Are Your Neighbors Fulfilling Their Constitutional Duty?

The census Web site has long been dreadful, a circa-1995 dump of a place. Which is a pity, because they have some of the richest data in the world, yet to get at it you have to go through layers and layers of menus until you reach ... a downloadable excel file. If they had the will (and the time, and the money), they could make their site a cornucopia of informative, accessible, and interactive infographics. But they don't.

So it's nice to see that at least for the 2010 version of the census, the agency is doing some good stuff. The 2010 census site is all Obama-fied, with soothing blue tones, a blog, and friendly videos. There's even an interactive map, which allows you to see how your state, county, city, or even census tract is doing on returning its census forms. Here, for instance, is a zip code I chose at random (12345, which happens to be Schenectady, New York). You can see how they're doing compared to the country and their state, and how they did in 2000.

censusmap.JPG
Keep sending in those forms, Schenectady!

-- Paul Waldman

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