Unit 6: Social Studies Connection

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A Closer Look at our Population

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys the population to gather data. This is called a census. Census takers ask such questions such as the following.
How old are you?
What is your gender?
Do you own your own business?
Do you go to school?
How many people reside in your home?
Do you speak any language other than English?

The census found that there were 281,421,906 people living in the United States in 2000. The chart shows some other facts that were uncovered by the Census Bureau.

U.S. Population in 2000
Percent of people under 5 years old 6.8%
Percent of people under 18 years old 25.7%
Percent of people 65 years old and over 12.4%
Percent of females 50.9%

Word Wise

bureau:
A government department: We had to get permission from the local travel bureau before our trip to Antarctica.

gender:
Designation of one of two categories, either male or female: John's gender is male.

reside:
To live in a given place: During the winter, Maria resides in Florida.

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Activity

Make a word web. Choose one of the words above, and write that word in the center of a piece of paper. Write down all the words that you associate with this word, and connect them to the word with a line. You may use a dictionary or a thesaurus to help you. Be sure to include different forms of the word in your word web.

Data Hunt

Take a census-survey of your class. First, think of four or five questions that you would like to ask. Your questions should have simple answers. Write the questions down on a piece of paper.

Examples:
A good census question: Do you own a computer?
A bad census question: What do you think is the best pizza place in town?

Ask a group of people to answer your questions. Be sure to write down the total number of people surveyed.

For each question asked, determine the percentage of people who give each different answer. Write up a short report to show your results.