US Census: Our window into the future.

Census data is immensely important in understanding the evolution of our country. Questions of where we are, and where we want to be are answered every day with this data.  Businesses use construction spending data to target hot markets. School districts use demographic data to plan expansion, and contraction, effectively. Transportation authorities analyze statical abstracts like accident rates, fuel consumption and roadway congestion to best plan for the future. These examples of beneficial use, along with many others, are apparent on a daily basis. The positive social and economic effects of this utilization are impressive and should be noted.

Consider this interactive graphic from IBM’s Many Eyes:

(follow image link to interactive version)

A nation in perpetual movement.

Immediately apparent are winners and losers in the game of attracting and retaining human capital. Important questions arise from this and other census datasets. Why does this state succeed at attracting young educated adults and that one fail? Who is moving south, and why on earth would they choose to do so? Florida has a high home foreclosure rate, are they still the number one destination in 2010?

The answers to questions about the complex nature of our populace are invaluable and difficult to find. However, thanks to the hard work of the US Census Bureau we are able to answer them with greater ease.

PS. As useful as this data is, problems do exist. It also costs way too much (14-15 bil.). It is my hope that our 2010 survey is free of accuracy issues and available at a much lower price. As a customer of this product, we should expect the highest quality possible.

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