There will be seismic shifts as well in the makeup of the U.S. population. The rich will become richer at the expense of the poor. The U.S. population will have more older adults, as well as more youngsters -- putting a greater burden on the people in the middle to earn enough to support those who rely on them. All of this information, and much more, was revealed at the ARF media measurement 5.0 conference.
The attendees were treated to an invaluable lesson on how to conduct research. Starting with an impeccable textbook design and ending with appointing the right man for the job: Dr. Robert M. Groves, a well-respected academic.
In so doing, the U.S. Census Bureau has renewed the faith of many in the ability of the government to do things right. It is clear that the protracted debates and controversies surrounding previous censuses will be greatly diminished with this year's effort. It may not be perfect, but it comes close.
Enumerating the population of the United States is mandated by the Constitution and is arguably the most important set of data that drives the federal machine. It is therefore critical that the data be as accurate as humanly possible.
Sadly, the Census Bureau has failed many times in the past century to provide the government and its people with "good enough" data. The results were often extremely costly. Too many schools and other elements in the government infrastructure were over-built in one part of the country and painfully under-built in others. The very composition of the 435 members of the House of Representatives was often flawed.
The 2010 census appears to have taken the past to heart and is fielding an above-reproach survey this year. This survey provides the reassurance that the numbers quoted above -- and many other statistics that we will discuss at a later date and place -- are reliable.