The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 3, 2012

Census tells us who we are, by the numbers

Daily Star

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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 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.

Spring Reading

Local resident Amanda Hoepker is both a photographer and poet. Her newly released book "All the Unsaid" is a visual feast. Beautiful photos compliment her deeply moving poems. The poems are so personal, it's almost as if you've happened on someone's diary, making you feel as if you shouldn't be reading it, but you can't stop yourself. Do treat yourself to a reading of her book.

We take our homes for granted most of the time, but did you ever wonder how the whole concept of homes evolved? Lucy Worsley's new book "If Walls Could Talk," covers the history of each room and how they developed into what we know today. She takes a look at the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom for starters, and then delves into what we actually did in each of the rooms and how we furnished them. This accounted for much of our progress as a civilization.

How many times have you heard that you create your own reality? Dr. Wayne Dyer discusses this in his latest book, "Wishes Fulfilled." In this book, he talks about how you can change your self-concept, use your imagination to create a better life, and by practicing the techniques he details, train yourself so that the things you desire will happen.

Children's Books

Dad says it's time for bed. Ted says no, and that's when the fun begins. Enjoy the fun as dad goes through the bedtime routine in "Time for Bed, Baby Ted." Author Debra Sartell gives you a romp through the house, and Ted clearly doesn't think it's time for bed, as you will see.

"I Spy Under the Sea" by Edward Gibbs will be fun for children as they try to guess and discover all the things that are hiding in the sea. Cutouts in the pages provide clues, and the book also serves as counting practice for the types of different things children will see.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at