While much of the recent census interest has been focused on the release and compilation of 1940 Census records, the U.S. Census Bureau has been steadily releasing a number of interesting data and white papers on information collected during the 2010 Census. The primary difference between the 1940 records release and 2010 records release is that the 1940 records include individual answers (which is useful for genealogists) while the 2010 records remain focused on groups.
Individual answers on the 2010 Census records will be protected for 72 years, much like the 1940 Census records. The primary purpose of the census is to determine the size of the population to ascertain the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives and how much federal aid each community will receive.
However, every year, the U.S. Census Bureau also asks other questions to create a composite of socio-economic and demographic information about the population. This year, the Census Bureau has developed several interactive ways to view the data. And some of the most striking elements include a series of interactive maps.
The interactive maps are not the only composites being released by the Census Bureau. Every few weeks, the bureau has been releasing briefs and reports that provide additional insight into a variety of topics. Much of this information can be used for any number of reasons, but it also provides people interested in history and ancestry a unique perspective about specific demographics.
Three Recent Briefs Released By The U.S. Census Bureau In May.
Estimates of National, State and County Population by Age, Sex, Race: 2011 — The brief provides an interesting perspective on whether or not the nation is aging, which states have more men or women, and what minority groups are growing the fastest. The study also shows that the nation’s median age had a slight uptick from 37.2 years in 2010 to 37.3 years in 2011. Maine had the highest median age than any other state (43.2), with Utah having the lowest median age (29.5). For additional information, you can also find a brief on the older population (people over the age of 65).
The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2010 — The report examines differences in characteristics among foreign-born region-of-birth groups on a wide range of topics that include household, age, sex, marital status, period of entry into the United States, naturalization and citizenship status, language, education, labor force participation, occupation, health insurance coverage, income, and poverty. The report also compares such characteristics of the foreign-born and native-born populations. Currently, 13 percent of the population is foreign born.
The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population: 2010 provides a portrait of the native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations in the United States. The report reveals size and growth and contains tables and figures (including maps) that display regional, state and county patterns. Key findings include that more than half live in Hawaii and California, that the population has the fastest growth rate in the South (66 percent), and that Chuukese is the fastest-growing group.
While some of the statistical information might not seem important, it might prove especially insightful in the future as we look back on the legacy we leave behind as a total population. Collecting historic information can sometimes provide a unique perspective on the times when family members lived, much like World War II would shape the lives the Greatest Generation in 1940.