Data Sources

How was the data impacted by COVID-19?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected several sources of data that many Lincoln Vital Signs indicators rely upon, most notably the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), and the Nebraska Department of Education’s Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS). Please read the statement below for more details.

The impact of COVID-19 on the 2022 Lincoln Vital Signs Report

Many indicators throughout multiple sections of Lincoln Vital Signs utilize data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The data collection issues experienced by the 2020 ACS severely affected the data quality of these statistics, therefore, the Census Bureau decided not to release the standard ACS 1-year data for 2020 and also delayed the release of the 2016-2020 ACS 5-year estimates. The Census Bureau instead released experimental estimates from the limited 1-year data. Due to the experimental nature of these ACS 2020 1-year estimates, they are not included in this Lincoln Vital Signs report.

Multiple indicators in the Education section rely on data from the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS). The Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) is the statewide assessment system for English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science that public schools have administered since the 2016-17 school year. It is not comparable to the older NeSA (Nebraska State Accountability) assessment. The ELA and mathematics NSCAS test administered in Spring 2021 was shortened to preserve instructional time due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-participants were also not representative of the whole population. These factors, in addition to changes in enrollment and differences in NSCAS participation rates, complicates direct comparisons to previous NSCAS data.

Sources A-Z

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Annual Reports
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) collects case-level information from state and tribal title IV-E agencies on all children in foster care and those who have been adopted with title IV-E agency involvement. Title IV-E agencies are required to submit AFCARS data twice a year.

American Community Survey
United States Census Bureau

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a relatively new survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It uses a series of monthly samples to produce annually updated data for the same small areas (census tracts and block groups) formerly surveyed via the decennial census long-form sample. Initially, 5 years of samples will be required to produce these small-area data. Once the Census Bureau has collected 5 years of data, new small-area data will be produced annually. The Census Bureau also will produce 3-year and 1-year data products for larger geographic areas. The ACS includes people living in both housing units (HUs) and group quarters (GQs). The ACS is conducted throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Annual Domestic Violence Reports
Nebraska Crime Commission

Data is reported by all local jurisdictions and compiled by the Nebraska Crime Commission on an annual basis. Data collection began in 1999.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The BRFSS is an ongoing, monthly, state-based telephone survey of the adult population. The survey provides state-specific information on behavioral risk factors and preventive health practices. Major changes to BRFSS survey methods began in 2011, meaning that comparison of data prior to 2011 to that after 2011 is not recommended.

Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS)
United States Census Bureau

BDS provides annual measures of business dynamics (such as job creation and destruction, establishment births and deaths, and firm startups and shutdowns) for the economy overall and aggregated by establishment and firm characteristics.

Crime in the United States
FBI Uniform Crime Reports

Crime in the United States is an annual publication in which the FBI compiles the volume and rate of violent and property crime offenses for the nation, and by state. Individual law enforcement agency data are also provided for those contributors supplying 12 months complete offense data. This report also includes arrest, clearance, and law enforcement employee data. Use the new online UCR Data Tool to research crime statistics for the nation, by state, and by individual law enforcement agency.

Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index® (formerly Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®)

The specific dimensions on which communities and states are ranked changed in 2014. The Well-Being Index now measures Americans’ perceptions of their lives and their daily experiences through five interrelated elements that make up well-being: sense of purpose, social relationships, financial security, relationship to community, and physical health.

Lincoln/Lancaster County Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (Lincoln/Lancaster YRBS)
Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey measures the prevalence of health-risk behaviors among adolescents through representative national, state, and local surveys conducted biennially. The national and state surveys use multi-stage cluster sampling to obtain samples of students in grades 9-12 reflecting the geographic, urban-rural, racial, gender, and grade makeup of the population in those grade levels. In Lancaster County, the survey is conducted in all high schools, in randomly selected classrooms of a required period (second or English period). Parental consent was required beginning in 1997.

Lincoln Economic Dashboard and Business Conditions & Indicators Reports
Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development

The Lincoln Economic Dashboard is a joint effort of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research, the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development Steering Committee. The Dashboard collects and presents data to measure Lincoln’s economic performance in comparison to other communities. The Business Conditions & Indicators Reports is designed to inform business leaders, government officials, and the community about the perceptions of doing business in Lincoln by the primary employers/businesses.

Lincoln Homeless Point in Time Report
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center on Children, Families and the Law

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires each Continuum of Care to conduct an unduplicated Point-in-Time count of all persons who are homeless. Since 2006, the Lincoln Homeless Coalition has worked with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center on Children, Families, and the Law to conduct the unduplicated count. Included in the count are the number of homeless persons sheltered in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, and domestic violence shelters provide aggregate counts of unduplicated persons in their shelters. These persons represent the sheltered homeless counts. A street count (unsheltered persons) is conducted by the Lincoln Police Department, Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, Cedars Street Outreach, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Street count information is then cross referenced with CS-MIS sheltered information to remove duplicates identified in the street count from those identified as sheltered in the CS-MIS count.

Lincoln Police Department Quality Service Audit
City of Lincoln Police Department

Phone survey conducted by Gallup with people who had contact with a police officer (such as crime victims and people who received traffic tickets), but not arrested for a crime.

Lincoln Public Schools Statistical Handbooks
Lincoln Public Schools

The Annual Statistical Handbook contains basic statistical information about Lincoln Public Schools. It is intended to provide the user with current information about public education in the community of Lincoln, Nebraska

Local Area Unemployment Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program is a federal-state cooperative effort that produces monthly estimates of total employment and unemployment. These estimates are key indicators of local economic conditions. The concepts and definitions underlying LAUS data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the household survey that is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. Data from several sources, including the CPS, the CES program, State UI systems, annual population estimates, and the decennial census, are used to create estimates that are adjusted to the statewide measures of employment and unemployment.

Map the Meal Gap
Feeding America

The primary goal of the Map the Meal Gap analysis is to more accurately assess food insecurity at the community level. Map the Meal Gap generates two types of community-level data: county-level food insecurity and child food insecurity estimates by income categories, and an estimate of the food budget shortfall that food insecure individuals report they experience.

National Center for Juvenile Justice
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Collects and presents information about juvenile participation in the justice system.

National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Vital Statistics System is the oldest system of inter-governmental data sharing in Public Health. These data are provided through contracts between NCHS and vital registration systems operated in the various jurisdictions legally responsible for the registration of vital events – births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and fetal deaths. Mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) are a fundamental source of demographic, geographic, and cause-of-death information.

Nebraska Education Profile (NEP) (formerly Nebraska State of the Schools Reports)

The Nebraska Education Profile is the online portal that provides information and data about Nebraska public schools and student performance. The NEP highlights the performance of students by district and school building in reading, mathematics, writing, and science as well as performance by groups of students, including race and ethnicity, poverty, special education, and English Language Learners.

Nebraska Foster Care Review Office Annual Reports

These are annual reports by the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office that summarize data about Nebraska children who are in out-of-home placement in Nebraska.

Nebraska Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (Nebraska YRBS)
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

The survey administered in Nebraska is designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and matches surveys used in other states. The CDC selects a sample for Nebraska using a two‐stage cluster sampling design. In the first stage, a random sample of public high schools is selected with probability proportionate to school enrollment. Schools are then recruited to participate. In the second stage, within each of the participating schools, a random sample of classrooms is selected and all students in those classes are targeted for participation. Upon agreeing to participate, schools work with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR). BOSR, who assists the school in selecting an administration date, sends the school the surveys and instructions for administration, receives surveys back from the schools, and sends them to the CDC. The CDC weights the surveys to represent all public high school students in Nebraska.

Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.

Online Vital Statistics Reporting System
Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department

Vital records data include information on births and deaths occurring to Lancaster County residents. Birth and death records are an excellent source of population data to determine rates of birth, pregnancy, prenatal care, birth weight, infant mortality, and numerous other birth outcomes and causes of death. Birth certificate data are collected from various sources; including the mother, clinic, and hospital with most of the information coming from the hospital and other medical records. As for the source of data from death certificates, the cause of death is reported by the attending physician or coroner/medical examiners. Funeral directors and the families often are the sources of information about the person’s demographic characteristics.

Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)
United States Census Bureau

The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) are a set of 32 economic indicators including employment, job creation/destruction, wages, hires, and other measures of employment flows. The QWI are reported based on detailed firm characteristics (geography, industry, age, size) and worker demographics (sex, age, education, race, ethnicity) and are available tabulated to national, state, metropolitan/micropolitan areas, county, and workforce investment areas (WIA). The QWI are unique in their ability to track both firm and worker characteristics over time.

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

BEA produces several types of price indexes that help policymakers, business leaders, and consumers see the big pictures of price movements. Regional price parities (RPPs) measure the differences in price levels across states and metropolitan areas for a given year and are expressed as a percentage of the overall national price level. The RPPs are calculated using price quotes for a wide array of items from the CPI covering apparel, education, food, housing, medical, recreation, transportation, and other goods and services. Data on housing rents are obtained separately from the Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS). The expenditure weights for each category are constructed using BEA PCE and Census ACS housing rents expenditures.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Annual reports present surveillance information derived from the official statistics for the reported occurrence of nationally notifiable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States, test positivity and prevalence data from numerous prevalence monitoring initiatives, sentinel surveillance, and national health care services surveys.

Statistical Briefing Book
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

The OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) is an online information source via OJJDP’s website. Developed for OJJDP by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the SBB presents information about juvenile crime and victimization and about youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

Statistics & Facts About Nebraska School Reports
Nebraska Department of Education

This is a series of reports that were included in a publication called Statistics and Facts About Nebraska Schools. The reports include state-level reports, district and school level reports for public districts, nonpublic systems and State Operated systems (Special Purpose Schools). Most of the reports relate to the Fall Membership (student counts as of the last Friday in September, Nebraska’s official counting day). Other reports include School District Census by County and Full-Time Equivalency (F.T.E) of Certificated Personnel by Assignment and Gender.

Taking Charge Reports
City of Lincoln

The City of Lincoln partnered with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center on the Taking Charge public engagement process since 2008 to make their voices heard on a variety of budget topics. Their input has helped shape the budgets released by the Mayor’s office. Reports presenting the results of online surveys combined with face-to-face community conversation have been released annually since 2013.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), established in 1991, monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youths and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) sexual behaviors that contribute to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy; 3) tobacco use; 4) alcohol and other drug use; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. In addition, YRBSS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma among this population. YRBSS data are obtained from multiple sources, including a national school-based survey conducted by CDC as well as school-based state, territorial, tribal, and large urban school district surveys conducted by education and health agencies. These surveys have been conducted biennially since 1991 and include representative samples of students in grades 9–12.