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.

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Census in the CNMI begs the question: What is the CNMI?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Few people remember that America governs offshore territories other than vacation favorite Puerto Rico. One such territory is the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific, population 88,662 (so long as the Census Bureau got it right last time…). Supported primarily by its tourism industry, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands receives a significant amount of annual aid from America. The Saipan Tribune (the Mariana’s daily newspaper) just reported that the Census Bureau will be allocating $4.6 million for census-taking efforts in 2010, a 31% increase over the $3.5 million for Census 2000. Those are your tax dollars and stimulus money hard at work…10,000 miles away. Here’s the full story:

The CNMI’s proposed budget for the 2010 census is approximately $4.6 million, a 31 percent increase from roughly $3.5 million for Census 2000, according to the Department of Commerce.

John Blanco, director of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that although the money has yet to arrive, preliminary planning has already begun between CSD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The census is a count of everyone residing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the CNMI and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Census 2000 put the CNMI’s population count at 69,221, from only 43,345 during Census 1990.

The first Census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since then.

In the CNMI and elsewhere in the nation, Census 2010 day is set for April 1, 2010.

Blanco said Commerce is expected to hire the managerial team by Oct. 1, consisting of some 17 positions that include a local census office manager, an assistant manager for field operations, a partnership/media specialist, an assistant manager for office operations and an assistant manager for administration.

“The bulk of the hires, though, which will number around 300 strong at its peak, will not occur until early in 2010,” Blanco said.

When the Census 2010 team reaches full swing, it expects to have 242 field staff, consisting of enumerators, crew leaders, crew leader assistants and field operation supervisors hitting the field by April 1, 2010.

The 178 enumerators will begin training on March 22, 2010.

Blanco said that now more than ever, the CNMI is in need of current statistical data besides the federal government requirements that a census be conducted.

“Our own public and private sectors have been clamoring for more recent population data, given the tremendous turn of events we have witnessed since the last decennial census. Also, given that the CNMI was unable to conduct its own mid-decade census back in 2005 due mostly to budget constraints, this full census of the Northern Marianas is, for all intents and purposes, long overdue and greatly welcomed,” he said.

Census information helps local and federal leaders to make more informed decisions. Businesses rely on the data to gauge the investment climate of the CNMI, or to decide whether the population of a village can support the opening of a business in their respective communities. Grant writers use census information in their respective papers.

“This is just a few of the many reasons why the census is so important not only to our nation, but our islands as well,” Blanco added.

Where’s the IT Department?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

In our function as a watchdog for the 2010 Census, we want you to know that the Census Bureau’s IT Department is still slumping…be prepared for technological challenges in the days ahead.

Meet Gov. Gary Locke, Third String Commerce Secretary Nominee

Thursday, March 5th, 2009


Saturday, February 14th, 2009

If you are searching for data concerning America’s population and demographics, look no further than the “American Factfinder” presented to us by the Census Bureau. As of this posting, you are sharing these beloved 50 states with 305,813,193 other people. However, this statistic doesn’t include the millions of undocumented immigrants known to be sharing this country with us.

Breaking News: Census jobs available in Kansas City!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

From the way this news was reported, the availability of Census jobs may be the most exciting thing that’s happened in KC since the Royals won the 1985 World Series…

For new Census data from the KC-based Kauffman Foundation that discusses how entrepreneurship affects job growth, check out this MSNBC report.

Need a job? The Census is hiring.

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

For the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed, short term relief may be found by working for the Census. In towns and cities across America, the Census Bureau is hiring. Ostensibly, competition will be stiff, even in locales nobody’s ever heard of. Check out these local news reports:

Census hiring in Pratt, Kansas

Census hiring in Taylor, Texas

Census hiring in Fresno, California

Census hiring in Pasadena, California

Analysis Of The 2010 Census Promotional Video: "A New Portrait Of America"

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

With only 413 days remaining before “Census Day,” April 1st, 2010, there’s no better time than now to watch a corny video manufactured by the U.S. Government that promotes participating in the Census. Note: At the time of this posting, only 114 people (most likely all from the production company that made it) have viewed this promo.

Remember folks, the results of the 2010 Census will determine how 300 billion of your tax dollars are allocated each year. In the era of 800 billion dollar bailouts, that may not sound like much, but it’s enough money to give many elected officials the jitters.

Just ask Keith Hite, the president of the National Association of Towns & Townships who appears on this video – Come on U.S. government videography team and producers, is he the best celebrity you could find to promote the Census? – and says, “the Census, no matter when it is, is the consummate partnership between local, state, and federal government.” Thanks Keith. We’re glad that from your perch in your Town & Townships Tower (sounds like a Mickey Mouse organization to me) that you still find time to star in promotional videos.

The video goes on to discuss “innovations, like a new, short census form will help to make it even more successful.” I’m familiar with the phrase “less is more,” but how will asking fewer questions (seven in total) yield more accurate data? This “innovation” seems to be a concession to libertarians, most of whom won’t fill out the 2010 Census form anyway.

Only during the video’s photo montage (to the tune of an unknown “hopes and dreams” theme song) do we finally see the microcosm of America as we know it that features brief clips of every racial, ethnic, occupation, ability, class, and age group from sea to shining sea. If you look closely at these pictures, many appear to be stock photos that were likely taken in places other than American soil. Perhaps we at MyTwoCensus are cynics, but this is our job, so we can keep America strong into 2010 and beyond.