Stats in the wild: Census 2010
Who’s excited for the 2010 Census? What? You’re not? Well let me ask you this then? How else are we supposed to know that there were 6,424 people living in Pondera County, Montana in 2000? How? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to go door to door in 2010.
Census talk anecdote:
I went/was forced to go to a talk last year given by someone who had worked at the census for many years. As far as I was concerned the census is about as boring as it gets. (By the way, the Census bureau is located in a place called Suitland. I can’t imagine Suitland being a very fun place. Unless you like counting to very large numbers.) So the talk was about as boring as it gets. I think the statistical issues the census deals with are kind of dry (sampling!), but the political issues are fascinating. Basically the only item I remember from this woman’s talk was the controversy over how to count prisoners. She gave an example of a town in upstate New York that had a massive prison located within the town lines, but most of the prisoners were from near New York City. So where do these people get counted? Do they count for the purposes of representation? Should the town with the prison get more representation because they have so many residents? It’s an interesting discussion.