One of the stupidest things I’ve heard coming out of Congress for sometime is the idea of de-funding the American Community Survey or ending the requirement that filling out census forms as a mandatory action. Census forms aren’t difficult to fill out and provide an essential source of information for businesses, governments, researchers and not-for-profits.

Without accurate community demographics, it’s hard for a business to know where to locate or who to target for marketing. Government programs that target poverty or concerns impacting certain minority groups would be impossible to implement. Interested people couldn’t learn about their community, and politicians couldn’t communicate with interested audiences.

Some people think the census should be voluntary. Some people don’t feel comfortable discussing their income, their race, or the condition of their housing. But already the surveys protect individual privacy, and laws prohibit any use of the census survey responses except for releasing aggregated data. Only after 70 years do individual survey responses become public for use of historical – beyond most people’s lifetimes.

And to protect survey responses, the Census Bureau never asks the most sensitive questions – it never asks about your religion, your guns, or what you do in bed. Instead it asks about relevant demographic information, that is essential to know from a both business and public perspective.

Google Maps: Median Age Of Population in US Counties

This interactive map shows the median age of a county. Half of the population in the county is older then this age; half is younger. Appalachia and the rural west have some of the oldest populations in America, while the south, outside of Florida is generally younger.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
Table - DP05, ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES

Google Maps: Percent Of Pennsylvania Population That Is German

While there are significant portion of the population are German of in rural portions of Lancaster County (traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Country), Germans decedents are common across Pennsylvania, especially in rural areas south west of Scranton, especially around Lewisburg, and also around St. Marys and Ohiopyle. There is a lot of overlap in areas with German decedents and Dutch (persons from Holland) descendants in Pennsylvania.

ACS 2015-2010 5 Year Average, B04006, PEOPLE REPORTING ANCESTRY, Universe: Total population

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Pennsylvania Dutch Country, also called the Deitscherei in Deitsch, refers to an area of southeastern Pennsylvania, United States that by the American Revolution had a high percentage of Pennsylvania Dutch inhabitants. Religiously, there was a large portion of Lutherans. There were also German Reformed, Moravian, Amish, Mennonite, Schwarzenau Brethren and other German Christian sects. The term was used in the middle of the 20th century as a description of a region with a distinctive Pennsylvania Dutch culture, but in recent decades the composition of the population is changing and the phrase is used more now in a tourism context than any other.