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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Census 2010

I always thought the Census was kind of weird but I never got the creepy conspiracy feeling from it. To me it feels like some antiquated counting system developed, put in place and now it's kind of on autopilot. The margins of error must be pretty big for something that is supposed to help us determine the allocation of public funds which begs the question "Do we really need the Census?" I'm still behind it because a lot of good can be done with the information. If anything, I don't trust the people who could potentially do something stupid with the data, not necessarily the data itself. I just wonder at what point the information becomes useless because of the constantly mixing diversity of the US population. They should throw in an entertaining question just for shits and giggles like "Who is stronger, an enraged Thing or a relaxed Hulk?"


  1. The madder the Thing gets the stronger he is. Nah doesn't work. If Hulk gets too mellow he turns into Banner. My money's on Ben Grimm.

  2. You can check more than one race, so Shin could have checked white and Japanese.

  3. I have the same sort of confusion in the Australian census (the census says "ethnicity", not "race").
    My Dad is 5th generation Australian, and my mum is Indonesian born Chinese.

    -Do I say I'm Chinese? Maybe, but Chinese and IbC are quite different culturally.
    -Do I say Indonesian? Maybe, but I probably don't have any actual Indonesian ancestry.
    -Do I say I'm Australian? I don't know why that's even an option. I don't believe Australian is an ethnic group. Its a mix of different European (mostly British) cultural groups, and to call that mix "Australian" is to ignore the Indigenous Australians.
    -Do I say European? It makes more sense to me than "Australian", but culturally no and "European" is to broad a category to be an ethnic group.

    I also have strong connections with my Torres Strait Islander bala and sisi (brothers and sisters). But even though they call me bala, and my cultural connection to them is much stronger than my connection to Europe or China or Indonesia, I can't legally say I'm one of them on the census either.

  4. Yes, you can write in more than one race or ethnicity on the census form. The 2000 Census was the first time you could do that.

    However, what bothered me more is the fact that there should have been a sexual orientation question especially since there are states now where you can have either civil partnership or true marriage.

    They really dropped the ball on that one this time around. A lot has certainly changed in the last ten years.

    Also, during the in-between years of the decennial census, there is a survey that provides estimates called the American Community Survey (formerly the long form..).this is why everyone gets to fill out the short form this time around (and forever) and doesn't have to fill out the long form.

    However, nothing is perfect, but hopefully we learn from it and create something better the next time around.