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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

A backcountry take on U.S. Census 2010

March 30th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Counting the nation’s residents only comes around once every ten years, and each time it does, new technologies have been created in that period of time that make it easier to get a figure on the population.

What is important about the Census Bureau is that it collects valuable information about city and county trends. This can range from data about the age of residents in a particular county or city, the median household income, jobless figures, and housing data. What effect has the recession had on income and joblessness? What languages other than English do residents speak?

Another less publicized fact about the U.S. Census is that it is not always easy to collect this information. Most households receive their Census forms in the mail. The new forms have a streamlined questionnaire this time around. However, there are some people living in the back country who don’t receive their mail at their homes.

In northern mountain communities in New Mexico, for example, there is significant snowfall and the U.S. Mail just simply doesn’t deliver there in the winter. What has happened this year is that census takers have strapped on snowshoes and cross-country skis to slog their way to some out of the way cabins.

One census taker reported driveways that are three miles long with very deep snow.

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