I’m hoping Nate Silver or another quantitative/statistical genius (other than Census Director Robert M. Groves) can provide me with details about the current participation rates for the 2010 Census (updated Monday-Friday by the Census Bureau). Some key questions I hope to ask Dr. Groves at his press conference later today:
1. How do these rates compare with mail response rates for this time of year during the 2000 Census?
2. From my casual observations, it appears that the South is lagging behind in 2010 Census response rates. Does that this mean there will be a shift of more workers to this region? (And actually, does this mean that more taxpayer money will be infused into regions that DON’T participate in the 2010 Census initially, so more workers will physically knock on every door in these places, and thus raise the amount of cash generated for workers in such areas?)
3. IT Question Why the heck does my computer, which rarely ever experiences problems, freeze when I try to zoom in to check out Census Data? Come on Census Bureau, get your act together with your technology!
4. Should states or counties with low mail response rates be punished in some way (such as by withholding funds in the future), as it will be more costly to run more extensive non response follow up operations in these areas?
5. Why are areas of the map of the US (at the local level) blank in some instances?
6. Why can’t view the response rate for a particular town or city in all situations — and sometimes only one part of a city or town?
7. Why is it impossible for the common man (me!) with some statistical knowledge to understand what the data in the “Download Today’s Data” means — particularly because we don’t know what each of the “regions” stands for?
8. Why has the Census Bureau created such an incomprehensible explaination on their web site to explain the difference between mail response rate and mail participation rate?