Monday, January 11, 2010

The Census - What is it good for?

Yeah OK, the census asks some pretty personal questions. But what do they do with all that information? Robert J. Samuelson gives us an example in his Washington Post column today.
You may think that the last place to find a portrait of a nation is a book full of numbers. But turn to Page 673 of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, and you find these intriguing figures. About three-quarters of Americans (76.1 percent in 2007, to be exact) get to work by driving alone. Only 10.4 percent carpool, while 4.9 percent use public transportation and 2.8 percent walk. On average, Americans spend 25.3 minutes commuting each way. The state with the longest commuting time is New York, at 31.5 minutes; the states with the shortest are North and South Dakota, at about 16 minutes, followed closely by Montana and Nebraska, at 17.6.

In addition to the Libary of Congress, the U.S. Census Bureau provides a wealth of information. The 2010 Statistical Abstract can be found here.

No comments: