Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Census publishes participation rates, relates inversely to duration of temporary enumerator jobs this spring

The 2010 Census has a map and application to track participation rates by state and individual community, with basic link here. This link contains factual data from the Census Bureau and approved by Census for publication now.

Mail participation rates are considered an important indicator of success. It’s possible that higher income communities will show higher participation before the supposed April 16 mail deadline.

The duration of temporary enumerator jobs would depend inversely with participation (many may last less than two months), but other analytical jobs dealing with aggregation and suppression will probably become open later in 2010 for IT professionals and statisticians.

Some people fear answering the census out of fear of misuse (immigration, etc), but census workers, as noted before, are sworn to lifetime confidentiality of data, which cannot legally be shared with other agencies, even for “national security” reasons. The questions (actually of a general nature, linked in earlier postings) deal with households, not individuals, and are used to estimate the need for public services only; nothing of a nature usually seen as “personal” is asked. There has been a political flap (in the press, on both liberal and conservative sides) on the counting of same-sex couple households and marriages in states or jurisdictions were legal, but data will be smoothed in such a way that individuals cannot be identified.

Picture (unrelated): Newark NJ from Amtrak train.

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