Who Are We? The U.S. Census Bureau Has Answers

Self discovered from The New York Times today that the U. S. Census Bureau has released its 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States.  So that dear blog readers will be spared the ordeal of paging through the 1,400-page print edition, self will summarize highlights from The New York Times article, which was written by reporter Sam Roberts.

  • We are more likely to play computer games than to do crossword puzzles.
  • The state of Iowa has six times as many hogs as people (“For the record, hogs outnumbered people in Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska as well as in Iowa, which counted 3 million human residents and 19 million hogs.”)
  • 26.6 million households rely on cellphones rather than land lines.
  • One in 13 women in their early 20s self-identify as gay or bisexual.
  • In 2009, “blacks, who represent less than 13 percent of the population, outnumbered whites arrested for murder, robbery and suspicion.”
  • Half of respondents “said they had not dined out during the previous year.”
  • In a one-year period (2008 – 2009), the number of 18- 24-year-old men who smoke “rose to 28 percent from 23.6 percent.”
  • Since the last census (in 2000), “there were fewer gas stations” and “a lot more walk-in health care clinics. There were also more liquor stores, bars and health and personal care establishments.”
  • “Montana had the highest motor vehicle accident death rate.”
  • “Fewer doctoral degrees were awarded in library science, engineering and computer science, while the number increased in business, the health professions and philosophy.”

In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau employed son as a census-taker, which enabled him to remain in San Luis Obispo over the summer instead of going home.  Son imparted that he had to hand out census forms to the homeless who slept under bridges and to the residents of migrant camps.  More than once, when he’d knock on the door of a shack on some out-of-the-way farm, there would be an explosion of movement from behind the door, and he’d hear a voice say urgently, “La migra!”  More than once, someone set dogs on him.  After a while, he found it easier to do his census-taking after midnight.

“But don’t you need to be awake to fill out a census form?” self said, incredulous.

“Not necessarily,” son replied, with the most absolute poker face.  “It’s easier to count the homeless when they’re sleeping.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.