Tag Archives: us census

Five Fact Friday #13

Five random facts for Friday:

Coresight Research, which tracks retail store openings and closings, projects that a record 25,000 stores will close in 2020 — up from its pre-pandemic estimate of 8,000. The prior record was last year, when 9,800 stores closed. – Axios

Adolphus Busch, Arthur Ashe and Nikola Tesla were born on July 10. More importantly, so was my mom. Cleveland.com

There are 50.8 million students in 91,276 public schools in 13,598 school districts in the US. Not many of them know right now what their school experience will look like in roughly six weeks. – Education Week

The heaviest freshwater fish caught in North Carolina was an 88 pound smallmouth buffalo. It was caught in Lake Wylie in 1993. – NC Wildlife Resources Commission

In 2010 the US resident population was 308,745,538 (87.4 people per square mile), in 1910 it was 92,228,496 (26 per square mile) and in 1810 it was 7,239,881 (4.3 per square mile). – US Census

 

Census Response Rate Map – Forsyth County’s Response Better Than Guilford’s

If you're interested in how many people are actually sending in their completed 2010 Census forms there's a handy-dandy map to use right here. FYI, 16% of US citizens have sent the forms in so far, but in NC only 10% have done so.  In 2000 72% of US citizens completed the Census when all was said and done, and 66% of North Carolinians did so it looks like we're keeping to our underachieving ways.

FYI, according to the map Forsyth County's response rate is currently 15% while Guilford County's is 13%, Mecklenburg County's is 12% and Wake County's is a paltry 4%.

About That Census Data

You know how we read articles about the results of studies and carrying headlines like "In 2020 Number of Octogenarian Turtle Farmers Will Outnumber Septuagenarian Muskrat Herders."  Many of those studies use data sub-sets of the US Census that are made publicly available by the US Census Bureau for exactly that purpose.  The problem is that those data sub-sets have some glaring errors:. 

The errors are documented in a stunningly straightforward manner. The authors compare the official census count (based on the tallying up of all Census forms) with their own calculations, based on the sub-sample released for researchers (the “public use micro sample,” available through IPUMS). If all is well, then the authors’ estimates should be very close to 100% of the official population count. But they aren’t...

These microdata have been used in literally thousands of studies and countless policy discussions. While the findings of many of these studies aren’t much affected by these problems, in some cases, important errors have been introduced. The biggest problems probably exist for research focusing on seniors. Yes, this means that many of those studies of important policy issues—retirement, social security, elder care, disability, and medicare—will need to be revisited.

It's kind of hard to make good policy decisions if they're based on inaccurate information.  Still, no one is disputing the accuracy of the census itself which is important to remember as we gear up for the 2010 count.  Hopefully The Census Bureau will be diligent in making sure that the data sub-sets that are generated from the new count are far more accurate than the 2000 versions.