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Author Topic: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)  (Read 2862 times)

mgk920

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2020, 03:37:12 AM »

As to seats and all of that, the drive-by media, just focuses on this or that state gaining or losing seats.  What is not covered is that EVERY state has to redistribute seats for the federal house (unless you have just one anyway), and the two (one in Nebraska) state houses.  So while your state may have the same number of seats as before, population shifts within states means that districts often look very differently.

Most non-partisan projections say NY will lose 2 seats, AL, IL, MI, OH, PA, RI, WV, and for the first time ever CA, or MN, will lose seats, while TX will gain 3, FL 2, and NC, AZ, CO, MT, and OR one each.

I do remember several cycles ago when California gained a full five (or was it seven?) USHouse seats in one Census.  I also remember several cycles ago when Montana dropped from two seats to one seat.

My home state of Wisconsin is fully expected to remain at eight USHouse seats.

Mike
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J N Winkler

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2020, 01:20:51 AM »

I answered the census questions online for my household and found it to be fairly straightforward and quick.  In addition to the race/ethnicity questions, there were also questions concerning how members of the household were related to each other, whether the dwelling was rented or owner-occupied, etc.  This is all bread and butter for urban planners.

The website does not provide a mechanism for you to download your own census responses as, say, a PDF.  I had Tamper Data running and saved the log as an XML file, so I have mine in encoded form.

On another forum I frequent, a regular complained about ethnicity being limited to sixteen character boxes on the form.  There is no such constraint on the online form, so I specified mine as German, Scottish, and Swiss (as I had asked to be done on the 1990 form).  FamilySearch tells me I am also Luxembourgish, French (both Breton and Alsatian), Dutch, and Austrian (with asterisk since the relevant ancestors came from Burgenland).

Since I was living in Britain at the time, I was obliged to participate in their decennial census in 2001.  I think I took a photocopy of my completed form, but I haven't seen it for years.
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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2020, 03:08:16 AM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it. I don't feel like it makes much of a difference what flavor of "white" I am, in any case. The online form did complain when I left the box blank, but if I clicked "next" again it accepted the blank box on the second attempt.
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GaryV

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2020, 08:14:32 AM »

We got the letter today with the website and a code.

I haven't looked at it yet - my son got laid off and may be returning home so we want to be sure to have the correct number of people living here on April 1.

As for ethnicity, I'm Dutch, English and maybe some German.  My wife is English, Irish, Scots, Bohemian, Dutch, German and maybe something else that I'm forgetting. Is there a "mixed" category?
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cabiness42

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2020, 08:50:55 AM »

We got the letter today with the website and a code.

I haven't looked at it yet - my son got laid off and may be returning home so we want to be sure to have the correct number of people living here on April 1.

As for ethnicity, I'm Dutch, English and maybe some German.  My wife is English, Irish, Scots, Bohemian, Dutch, German and maybe something else that I'm forgetting. Is there a "mixed" category?

There aren't predefined categories for ethnicity.  I have English, Scottish, French, Dutch, German, Swiss and Norwegian ancestry.  I entered "pan-European" because I found that to be the most accurate description.
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1995hoo

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2020, 08:54:56 AM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it. I don't feel like it makes much of a difference what flavor of "white" I am, in any case. The online form did complain when I left the box blank, but if I clicked "next" again it accepted the blank box on the second attempt.

I'd probably have put "Don't know" in that situation.
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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2020, 09:05:31 AM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it. I don't feel like it makes much of a difference what flavor of "white" I am, in any case. The online form did complain when I left the box blank, but if I clicked "next" again it accepted the blank box on the second attempt.

I'd probably have put "Don't know" in that situation.

List of ethnicities:

...
Don't Know 0.76%
Unknown 0.56%
None 0.40%
Not Sure 0.33%
Nothing 0.31%
I Don't Know 0.30%
IDK 0.15%
...
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2020, 10:12:38 AM »

Like many White Americans, I am a mix of European backgrounds: 1/2 Slavic, 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Italian, 1/8 Lithuanian. It can be very difficult for 2nd-generation Americans to have a precise descriptor for the ancestry. In my case, I simply put down "European".

I know that the "American" ancestry pops up a lot in Appalachia, where many are descended from old-stock Scots-Irish.
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Mr. Matté

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2020, 10:20:25 AM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it. I don't feel like it makes much of a difference what flavor of "white" I am, in any case. The online form did complain when I left the box blank, but if I clicked "next" again it accepted the blank box on the second attempt.

I'd probably have put "Don't know" in that situation.

List of ethnicities:

...
Don't Know 0.76%
Unknown 0.56%
None 0.40%
Not Sure 0.33%
Nothing 0.31%
I Don't Know 0.30%
IDK 0.15%
...

So I am half-Polish, and the rest various percentages of Hungarian, Ukranian, and Slovakian, would that qualify me as "mixed race?" And if I and a lot of other otherwise 3rd+ generation white Americans put that down as the race designation, I wonder how that would theoretically affect Congressional/legislative district lines.
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cabiness42

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2020, 10:24:12 AM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it. I don't feel like it makes much of a difference what flavor of "white" I am, in any case. The online form did complain when I left the box blank, but if I clicked "next" again it accepted the blank box on the second attempt.

I'd probably have put "Don't know" in that situation.

List of ethnicities:

...
Don't Know 0.76%
Unknown 0.56%
None 0.40%
Not Sure 0.33%
Nothing 0.31%
I Don't Know 0.30%
IDK 0.15%
...

So I am half-Polish, and the rest various percentages of Hungarian, Ukranian, and Slovakian, would that qualify me as "mixed race?" And if I and a lot of other otherwise 3rd+ generation white Americans put that down as the race designation, I wonder how that would theoretically affect Congressional/legislative district lines.

All of the ethnicities you listed are white, so your race isn't mixed, it's white, and your ethnicity is mixed.  Drawing legislative districts based on race or ethnicity is unconstitutional so it would have no impact.
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mgk920

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2020, 10:33:16 AM »

I'm mostly of German descent with likely a measure of Irish mixed in, but I am soooooo tempted to respond 'American'.

It is amazing, to me, that somewhere around 40M-45M USAians claim at least some Irish ancestry.  That is nearly ten times the population of the 'old' country.  Talk about punching beyond one's weight class!

Also, a couple of Census cycles ago, the Bureau reported a serious spike in those claiming aboriginal ancestry, this due to the ethnic origin question including an answer line of 'Native American'.  "I was born here, so I guess that that makes me a 'Native American'."   :wow:

Mike
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webny99

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2020, 11:40:19 AM »

To my knowledge, 7 of 8 of my great-grandparents were born and raised in this country. The one that wasn't was from Scandanavia. However, going further back than that, I do have known ancestors from the UK. I honestly have no idea how that's supposed to be recorded on the census. These type of things get harder and harder to track with every decade (and generation) that passes.
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cabiness42

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2020, 12:21:02 PM »

Just to clear things up, race and ethnicity are two different things.

Race is your genetic makeup, it's not a matter of how you identify or label yourself.  An easy way to think about it is where your ancestors lived in the year 1500 AD, before colonization.

Europe, East Asia, North Africa = White
Sub-Saharan Africa = Black
Western or Southern Continental Asia or Southeast Asian Islands = Asian
Pacific Islands = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
Essentially anywhere in the Western Hemisphere other than Pacific Islands = American Indian or Alaska Native

Genetically you are either one or some combination of these races.

Ethnicity is more of a self-identification description.  Most people identify with one or more regions from where their race originates, but many simply identify as American or as no specific ethnicity.
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J N Winkler

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2020, 12:27:35 PM »

I had a little difficulty with the ethnicity box because while I have heard from parents and grandparents that we are Norwegian and German, I consider that hearsay, since I do not have the details of any ancestor who may have immigrated from those countries, and don't care enough about the answer to use a paid service to verify it.

I personally haven't subscribed to Ancestry or used any other paid services.  There is a considerable amount you can do with FindAGrave.com (free), various census search services (also free), and family trees that others have put online (sometimes free too).  If you go back far enough, say to a great-grandparent or second grandparent, you may find a segment of your family tree has been professionally investigated.  For me, this has been true on both sides of my paternal grandfather's family.

I did not know about my ancestors outside the German, Scottish, and Swiss groups until a Facebook friend posted about RelativeFinder.com, which is a FamilySearch affiliate that will tell you what cousin relationships, if any, you have with various celebrities.  It accepts a FamilySearch family tree as input and when I set mine up, I discovered most of the generations from grandparents onward were pre-populated.  It was therefore a very fast and easy way to get an idea of where I came from, especially on my mother's side, though the extent to which I have verified the information for myself is still very limited.  (RelativeFinder.com itself I found to be hokum.  It did come up with celebrity matches, but they were mostly tenth cousins--meaning there are potentially millions of other people with the same relationship--and all of the ones I clicked through were connected to me through my paternal grandfather's mother.)

As for the ethnicity specification on the census, I view that as totally discretionary.  I cannot imagine that the Census Bureau has the resources, let alone the interest, in checking answers that are internally consistent.  If you are 100% German but identify as Scottish because you are a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, for example, nobody is going to come after you.  Given the prevalence of white Appalachians who identify as "American" in spite of having documented Scots-Irish roots, I suspect the ethnicity question functions as a proxy for some combination of "Resources for genealogical investigation," "Interest in family history," and "Willingness to answer a government form in a straightforward way."
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2020, 12:48:56 PM »

For me answering was pretty straight forward because I’m white with a clear family history dating back to England and Germany.  With my wife it wasn’t as clear given that she is Hispanic and our niece is part Mono.  My wife was actually tripped up a little trying to answer because she wasn’t really 100% sure for herself or our niece.  The only thing she knows for sure is that they have a lot of ancestry in Jalisco. 
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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2020, 12:54:16 PM »

I just realized I squandered my chance to say "European mutt".   :-/
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2020, 12:59:19 PM »

As for the ethnicity specification on the census, I view that as totally discretionary.  I cannot imagine that the Census Bureau has the resources, let alone the interest, in checking answers that are internally consistent.  If you are 100% German but identify as Scottish because you are a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, for example, nobody is going to come after you.  Given the prevalence of white Appalachians who identify as "American" in spite of having documented Scots-Irish roots, I suspect the ethnicity question functions as a proxy for some combination of "Resources for genealogical investigation," "Interest in family history," and "Willingness to answer a government form in a straightforward way."

Spot on. In addition to the ethnicity data itself, it's fascinating to see the manner in which people choose to respond.
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renegade

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2020, 03:30:02 PM »

I got two Census letters this week.  I would be happy for a paper form.  I don't want to do the Census online if I don't have to.

So I broke down and filled out the online Census last night.  Answered the “origin” question by calling myself “American.”  After all, that’s my origin.  I was born here.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2020, 03:44:18 PM »

I got two Census letters this week.  I would be happy for a paper form.  I don't want to do the Census online if I don't have to.

So I broke down and filled out the online Census last night.  Answered the “origin” question by calling myself “American.”  After all, that’s my origin.  I was born here.

Way to totally miss the point. From the Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/topics/population/ancestry.html):

Quote
Ancestry refers to a person’s ethnic origin or descent, "roots," or heritage, or the place of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.

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GaryV

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2020, 04:37:14 PM »

So all Native Americans are "Siberian"?
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renegade

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2020, 05:51:15 PM »

Way to totally miss the point. From the Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/topics/population/ancestry.html):

Quote
Ancestry refers to a person’s ethnic origin or descent, "roots," or heritage, or the place of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.
Oh.  Then in that case, I’m American.  Why does this matter?  Is the current administration still upset because they couldn’t have their citizenship question?
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Scott5114

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2020, 06:59:32 PM »

I seem to recall this being a question on previous Censuses. I don't necessarily think it's a bad-faith question; it can be useful to have data on the national origins of populations and thus the cultural impact that has on them.

Case in point, there was a social media post going around recently where someone had taken photographs in a number of Minneapolis-area stores that had been nearly depleted of stock due to the covid crisis. However, most items had exactly one item left, which the poster attributed to a quirky Minnesota taboo of not taking the last item, in case someone else needed it more badly (which the poster said often applied to other communally-shared items such as donuts in an office). A Swedish poster replied that it was a funny observation, since the Swedes had much the same taboo. Through further conversation, the Minnesotan and the Swede quickly discovered the large Swedish-descended population in Minnesota, and surmised that the cultural practice had been brought along by the Swedish settlers.
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J N Winkler

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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2020, 07:45:02 PM »

I seem to recall this being a question on previous Censuses. I don't necessarily think it's a bad-faith question; it can be useful to have data on the national origins of populations and thus the cultural impact that has on them.

The Census has asked about national origin in one way or another since 1820.  The Census Bureau has a useful potted reference to the scope of questions asked in censuses from 1790 onward.

Most of my ancestors from my second grandparents' generation onward begin appearing in census results from 1870.  In 1850, the Census began asking immigrants what their native country was; in 1820 and 1830 enumerators were merely asked to take counts of foreigners not naturalized.  1870 brought questions about foreign birth of father and mother; in 1880 people were asked to specify places of birth for both parents.  And so on.
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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2020, 07:55:11 AM »

But "place of birth" is much more specific than ethnic background.  A whole lot of people can put down that they have Irish heritage, but several generations in their family have been born in the US.
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Re: So I got my 2020 census form (and am still waiting for my 2000 form)
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2020, 10:39:18 AM »

In my part of the world we have the largest group of people who report their "ethnic background" as "American".  Very proud of that and it is what I use.  My ancestors have been here for 100s of years, came from all over Europe, and I could not care less about any European place.  I am an American, pure and simple.
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