My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Archive for August, 2009

Gay Marriage Data Set To Be Released

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

H/t to Ed O’Keefe at The Washington Post:

The Census Bureau will for the first time publicly release the number of gay marriages reported in a decennial census, as it plans to release raw data about same-sex relationships in the 2010 headcount, according to new guidelines released today.

The decision reverses a Bush-era policy that prohibited the release of the data. In a legal opinion published last week, Commerce Department lawyers concluded that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act does not prohibit the Census Bureau from publicly releasing the data, contrary to the conclusions reached by Bush administration lawyers.

Continuing current policy, the new guidelines state that software used by Census enumerators will recode answers given by same sex-partners who mark their relationship status as “husband or wife,” to “unmarried partner.” But then, in late 2011, Census officials will for the first time release the raw state-by-state data on same-sex couples that marked their relationship status as “husband or wife.”

The new policy marks a continued shift in how the Census handles declarations of same-sex partnerships. In 1990, enumerators made a practice of changing the sex of a person described as the husband or wife of a head of household to reflect the opposite sex. In 2000, the bureau instead edited the data to describe same-sex couples as “unmarried partners.”

The Census will first report same-sex marriage data later this year when it releases the 2008 American Community Survey. The results of the annual housing and population survey will include unedited responses regarding relationship status.

Competitive Census Counting in New Jersey

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

The following story comes to us from NJ.com (click here for the full version):

As 2010 Census nears, Jersey City eyes top spot in state

by Ralph R. Ortega/The Star-Ledger

Sunday August 02, 2009, 7:43 AM

Jersey City is No. 2, but has its eyes on the top spot.

Newark, meanwhile, is entrenched like an old champion not ready to give up its title.

Mahala Gaylord/The Star-LedgerFans at All Points West Music Festival on Friday in Jersey City, which is inching its way closer to Newark in total population.

Up for grabs is the right to be known as the largest city in New Jersey and the winner will be crowned after the 2010 Census. At stake beyond those bragging rights are billions of dollars in population-based funding — money that has both cities ramping up their efforts ahead of the count.

“It’s going to be close,” said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy last month.

But Newark officials say there’s no contest.

“Unless they take one of the most historic population jumps of any city in America, not just in New Jersey, they’re not going to catch us,” Newark Mayor Cory Booker said.

The latest population estimates show what Jersey City is up against. Newark has 278,980 residents — a cushion of 37,866 over its Hudson County rival across Newark Bay.

Despite the long-shot odds of Jersey City coming out ahead of Newark any time soon, the Census will determine how $300 billion will be doled out by the federal government each year for a decade, starting next year, said Raul Vicente, a spokesman for the Census. That means officials across New Jersey are doing everything they can to make sure they’re not under-counted

Stimulus $$ At Work: 2,200+ New Census Bureau Hires

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

The following is a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau:

WASHINGTON, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it met the July 1, 2009 deadline to create more than 2,200 new jobs across the country. Funding for the positions was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The new employees will support the agency’s 2010 Census partnership program.

Under the Recovery Act, the Census Bureau received $1 billion in funding, $120 million of which was used to create the new positions. The remaining funds were directed to other critical 2010 Census operations, including expanding the 2010 Census communications and advertising campaign.

“The U.S. Census Bureau has moved quickly to create these much-needed jobs,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “This new staff will perform vital work at the local level with special emphasis on getting hard-to-count communities to participate in the 2010 Census.”

There are now more than 2,900 personnel in 12 regional offices working on the 2010 Census partnership program. The diverse staff speaks 95 languages and will work with thousands of governmental entities, community organizations and the private sector to raise awareness about the 2010 Census.

The new jobs created will last through the summer of 2010, when 2010 Census outreach activities are completed.