Making sense of the US Census

“Hey Beer! That doesn’t seem like a very comedy oriented title!”

Well, I’m only on my second cup of coffee – cut me some slack! Just kidding, actually. I’m on my third cup and it was just a little play on words for an honest to goodness serious topic (At least as serious as we ever tend to want to get around here).

Today, we’re going to talk a little about the U.S. Census boys and Girls. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s (in a nutshell…) something that happens every 10 years as the government tries to count how many people are living where.

That’s not what I really want to talk about today though. I want to talk about the radio ad that I keep hearing that is really bothering me.  You see, they have to run a lot of advertisements to convince people to fill them out and send them in. Apparently a lot of people are convinced the Evil Empire is out to do something with the data collected (Like it isn’t already mostly available publicly).

So we end up like the radio spot I keep hearing. And there’s one line in it that just really bugs me, “It’s just 10 questions and should take you about 10 minutes”.  (Those of you who get the longer form are excused from the upcoming rant.

I got the 10 question form, and if it took me FOUR minutes I would be shocked. Let’s review the questions shall we? I took these straight from the 2010 Census website.

  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
    (I trust everyone should know this one. If you don’t, well….. yeah.)
  2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
    (Just in case you were the person who didn’t know, apparently. Or you managed to find some extra people living at your home in between questions 1 and 2).
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
    (Again, this should be something you already know. If you don’t know… ouch.)
  4. What is your telephone number?
    (The ONLY way this could be tricky is if you have no phone)
  5. Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?
    (We come to the longest question. If you have a lot of people this form may take you ten minutes. It asks for names. It may also take you 10 minutes if you have an Eastern European name made up of 22 letters including 19 consonants. Still, you DO know who’s living in your house, right? Please say yes.)
  6. What is Person 1’s sex?
    (“I don’t know” is not an option. There is a box for male, and a box for female. Pick one, only one. Again, this should not be a difficult question to answer).
  7. What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
    (How old are you and what is your birthday. You really should know these anyways.)
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
    (If you are, you’re probably aware of it, otherwise the answer is no. It’s not complicated. Move along)
  9. What is Person 1’s race?
    (Despite vehement arguments to the contrary, this is not a NASCAR question. Talladega, Daytona, or Bristol are not valid answers. They included check boxes on this question, that was probably a good move.)
  10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
    (They include check boxes again, if it applies you check it. Another easy one.)

Hey, look at that, we’re done! See? Easy.

So, if you get it, fill it out will you? It actually helps with a lot of stuff, and it is not hard to do. Besides, it’s a chance to show how smart you are by getting all the questions right for once!

Later Folks!
-Beer

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One response to “Making sense of the US Census

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Making sense of the US Census « Beerbarrel Productions -- Topsy.com

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