Your browser may not support display of this image. The Census & Geography

Your browser may not support display of this image. The census is an official, usually periodic enumeration of a population, often including the collection of related demographic information. The value of most census and sample survey data relates directly to the ability of the Census Bureau to classify the data accurately and usefully into geographic areas, and to portray the geographic entities comprising those areas correctly and meaningfully on maps and in the resulting data products. The many geographic entities the Census Bureau recognizes and delineates often result in a geographic pattern that is quite complex. The Census even though taken every ten years has a lot to do if not all to do with the population and demographics. Because demographers look statistically at how people are distributed spatially and by age, gender, and occupation, fertility, health and so on. And the demographics of that region or area helps the Census Bureau determine how many new government subsidies should be added or deducted depending on the population size and whether or not the population is growing.

Ethnicities and the Census

The two most numerous ethnicities in the United States are Hispanics (or Latinos), at about 14 percent of the total population and African Americans at 12 percent of the total population. A 1995 U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 58 percent of Americans of Latin American descent preferred the term Hispanic and 12 percent Latino/Latina. The Largest number of Hispanics, about 64 percent, comes from Mexico. Puerto Ricans comprise the second-largest group of Hispanics, 10 percent, followed by Cubans at 4 percent. In Addition about, 4 percent are Asian American and 1 percent American Indian. Chinese account for 23 percent of Asian Americans, Indians 19 percent, Filipinos 18 percent, Korean and Vietnamese 10 percent each, Japanese 7 percent, and others is 13 percent. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) states that “many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census (i.e., promoting equal employment opportunities; assessing racial disparities in health and environmental risks). Race data are also critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements. The data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions."

"Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes (i.e., enforcing bilingual election rules under the Voting Rights Act; monitoring and enforcing equal employment opportunities under the Civil Rights Act). Data on Ethnic Groups are also needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements (i.e., identifying segments of the population who may not be receiving medical services under the Public Health Act; evaluating whether financial institutions are meeting the credit needs of minority populations under the Community Reinvestment Act).”

The Census Tract

Your browser may not support display of this image. The census tract is an area delineated by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for which statistics are published; in urbanized areas, census tracts correspond roughly to neighborhoods. Which 5,000 people may reside in and the tract would have to correspond to the neighborhoods boundaries. Every decade the U.S. Census Bureau publishes data summarizing the characteristics of the residents who live in that tract. An example of information published may include the number of nonwhites in that tract. The three urban models (sector, multiple nuclei, and the concentric zone) help us to understand where people with different social characteristics tend to love within an urban area.

The Census & Spatial Analysis

Geography relies on statistical data to conduct spatial analysis. Which in statistics, spatial analysis or spatial statistics includes any of the formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties. The phrase properly refers to a variety of techniques, many still in their early development, using different analytic approaches and applied in fields as diverse as astronomy, with its studies of the placement of galaxies in the cosmos. Modern spatial analysis focuses on computer based techniques because of the large amount of data, the power of modern statistical and geographic information science (GIS) software, and the complexity of the computational modeling. Preparing the maps necessary to support the data collection and data dissemination functions; linking the address appearing on each census or survey questionnaire to its proper geographic location (for example, within a census block, a city, or a county); and providing the reference files and technology needed to assign the data collected to the full set of geographic entities used to report the results of that census or survey. The value of most census and sample survey data relates directly to the ability of the Census Bureau to classify the data accurately and usefully into geographic areas, and to portray the geographic entities comprising those areas Your browser may not support display of this image. correctly and meaningfully on maps and in the resulting data products.

Complex issues arise in spatial analysis, many of which are neither clearly defined nor completely resolved, but form the basis for current research. The most fundamental of these is the problem of defining the spatial location of the entities being studied. For example, a study on

Your browser may not support display of this image. human health could describe the spatial position of humans with a point placed where they live, or with a point located where they work, or by using a line to describe their weekly trips; each choice has dramatic effects on the techniques which can be used for the analysis and on the conclusions which can be obtained. Other issues in spatial analysis include the limitations of mathematical knowledge, the assumptions required by existing statistical techniques, and problems in computer based calculations.

Map by Dr. John Snow of London, showing clusters of cholera cases in the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak. This was one of the first uses of map-based spatial analysis.

Issues with the Census

Because of a low rate of returns with inner-city residents a cities population may be under counted. This matters because a cities district must be redrawn, the map lines that is to account for the space needed for the population, so that each district in the U.S. House of Representatives has about the same number of representatives. The lower the population in the city, the fewer amounts of seats and the less representation that city may have. The higher your cities populations, the more government funding you get, but the lower your population the amount of government funding is slim. As a response to the, widely spreading undercounting of the urban population are able to use spatial analysis to apply statistical techniques to get an accurate count as well as to determine other characteristics or people, housing, and businesses. So, congressional and state legislation seats are redrawn using a 100 percent count, whereas the analysis of spatial patterns and trends is conducted with statistical valid samples.