As featured in the New York Times, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released Medicare provider charge data for FY2011. To quote CMS, the data include "hospital-specific charges for the more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals that receive Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payments for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges, paid under Medicare based on a rate per discharge using the Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Group (MS-DRG) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. These DRGs represent almost 7 million discharges or 60 percent of total Medicare IPPS discharges." The data include the names and locations of individual hospitals and are available in either Excel (.xlsx) or comma-delimited formats.
New at the ICPSR - the "Public Health Law Research Distracted Driving Laws Dataset, 2000-2011." To quote the ICPSR, "[this] project compiled state and District of Columbia laws regulating the use of mobile communication devices (MCD) by individuals operating motor vehicles and coded some of the laws' features in a data file. The data file contains information about prohibitions against talking or texting on a MCD for different groups of drivers," e.g. all drivers, 16-year-old drivers with beginners' licenses, and so on. The study includes both coded data and the text of relevant laws. For more information, see http://publichealthlawresearch.org/data-set/distracted-driving-laws.
While the U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on religious practices, many other countries do gather such data in censuses (hence this melancholy tale of the declining population of Jedi Knights in the United Kingdom). One source for such data is IPUMS International. The IPUMS International project, which is hosted at the University of Minnesota, provides free access to microdata samples from dozens of countries. Many of these samples include variables on religion, race, and ethnicity, in both harmonized form for easier cross-national analysis and unharmonized form with codes taken from the original samples. See here for country availability of variables measuring religious affiliation.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has an informative essay on the history of collecting data on religion via the Decennial Census of Population. At various points in time, the Census has collected data from clergy members as to sizes of their congregations, either as part of the Decennial Census or via the Census of Religious Bodies that was conducted in 1890 and every 10 years from 1906-1936 (data were collected in 1946, but were not tabulated). However, questions about religious affiliations and practices of individuals have never been included in the Decennial Census. While it is not illegal for the Census to ask respondents about religious practices on a voluntary basis, it has rarely chosen to actually do so.
State-level and county-level data on numbers of congregations and adherents for various religious traditions are available via the Association of Religion Data Archive's collection of U.S. church membership data. The data sources include the old Census of Religious Bodies and various non-governmental organizations.
The staff of the Electronic Data Center will be conducting an introduction to data from the Census of Population and Housing on Thursday, February 21 from 2:30PM-3:45PM. The workshop will be located in Room 314 in the Robert W. Woodruff Library. To sign up for the workshop and/or to read more about it, see http://web.library.emory.edu/news-events/upcoming-classes.