I was wondering if the Durango results for the 2010 census are now available, and if not, when this might happen? Thanks, Colleen Collins
The feds are madly crunching numbers and, holy cow, there are lots of numbers to crunch.
The Census Bureau collected data from about 300 million people in 134 million households nationwide, give or take a couple million.
Its the give or take part that really concerns the bureau.
And to make the job more difficult, about 47 million people didnt mail in their census forms, thus requiring an army of workers to visit each uncounted household.
So now we know there are 47 million misanthropes, malcontents and obstreperous crackpots in the United States.
Just how many of them live in La Plata County will remain a mystery for some time.
The Census Bureau releases its first official report, about national and state population totals, in a couple of weeks.
Next comes redistricting data, followed by a national demographic profile in summer, followed by massive files of the raw numbers at the end of 2011.
The bureau plans to release the Urban/Rural Update in October 2012. Thats when well have the numerical snapshot on Our Fair City.
So, until that time, our official statistics will be thus, from the 2000 census:
Durango is a town of 13,922 residents, 86.6 percent white with 51 percent males and an average age of 29.2 and a per capita annual income of $19,352. More than 48 percent of the population rents in a market of 5,819 housing units.
In 22 months, well see how those figures changed.
But as Mark Twain said, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. When the latest data are announced, the numbers wont really describe Durango.
If the Census Bureau wants to paint a numerical portrait of us, it really ought to change its questions.
For example, when it comes to asking about Durango income, the bureau should just skip the topic because most of us dont have much.
And those Durangoans with high incomes have very different spending habits they habitually spend their time trying not to show how much money they have.
Asked about ones race, 22 percent of locals will reply Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, followed by 14 percent Tri The Rim Triathlon and 7 percent Animas River Days kayak slalom.
Even something as simple as defining ones gender can be difficult for many, especially when so many guys around here like to don form-fitting tights, gather in large groups and hang out on the sides of busy roads.
The census says there are more men than women in town, and 60.7 percent of Durango males are single. That may be true, but as Mrs. Action Line says, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
When the census asked Durangoans to list an occupation, many replied homemaker.
Of course, this means they toil as tool-totin construction workers building homes.
The census would also do well to clarify what is meant by number of people in your household.
For instance, does this include the nonstop parade of distant relatives visiting for just a few days (two weeks) each summer to escape the heat of Kansas, Texas or Arizona?
Does it include your college buddy who couch-surfs all winter to save money for snowboarding?
Does it mean your roommates flakey girlfriend who cant seem to find a place of her own?
And finally, the census should amend its language on counting the number of kids in ones home.
We need a better definition of children because in Durango, most people count their dogs as children and coddle them accordingly.
Of course, all the children are above average.
E-mail questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you think the census should also count the number of unworn fleece vests in your closet.