Marriage Measures Guide of State-Level Statistics. Additional Resources

03/30/2008

A more detailed discussion of the data sources and methods used to calculate the statistics reported in this guide appears in the Technical Appendix.  In addition, readers interested in obtaining additional statistics or conducting their own analyses of state-level data should consult the following sources:

  • National Center for Health Statistics.  The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects and reports a broad range of state-level marriage statistics.  Basic counts of the number of marriages, divorces, and births in each state are published in a monthly series of National Vital Statistics Reports.[2]  State-level data on nonmarital childbearing can be accessed and analyzed online using the interactive VitalStats website.[3]  Most of the state-level data available from NCHS are based on administrative records collected from states, not from surveys of state residents.
  • American Community Survey (ACS).  The ACS is a new national survey conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau as an alternative to the long form of the decennial Census.  The ACS is especially well suited for calculating state-level marriage statistics because it has an extremely large sample size.  For example, the 2006 ACS collected social and demographic information from more than 1.2 million households.  Basic tables and statistics based on ACS data can be accessed online through the interactive American FactFinder website.[4]  More detailed analyses can be conducted by downloading the ACS public use microdata sample (PUMS), which includes individual-level survey responses for an anonymous sample of ACS respondents.
  • Current Population Survey (CPS).  The CPS can also be used to calculate state-level marriage statistics.  The CPS is conducted on a monthly basis, but the broadest range of social and demographic information is collected in a special supplemental survey administered from late February through early April, called the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement.  Data from the CPS can be used to calculate a range of state-level statistics related to marriage and family structure.  State-level statistics based on CPS data are generally less precise than comparable statistics based on data from the ACS, because the CPS has a smaller sample size.  However, the CPS also has advantages over the ACS, including more detailed measures of family income and household structure.  Data from the CPS are available through a range of Census Bureau reports and from the CPS website.[5]

Endnotes

[1] The tables for each state are labeled using the states two-letter postal code followed by the table number.  For example, the first table for Alabama is labeled Table AL-1.

[2] National Vital Statistics Reports.  Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/nvsr.htm].  Accessed November 21, 2007.

[3] VitalStats.  Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/VitalStats.htm].  Accessed November 21, 2007.

[4] American FactFinder.  Available at: [http://factfinder.census.gov].  Accessed November 21, 2007.

[5] Current Population Survey (CPS).  Available at: [http://www.census.gov/cps/]. Accessed November 21, 2007.

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