US2010: America after the First Decade of the New Century continues the Russell Sage Foundation’s long-standing commitment to analyzing the key trends in American society every decade by capitalizing on the statistical information provided by the decennial Census. The current initiative intends to improve on that tradition by building on the strengths of two very different projects. It combines the Foundation’s history of scholarship on the key social, economic and demographic trends in U.S. society with the many advantages of the web-based American Communities Project (ACP) developed by demographer John Logan at Brown University for the 2000 Census. For the first time, findings from the US2010 project will be disseminated via a dedicated web site, resulting in a more rapid release of research findings while simultaneously making the Foundation’s research more accessible to a diverse audience, including scholars, policymakers, the public, and the media.
Topics include such themes as economic inequality, aging and intergenerational relations, race and ethnicity, segregation, and education. For each topic, an Advisory Committee comprising prominent scholars in several disciplines worked with Logan to develop a set of statements and questions suggesting areas for exploration for commissioned authors. For example, growth in population-wide levels of educational attainment has flat-lined in the last decade, reversing a century-long trend. At the same time, gender disparities in educational attainment, which now favor women, have increased. Do these trends have implications for the economic and social returns to education? What accounts for these shifts and what are the implications for the labor market? Will marriage patterns be affected by these education trends?
Print publication will take two forms: short, descriptive briefs, and longer, more analytic research reports. Briefs will be especially important for their ability to address timely and important topics of interest, and their appeal to a broader audience. The reports are more typical of prior RSF Census projects and are likely to be more scholarly in approach and substance. In addition to the briefs and reports, the US2010 website will house a variety of publicly accessible information, including the data used in the research analyses, and all constructed variables at differing geographic levels (for example, cities, counties, or states). It will also include a number of sortable lists that allow for comparisons of MSAs along a number of dimensions such as degree of segregation, indicators of economic health, and racial composition. The research reports will be published as an archival RSF volume at the end of the project.