Home > Applying Political Science > Murphy’s Law of Survey Research: If a respondent can make a mistake, he will

Murphy’s Law of Survey Research: If a respondent can make a mistake, he will

Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The b...

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It’s has been interesting to watch the reports of the 2010 U.S. Census post. We’ve learned that poverty has become more widespread: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb11-157.html

and the Latino population has exploded:

http://temecula.patch.com/articles/hispanic-latino-chicano-population-grows-in-temecula.

That’s right, my friends – this ain’t your grandmother’s census. The U.S. Census along with the American Community Survey provide extremely reliable data on key demographic info and more. And the data collection effort has become a fantastic resource for researchers like me who need timely, reliable American data.

That said, the U.S. Census Bureau, in conducting quality-assurance tests, recently discovered an interesting spike. Read on to learn more about how the “mystery” was ultimately solved:

http://blogs.census.gov/directorsblog/2011/09/estimating-the-size-of-a-small-population.html

For those of you who find all this geeky stuff interesting, I suggest you “like” the U.S. Census on facebook. Moreover, I strongly suggest you work for the census data collection efforts in 2020. It was a tremendous learning experience for me and believe it would be for you as well!

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  1. Hillary
    October 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    hopefully in the next ten years we can fix that poverty level

  2. Irain J.
    October 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I have always seen diversity as a culture enrichment. Read the article and statistics,was pretty much aware of what was already occurring. However what I did not expect were the comments left by some people on the Temecula Article.

  3. Brishonn
    October 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    i hope for less poverty and better days

  4. Mitchell
    October 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Naturally poverty is much more widespread due to the recession so hopefully by the next ten years it will go down. Next census should be a good measure of that.

  5. Jennifer
    October 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    i beleive poverty will only lessen when the economy picks up and shows signficant progress. maybe by the next census things willl be better , economically

  6. Jocelyn
    October 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Its sad to see the poverty level. hopefully, it goes down and the economy picks back up.

  7. Sarah B.
    October 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    The economy will pick up, and the poverty level will decrease. Hopefully the next census will include a lot more people because they will be willing to include themselves on it.

  8. Daniel Kemether
    October 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    The census is very valuable, but at the same time is is asking more and more personal questions. I dont think the government needs to know when I leave my house to go to work and when i get back. The poverty level will eventually rise, but i dont think that it will for a long time, i think we will be in this recession for aother 5 or so years before it starts to pick up

  9. Daniel Kemether
    October 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    by poverty level rising i mean the amount of money grossed will rise

  10. Emma Fonseca
    October 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

    WOW the comments made on the Temecula article?! I rarely get upset when people talk bad on my race but that’s straight up ignorant and rude for those people to be saying that Mexicans are all bad people, all ruining Temecula, etc. I am glad that the census is now down to a fine art that can particularly count people regardless of their living conditions and social status. As far as the poverty level rising, with more people in the country there are obviously going to be more people in each class. However, since the poverty class is the largest class, then it makes sense that more people would fall into that class.

  11. Samuel Park
    October 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Hopefully things will work out in the near future.

  12. Nathan Reed
    October 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Poverty is sadly a factor that many people are going through in this country. What can help the poverty rate decrease is better educational systems and more jobs. What the government needs to do to achieve these is stop overspending on crap that doesn’t work, like Solyndra, and spend more on education. They also need to lessen the regulations on businesses. A lot of businesses go to other countries because it is easier to ship their product from overseas rather that pay the ludicrous taxes that are in the US, and especially in California.

  13. Neil S.
    October 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    It is going to be interesting to see how this information will be used when it comes to making future policy decisions and what the long term impact of this data actually means and will be.

  14. Richard Munoz
    October 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I think one problem which we as a society often fail to address is the value of proliferating information in a responsible manner. Today many of our most impoverished have an amazingly broad variety of access to information, via various internet tools and other media; however, it’s becoming more and more common for people to consume information at face value and rarely take the time to analyze and contextualize the information they’ve taken in. Without the skills or the awareness necessary to evaluate or determine the causal nature of events/data, I feel that many of our impoverished become far easier to manipulate due to a tendency to accept incomplete information, or out of context information, without truly understand how it relates to their socio-economic situation.

  15. Lauren Barrera
    October 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    :( Times are unfortunately tough right now, and the economy has led to a high level of poverty. On a different note, I am very impressed by the 2010 census bureau. Conducting quality-assurance tests will allow us to get more accurate data about our Nation. cool

  16. Yesenia Gutierrez
    October 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    My response is to the Temecula article.

    I completely agree with “KZ”. People need to research,not assume. That’s the worst part assuming, just because people have heard something second hand or in passing does not mean that it is true of that the source is reliable. I am not denying that there have been crimes committed by Latinos but I am saying that people should do some research. The article only briefly mentioned the census results of Caucasians or Asians it just so happens that they talk about Latinos. Why? Because that is where there will be the most response, think about it. Something I just learned recently from Professor Sample’s lecture is that the whole immigration issue was not as widely known before Lou Dobbs went on CNN and then Fox. I am not saying that he is the main reason that the “immigration issue” became center stage but he definitely played a big role.

  17. Yesenia Gutierrez
    October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    My comment didn’t show up so I guess I’ll comment again.
    I am commenting on the Temecula article.

    I completely agree with “KZ”. People, need to do their research, not just assume. That’s the worst part assuming, just because people have heard something second hand or in passing does not mean that it is true of that the source is reliable. I am not denying that there have been crimes committed by Latinos but I am saying that people should be holistically informed. The article only briefly mentioned the results for Caucasians and Asians, it just so happens that they talk more about Latinos. Why? Because that is where there will be the most response, think about it. Something I just learned recently from Professor Sample’s lecture is that the whole immigration issue was not as widely known before Lou Dobbs went on CNN and then Fox, see people can make information stay in your mind without you even realizing it. I am not saying that he is the only reason why the “immigration issue” is on the agenda, but he played a big role.

  18. daniel kemether
    October 20, 2011 at 10:25 am

    on trade, war, and trade law-
    i think America has gotte in too deep with our debt with china… We now are faced with the problem of paying off debts as well as finding a way to stimulate a declining economy. im happy to hear some of our outsourced jobs will be coming back to America this should help our unemployment, but at the same time it could also raise the prices of American goods. theres always a positive and a negative, we just need to find the decisions that possitives outweigh the negatives.

  19. daniel kemether
    November 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I think it is kind of obvious gerrymandering would cause problems, obviously both parties want the majority in their states so they will do whatever they can to get ahead of the other, but gerrymandering is a necessary problem and we will just have to find a way to find solutions to the problems it poses.

  20. Christopher McHenry
    December 1, 2011 at 8:28 am

    It is unfortunate to see such a large amount of poor people in this country. I just hope that the level of poverty does not increase any higher. There are more poor people than middle class and rich. The economy is in a downturn right now but honestly when it does pick back up the level of poverty will still be high.

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