Census falls flat and disappoints

Many of us have already received our 2010 census form in the mail, and the form brings one question to mind:

The 2010 census is a major disappointment/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

The 2010 census is a major disappointment/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

We waited 10 years for this?

This census is a major disappointment. I received my envelope with glee, poured a cup of coffee and sat down to perform my civic duty by sending it back right away.

What a goodly American am I.

The census form slapped down my glee, much like we hit at a fly, making it flounder against the window.

Name. Address. Phone number. Race. House type and if I own it.

And then some 52 blank lines for the other 52 people that might be living under my couch.

Since I could not list my fine array of pets, I was done in less than two minutes, even before I sipped a single drop of coffee.

All the romantic notions I had of the census are gone.

Of course, there is that lucky 2 percent of folks who will receive the additional questions.

My boyfriend was one of the lucky ones. Yet when I enthusiastically asked what the additional question were, he said they were mundane, routine inquiries about blah blah ho-hum stuff.

Doesn’t the government want to know more about who we are? Are we not more than mere statistics?

The census should definitely be updated to make it more interesting and better reflect the American public.

It should ask our hobbies, our passions, our dreams, so the government can then implement ways to achieve those dreams and make us happy.

Isn’t that what a government is there for?

We would also be thrilled to know more about our compatriots.

What’s the biggest hobby in Utah? Does age play a factor in people’s favorite color in Kalamazoo? How many folks in Florida would rather be eaten by a shark than an alligator?

These are the important things, the things that make us tick. Knowing such fun facts would make us a more cohesive unit and incline us to be much more neighborly.

Our country would be a better place if we knew more about our fellows other than if they have 52 people living in the attic.

The only people who may remain gleeful about the census are the scam artists. They have already seized their opportunity, sending out fake inquiries under the census guise.

Some scams may ask folks for their bank account and credit card info, Social Security number and political stance. Others may say to send money or your firstborn. Still more may ask about immigration status or Medicare.

At least these scams sound a bit more interesting than the fully flat real thing.

Quick 2010 census facts from the 2010 Census website:

Top five states that have sent back their census forms:
Wisconsin – 72 percent
Iowa – 70 percent
Minnesota – 69 percent
Indiana – 68 percent
South Dakota – 67 percent

Please note these places may still be largely in winter and have nothing better to do.

60 percent of Americans have already responded as per April 6

Arizona falls into the 51 to 60 percent participation rate
Tucson participation ranges from 45 percent to 62 percent, depending on the area

See Tucson participation census map at 2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/


Please also note: Yes, I was truly disappointed with the census, but other parts of this piece use sarcasm.


What do you think?

Were you expecting more excitement from the census?

Did you send yours back or are you going to throw it away?

What fun facts would you like to know about your fellow Americans?

What would make the census more exciting?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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28 Responses to Census falls flat and disappoints

  1. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Morning Ryn! Somehow I was disappointed as a kid when I looked over the questionnaire our family got. It was pretty boring then too. I think the information that comesout of them is very interesting. I used to live in Mesa, AZ and thought FOR SURE that Mormonism would be the largest religious group in that city, I mean there’s a temple and all, right? BZZZT!
    WRONG? Jehovah’s Witness is the predominant religion in Mesa, AZ. Who knew? The Census DID, that’s who!
    I want to know the percentages of people who put the TP ‘over’ as opposed to ‘under’.

    • azmouse says:


      • Rynski says:

        hiya andrew! and az,
        under for me, too!
        i HATE when it’s over – hahahhaha – that is an excellent question.
        and the over/under issue is not just about preference – it’s about being sanitary. when the TP is OVER, it picks up more germs. really.
        that is awesome the census helped clear up the mormon/jw issue for you. whew. i bet you slept better at night after that – hahah!
        seriously though, i do agree the info is invaluable, esp. when you’re reporting on something and you want to know population stats, etc. now all the stats will be fresh…for at least a decade.

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        oh dear, i’m definitely an ‘over’ guy and I’m not buying the ‘germ’ theory since the paper is equally exposed to germs either way and considering that our toilets shoot fecal matter and etc into the air EVERY TIME we flush . . . (pardon the pun) it’s a wash!

      • Rynski says:

        but LESS fecal matter lands on the underside…making under the way of the world….

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        over . . .

  2. azmouse says:

    HaHa! Very funny article! I did the same thing when I went to fill mine out. Got all settled in with a cup of coffee, ready to share with the world a glimpse of life in my house. Took me three minutes though…couple extra peeps  🙂

    As a person who has spent years doing genealogy for my Mom’s side of the family, the census’ have been extremely helpful and vital in the research.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, azmouse!
      – and also funny you, too, did the coffee and settle down to fill it out – glad to hear at least you got to use some of those 52 lines for more people.
      wow on  your genealogy search. my uncle got into doing that for a while – i think he uncovered some famous polish novelist who is supposedly related to us. but that’s the last i heard.

      • azmouse says:

        You should find out about what your uncle uncovered, or if he continued! It may give you a new outlook on why you are you and do the things you do….I mean a famous novelist! Wouldn’t you love to read his work!??!
        Genealogy is allot of long hours and hard work, but the journey is a fascinating one. I have found many exciting relatives as well as some cool scoundrels. lol

      • Rynski says:

        i am curious, for sure!
        will have to ask about it next time talk to mom.
        i want some scoundrel people, too – hahahhaha. tell us a scoundrel story if you feel like it.

      • azmouse says:

        One relative was a murderer who served time in Alcatraz.
        One, going way back, was sent to Australia with all the other criminals to parish in that God-forsaken land because he was a horse thief!! ha.

        One that I thought was interesting was a female relative who was arrested in the 1930’s for ‘lesbian debauchery’ and for being a ‘mental case’.  That was the terminology they used on the paperwork.

      • Rynski says:

        wow – all three sound like amazingly interesting folks. thanks for sharing info! makes a polish novelist look boring – hahahahah.
        the “lesbian debauchery” and “mental case” references at least show us times have changed for the better, even if they are not yet as accepting/open as they could still be.

      • azmouse says:

        Yes, I guess I was naive and never really gave it much thought until they put those two descriptions together and arrested someone for that. We have gotten a bit better, thank goodness!

        Hey, I’m sure you’d find all kinds of cool criminals in your background too! 🙂

      • L Patterson says:

        by law that is all they are allowed to ask.

      • azmouse says:

        We know, we’re just joking around a bit! 🙂

  3. tiponeill says:

    I share your pain. Gays also wished that they were counted as part of the population but have been unable to convince the Census Bureau of that yet – we’re going to try again for 2020.
    But I’m sure that those other important things should be counted too.

  4. jennatoolz says:

    Finally!!! My comments are finally working again! Sorry I haven’t been posting lately…but I’ve definitely been lurking about. (Soooo much has happened in the past week too!)

    Anyway! My fiance (yep!) and I got our census thingy a while back and he filled it out quite rapidly…and that was that! We didn’t even bust out with the coffee.

    OH…I’m an “over” person and I even get OCD about it and flip the TP if it’s “under” hahaha. 😛

    • azmouse says:

      Sounds like Congratulations are in order!!!

      Was there a big, on the knee production??

    • Rynski says:

      yaaaaaay! you’re alive – and ENGAGED!!! congrats to you both – what a sweet, wonderful couple you make! and he even takes charge of the census without you having to lift a finger.
      i see a GRAND FUTURE of happiness in store!!!
      if you want, e-mail me proposal details so i can blog it on the dating game!!!! i’ll send some questions for both of you….
      i am disturbed by one thing, however – that you are an OVER person….hahahahahha

      • azmouse says:

        disturbs me as well….

      • jennatoolz says:

        Send some questions over my way! I’ll be happy to answer them for you!

        P.S. We got Dante a sister too! We adopted one of my mom’s dogs..her name is Zen and she’s some type of mix. Such a sweet, sweet girl! I’ll send over some pics when I get the chance. 🙂

      • Rynski says:

        oh, my goodness!! you HAVE been busy!!
        an engagement AND a brand new baby!! hahahahahha – can’t wait to see the pix!
        and THANKS! for the dating blog – will send you guys some question soooooon!

      • azmouse says:

        Way to go, Jenna!
        You have been a busy little bee!

  5. radmax says:

    Hey Rynski, the census is impotent…er important! 😉
    How the heck else would the feds be able to justify such a huge bureaucracy without knowing how many John Does are out there?
    What a joke. How about counting how many tax forms come into the IRS and eliminating the census? Seems they already know enough from their extensive database to make a census extraneous.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax,
      am i guessing you’re not a fan of the census? hahah. did you send yours back or are you one of the lawbreakers who are instead going to throw it in the trash heap?

      • radmax says:

        Radmax; scofflaw? You cut me to the quick Rynski… 😉
        Nah, did both of the dang things.

  6. Micuta26 says:

    Very disappointing, indeed.  I even left them a comment  right on it. So much money wasted for what? It will not help at all to know how many people are in a city or town if we do not know their income, education or hobbies.  The ad promised a lot, moving forward. This is a joke , the only thing they will know is the number of people living here and if they rent or own and ages.
    A waste a money and resources

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