The Arab population in the United States has grown more than 75 percent since 1990, more than triple the rate nation’s overall growth, a Census Bureau report released Wednesday shows.
Yet Arabs represent a tiny fraction of the entire population in the United States, estimated at just 0.5 percent. The Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey ending in 2010 places the U.S. Arab population at 1.5 million, up from 850,000 in 1990.
The biggest groups are:
Lebanese, estimated at 485,917
People of Arab ancestry have higher median household incomes than the overall population – $56,433 to $51,914 – with the highest incomes being Lebanese ($67,264) and Egyptian ($62,812).
Arabs also tend to be from larger households, with 2.93 people per household vs. 2.59 for the U.S. population as a whole. Yemeni households average 4.34 people, the census report shows (pdf). See source for more
How Unique is the New U.S. Open Data Policy?
The White House’s new Executive Order may be significantly different than the open data policies that have come before it on the federal level, but where does it stand in a global — and local — context?
Many folks have already jumped at the chance to compare this new US executive order and the new policies that accompany it to a similar public letter issued by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, but little attention has been paid to one of the new policy’s most substantial provisions: the creation of a public listing of agency databased on an internal audits of information holdings. As administrative as this provision might sound, the creation of this listing (and the accompanying scoping of what information isn’t yet public, but could be released) is part of the next evolution of open data policies (and something Sunlight has long called for as a best practice).
So does this policy put the U.S. on the leading edge?
Feds to Open Data Access in a Big Way
One aspect of the feds’ new Open Data Policy presents both an opportunity and a challenge. It specifically calls for improved interoperability as a way to advance open data implementation. “Right now, standards setting for interoperability seems to be nobody’s job — and the federal government has the opportunity to take the lead here,” said Hudson Hollister of the Data Transparency Coalition.
Making money from accessing the vast amounts of information collected by the U.S. government has been the basis for many commercial enterprises. The widespread use of Census Bureau data alone has been a great business resource for decades — with a relatively new twist as a component of Google Maps.
Now the U.S. government has undertaken a major effort to make tons of federal information from all agencies more accessible for the general public and the business community. The government’s Open Data Policy requires federal agencies to put most of their information resources into electronically accessible configurations.
“One of the things we’re doing to fuel more private sector innovation and discovery is to make vast amounts of America’s data open and easy to access for the first time in history,” said President Obama when he announced the program in a May 9 executive order. The Office of Management Budget supplemented the order with an implementation directive. >>more<<
Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent.
Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
Government should be participatory.
Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.