Sunday, May 15, 2011

Census Dater

I decided to see how "typical" I am, in comparison to my fellow villagers -- having already determined it is not at all normal to read the census data.  In a town of 15,000, it can be interesting to know if you really are an anomaly, and if you will ever fit in.  Remember when we learned how Marketing had defined the personality of your zip code?  Abandon this post if that one bored you.

Thanks to outsiders like me (Richies, think the natives), this town is growing.  Housing sales peaked, then prices fell, just like anywhere else -- only now they are lower than they have ever been.  So none of us is leaving.  And the cost of living is still higher here than the national average.  Ask my Alaskan friend who just came for 3 days of dinners.  If the US average is expressed as 100, my town is 115.6 (Boston - 136.  that's why anyone lives this far out).

As a town, we are not as much older than the state average as we look.  This may say more about me and where I hang out than it does about the town.  There are more women than men, but not by much.  The census now uses this quaint phrase, Female householder with no spouse present (another fancy play on Unmarried Person).   There are 1105 of us.  I am forming a book club.  We outnumber the men by 355.  But even combined, we can not take on the 2082 married-with-children.  Though it would be one heck of a game show.  They could combine forces like a Survival Tribe of alliances; we would just hire people to do it for us.  And go for brunch.

Nearly 1300 of us are "foreign-born."  I enjoy checking this box due to its specificity.  My birthplace is not one of the common of my town.  We do not have an ethnic center.  But then, I speak German not-at-all.  We have far more Central Americans than the state as a whole, but our Haitian population is about equal.  This is fascinating, since I never see this represented in town day OR Leprechaun round-up.  The Canadians are 9% of our town, but I have seen not one maple-leaf.  Are they all running the Wheetabix?
  Should they know how to spell it?

It is still mostly a white town, for all of that.  15 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (!)  12 Native Americans.  I simply must get on the town day committee.   Since 67 O'Malleys and 36 McNamaras died in this last census round, there may be room for a Touissant or an Escobar to shake things up in Central Park.

For the record, I do not live in Massachusetts' smallest town. (I honestly wasn't sure, but I verified...)  We have a designation of "Very Small Towns" and they are wickit smwall. Smaller than our force of Female Householders.   I am actually, by our standards, in a "Small City," ha-ha, where the number of bars is not in fact, anything remarkable and never has been.

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