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May 3, 2012

Census tells us who we are, by the numbers

Numbers are fascinating, especially when they concern our country. The United States Census Bureau recently redesigned its website making it much more user-friendly. Visit it at www.census.gov and you'll find yourself spending hours looking at all the data. A fact of the day is one feature, and Monday there were statistics on how many people live alone in our country. The percentage of households containing just one person increased from 25.8 percent in 2000 to 26.7 percent in 2010. The current population is 313,458,163. Of that total, 19,378,102 live in New York state. Home ownership is at 65.4 percent down 1 percent from a year ago.

There's so much information on the whole U.S., such as goods produced, employment rates, ages, ethnic groups and more. You can look up information about your town or city, too. In Oneonta, 63.5 percent have lived in the same house for more than a year, and it takes a person 13.2 minutes to travel to work. The average number of people per household is 2.7, and there are 1,153 businesses. Median household income is $33,545 while it is $55,603 in the entire country. The city itself encompasses 4.36 square miles with 3,187.6 people per square mile. The population of Otsego County is 62,259 with 18.7 percent of those younger than 18 and 16.5 percent over the age of 65. Who knew there was so much good stuff on just one site?

Learn about the number of people who work at home (lots!), where they live, their age ranges, gender, ethnic background, martial status, if they have children or not, how much education they have, whether they live in a city or not, and in which part of the country they live.

You'll find yourself clicking and clicking, and before you know it, you'll look at the clock to discover that an hour, or even two have gone by. The most amazing thing to me is the sheer numbers and types of statistics the census bureau collects. Absolutely fascinating. Don't blame me if you get a headache, you've been warned.

Happy census surfing.

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