The Constitution requires the government to undertake a census every ten years, and the results of this census are key to everything from drawing up electoral maps to allocating funding to deciding on zoning: what you measure, you treasure.
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The once-a-decade census is the "largest civic action undertaken by the entire country," providing data that "affects every corner of America, determining where hundreds of billions of federal dollars flow annually, where businesses open new stores and which states gain—or lose—seats in the House of Representatives." Read the rest
Without an accurate census, it's virtually impossible to make good national policy, which is why so many countries make census participation mandatory (when former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen "Dumpster Fire" Harper made the long-form census optional, statisticians and policy wonks quailed) -- which is why the Australian government's decision to collect and retain -- for 10 years -- personally identifying information on census participants is such a big deal. Read the rest
Cartography and data analysis nut Brandon M-Anderson put together this impressive zoomable map of the United States with one dot for each of the 308,450,225 people recorded by the 2010 census: oddities revealed include people living in "abandoned" areas or parks. A Redditor stitched the tiles into a huge image.
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@daveg appears to have found the census record for Jordan Anderson, author of the very arch and admirably sarcastic letter from a former slave to his former master I reposted the other day. Read the rest