Friday, April 04, 2008

Fun With Demographics: another thing Wikipedia is good for

While I was making a comment on the Blue and Red Light Special post below, I did a quick search on the town of Waldo, Florida, a little bump in the road nationally famous for being a speed trap. I chose Wikipedia as my source and noticed that Wiki P. had quite a lot of demographic info posted for a town of 800, so I decided to check out my own Tiny Town. Since I'm not inclined to identify where I am, no links -- sorry. But I did learn lots of interesting stuff, based on the 2000 census (which means that the info is somewhat out of date, but still):

All by myself, I currently earn almost exactly the 2000 median income for families. Believe me, although I'm no longer destitute (have been in the past), I don't make a lot of scratch, so that's scary. In fact, while I currently make $22,000 more than the median income for women, in 2000, my income pretty much was the median income for women. I guess this explains why I'm able to pay my bills on time now!

In 2000, mine was one of the 10.3% female-headed households.

In 2000, 18.4% of households were non-families. Since that's such a high number, I wonder what that means. That is, of course we have the situations where platonic friends room together, but I'll bet that 18.4% includes a lot of same-sex couples and even hetero unmarried couples, both of whom probably see themselves as families, thank you very much. But the gubment doesn't. Perhaps they need to ask different questions on those census forms.

The most stunning thing to me, although I'm not sure why it stunned me, is that my town needs to be renamed Whiteyville: in 2000, 93% of us were white. Where I live is a subdivision in my town, which is cozied up against another, non-rural small town (from my mailbox I can look down the street and see mailboxes from this other town), which is next to a Big City. I live, in essence, in a bedroom community. This might be why my street defies the racial demographics of my town. For years it has been a little United Nations. Our cul-de-sac has seven houses. On the corner: white husband, white-hispanic wife (wife's recently deceased hispanic mother used to live there, too). Next to them: black family. Next to them: white husband, white wife. Next to them: white husband, Japanese wife. Next to them: white me. Next to me: white husband, white wife. Next to them, the other corner: black-hispanic husband, white-hispanic wife, hispanic kids. In other words, four out of seven homes are not just "white" or not white at all. So, yes, 93% surprised me. However, much of the rest of my small town actually covers a lot of unincorporated area and is extremely rural. I guess it makes sense that most of those folks living down those dirt roads, many of whom drive Confederate-flagged pickups, are white.

To put this in perspective, the Big City near my home, the place where I work, had a white population of just under 65% in 2000.

It'll be interesting to see what changes the 2010 census reports, but we'll all have to wait a while for that post.


konagod said...

If you are a demographic data slut like me, I can kill hours on that site. :lol:

Bitty said...

Kona, you're evil. ;)

I'll be spending some time there.