EVER-WIDENING DIVERSITY WILL KEEP US GREAT. Additional inscriptions are ACT OF CONGRESS 2008, and MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE. It was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
This medal, which can be purchased on the U.S. Mint website, is a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal presented to Senator Brooke at a ceremony at the United States Capitol Building on October 28, 2009.
For additional information, visit usmint.gov
To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.
Note: The reference to the black population in this publication is to single-race blacks (“black alone”) except in the first section on “Population.” There the reference is to black alone or in combination with other races; in other words, a reference to respondents who said they were one race (black) or more than one race (black plus other races).
The number of blacks, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, on July 1, 2011, up 1.6 percent from the census on April 1, 2010.
The projected black population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2060. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 18.4 percent of the nation’s total population.
The black population in New York, which led all states as of July 1, 2011. Texas had the largest numeric increase since April 1, 2010 (84,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (52.2 percent), followed by Mississippi (38.0 percent).
The black population in Cook, Ill., which had the largest black population of any county in 2011. Fulton, Ga., had the largest numeric increase since 2010 (13,000). Holmes, Miss., was the county with the highest percentage of blacks in the nation (82.9 percent).
Serving Our Nation
Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2011.
The percentage of blacks 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011.
The percentage of blacks 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2011.
Among blacks 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2011.
Number of blacks enrolled in college in 2011, a 74.0 percent increase since 2001.
The number of blacks who voted in the 2010 congressional election, an increase from 10 percent of the total electorate in 2006 to 12 percent in 2010.
Turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election for the 18- to 24-year-old citizen black population, an 8 percentage point increase from 2004. Blacks had the highest turnout rate in this age group.
Turnout rate among black citizens regardless of age in the 2008 presidential election, up about 5 percentage points from 2004. Looking at voter turnout by race and Hispanic origin, non-Hispanic whites and blacks had the highest turnout levels.
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
The annual median income of black households in 2011, a decline of 2.7 percent from 2010.
Poverty rate in 2011
Percentage of blacks that were covered by health insurance during all or part of 2011.
Families and Children
Among households with a black householder, the percentage that contained a family in 2012. There were 9.7 million black family households.
Among families with black householders, the percentage that were married couples in 2012.
Number of black grandparents who lived with their own grandchildren younger than 18 in 2011. Of this number, 48.5 percent were also responsible for their care.
Nationally, the percentage of households with a householder who was black who lived in owner-occupied homes in 2011.
The percentage of blacks 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations.
Receipts for black-owned businesses in 2007, up 53.1 percent from 2002. The number of black-owned businesses totaled 1.9 million in 2007, up 60.5 percent.
Percentage of black-owned businesses in 2007 in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.
Percentage of all black-owned firms operating in 2007 in New York, which led all states or state-equivalents. Georgia and Florida followed, at 9.6 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau