ONE YEAR AND COWNTING

April 20, 2009

A full year prior to actually taking the next U.S. census, an army of over 140,000 people are in the process of trying to locate every possible residence in the Country. Launched April 6, the address canvassing is scheduled to be finished by mid-June.

In the last census, Woodside had a population of 5,352 with 2,030 housing units. This translated to a population density of 455.1 per square mile with 172.6 housing units per square mile. This compares with Atherton which had a population of 7,194 with 2,505 housing units and a population density of 2,505 per square mile and 511 housing units per square mile. Portola Valley had 4,462 in population with 1,772 housing units. Its density per square mile was 487.5 population and 193.6 housing units.

In our little COWner of the world, with haciendas and ranches scattered about the landscape, it’s not an easy task. But the Census Bureau is up to it with new technology that will make their job easier and our census more accurate.

For the first time in Decennial (how often do you get to use that word?) Census history, the intrepid census workers will be using super-secure, GPS-equipped, hand-held computers. The new devices are so secure they can only be activated by the fingerprint of the assigned operator.

Counting COWs is, of course, very important as it has direct bearing on our representation, so it’s nice to know that this census will be the most accurate ever.

The new GPS devices will allow workers to update maps by adding new roads and each building or structure will be assigned coordinates for accurate location. In all, the workers hope to verify nearly 150 million addresses! That’s a lot of COWnting.

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