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Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Workshop 6 - The Census: Who We Think We Arehomesitemap
Introduction -Link Before You Watch - link Lectures and Activities Classroom and Applications - Link

Workshop 6:  Lectures & Activities

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Lecture Transcript Three:
How Were Resources Allocated?

Lecturer: Professor Evelynn Hammonds

photo of lecture hall

Professor Hammonds: Okay, now you've had a chance to look at the census data about a particular community. The first thing I want us to remember is that the Constitution mandates we have a census. There has to be a decennial census every 10 years. We have to have one—didn't want to forget that. So you've had a chance to look through the data now. What does this community look like?

Andrew Sullivan: We looked at occupational jobs, looked at the unemployment rate, and it seemed like it was doing fairly well economically, the community, but then when we looked closer at the poverty level and those living under the poverty level, that's what really struck us. Under 18, one in six children live below the poverty line, and under 5 years old, it's one in five. And that was what really struck us about this community, and that, really, we thought needed to be addressed first and foremost.

Yvonne Powell: We found some equally as striking numbers under the female-headed household numbers, numbers that were outrageously striking: that 33 percent of the female households with no husband present were below the poverty level, and that with children under 5 years old, 62 percent of those households were under the poverty level. Outrageous numbers in a country as wealthy as ours is.

Carol Siriani: We had a question as [to] whether lumping these three communities together gave an accurate picture of any one of them, and whether, when we were dealing with these statistics, were we really dealing with Cleveland or Akron or Lorain, and was it distorted by bringing the three together?

Professor Hammonds: That maybe one might be doing relatively better than the other, but by creating this sort of district, you were masking some of the individual differences in the three communities. That's a very good point.

Cheryl Maloney: We also noticed, if you look at the income types, that almost a third of the people report that their income comes from social security, and 19 percent of the people who report income, their income comes from retirement, so there is a large elderly population in the city as well.

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