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# The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans

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The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2009, 22:24
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The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans probably go uncounted. However, the basic statistical portrait of the nation painted by the census is accurate. Certainly some of the poor go uncounted, particularly the homeless; but some of the rich go uncounted as well, because they are often abroad or traveling between one residence and another.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument above depends?

(A) Both the rich and the poor have personal and economic reasons to avoid being counted by the census.
(B) All Americans may reasonably be classified as either poor or rich.
(C) The percentage of poor Americans uncounted by the census is close to the percentage of rich Americans uncounted.
(D) The number of homeless Americans is approximately equal to the number of rich Americans.
(E) The primary purpose of the census is to analyze the economic status of the American population.

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The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2016, 03:40
tryambaks wrote:
the general picture is a ratio:
Poor:rich
If you add or substract same number from ratio , the ratio changes
but
If you multiply or divide the ratio with same number , the ratio remains same
Doing % = basically doing a mulitplication with both part of ratio[with both numerator and denominator . if you think ratio as a fraction]
Therefore C is Correct.
It does not change the general picture or ratio. Negate it and the general picture will change
Ans C

IMO : the ratio changes if people who are neither rich nor poor are counted .. Let's call them mid class

Poor ... Less
Mid... Fixed
Rich ... Less

Regardless of absolute number or percentage uncounted ...since mid is fixed .. The other two must have lower percentage in the whole population...

Foe example:

A......20%

Poor ... 30
Mid...50
Rich..20

Poor... 24
Mid...50
Rich... 16

From (Poor:mid:rich=3:5:2) to (Poor:mid:rich= 12:25:8)

B..... 6

Poor ... 30
Mid...50
Rich..20

Poor... 24
Mid...50
Rich... 14

From (Poor:mid:rich=3:5:2) to (Poor:mid:rich= 12:25:7)

If ... There are only rich and poor people in the country ... And we clearly know who are rich ..who are poor ... Then c makes sense ...

20%

Poor: 30
Rich:20
Poor:rich = 3:2

Poor: 24
Rich: 16
Poor:rich=3:2

B indicates that c alone is not sensible in mo

B + C will make the conclusion sensible..

B makes sure that there's no mid-class.. And we know who are rich and who are poor
C talks about "percentage(poor) Vs percentage(rich)".. Ratio remains the same ...

Another point ... Even we decide that there are only either rich or poor people in the country , but if there are a lot of people whom we can not decide whether they are rich or poor .. C alone doesn't make sense ..

Ex: total population 100

30 poor
20 rich
50 undecided ....

I personally don't think this is a good question

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Re: The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2016, 20:33
chicagocubsrule wrote:
The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans probably go uncounted. However, the basic statistical portrait of the nation painted by the census is accurate. Certainly some of the poor go uncounted, particularly the homeless; but some of the rich go uncounted as well, because they are often abroad or traveling between one residence and another.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument above depends?

(A) Both the rich and the poor have personal and economic reasons to avoid being counted by the census.
(B) All Americans may reasonably be classified as either poor or rich.
(C) The percentage of poor Americans uncounted by the census is close to the percentage of rich Americans uncounted.
(D) The number of homeless Americans is approximately equal to the number of rich Americans.
(E) The primary purpose of the census is to analyze the economic status of the American population.

Don't have OA for this

D is incorrect because the conclusion is about poor people (including the homeless) but D only specifies the homeless.

Definitely agree with this statement for choice D.

A) Irrelevant - don't care why they were not counted
B) Irrelevant - this doesn't improve the argument that the consensus is appropriate
C) Solid - this hits the gap that the total # of uncounted "poor" and "rich" Americans are similar i.e (# of uncounted "poor"/ total U.S. population). This would complete the logic gap that the uncounted "poor" and "rich" cancel each other out. If this was reversed, then it would imply that either the uncounted "poor" or "rich" would outweigh one another, thus potentially skewing the results.
D) Trap - This answer is close but deceiving. The information that the # of "HOMELESS" (NOT "POOR") is similar to the # of "rich" doesn't fill the gap as to how many "poor" and "rich" were not counted. Also, I believe this problem includes a generalization mishap. It wants the reader to assume that "homeless" is representative of "poor" and is missing the argument's comparison of "poor" vs "rich".
E) Who cares about the economy?

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Re: The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2016, 03:09
The crux of this problem lies in identifying the meaning of "basic statistical portrait of the nation"
Once you have identified what the argument is saying, then answer is easy.

Basic statistical Portrait of a nation could mean many things :-
people under 30 Years as compared to people above 30 years
people in rural area vs. people in urban area
ONE THING IS CLEAR FROM THE ABOVE THREE EXAMPLES, THE CONCEPT OF RATIO WILL COME INTO PLAY

Now since the argument uses this fancy term in reference to US Census and its shortcoming in properly counting the poor and the rich, we can assume that "this basic portrait of nation" is about number or percentage of rich and poor people. SO WHAT EXACTLY IS IT TALKING ABOUT-NUMBER OR PERCENTAGE?
The argument accepts that the census is flawed because the number of rich and poor is not correctly reported, but then it says the general picture is correct.
How can this happen. Only when you take percentage into acount.
For example
there are 100 Rich and 2000 Poor people. IF the census would be correct then the ratio of $$\frac{rich}{poor}$$ would be $$\frac{100}{2000}$$ = $$\frac{1}{20}$$
And 10 % of rich $$100 *\frac{10}{100}$$ = 10 Rich are not reported meaning only 90 rich are counted in census
and 10 % of poor $$2000 *\frac{10}{100}$$=200 Poor and not reported meaning only 1800 poor are counted in census

The ratio however will still be the same $$\frac{RICH}{POOR}$$= $$\frac{90}{1800}$$ =$$\frac{1}{20}$$

So OPTION C is correct which says
(C) The percentage of poor Americans uncounted by the census is close to the percentage of rich Americans uncounted.

The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans probably go uncounted. However, the basic statistical portrait of the nation painted by the census is accurate. Certainly some of the poor go uncounted, particularly the homeless; but some of the rich go uncounted as well, because they are often abroad or traveling between one residence and another.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument above depends?

(A) Both the rich and the poor have personal and economic reasons to avoid being counted by the census.
(B) All Americans may reasonably be classified as either poor or rich.
(C) The percentage of poor Americans uncounted by the census is close to the percentage of rich Americans uncounted.
(D) The number of homeless Americans is approximately equal to the number of rich Americans.
(E) The primary purpose of the census is to analyze the economic status of the American population.

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Re: The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2016, 02:02

Intermediate Conclusion (IC) - The U.S. census is not perfect
Premise for IC - thousands of Americans probably go uncounted
Conclusion - However, the basic statistical portrait of the nation painted by the census is accurate
Premise for Conclusion - Certainly some of the poor go uncounted, particularly the homeless; but some of the rich go uncounted as well, because they are often abroad or traveling between one residence and another

Basic portrait must be right only if, x (Number of poor getting uncounted) ~~ y (Number of rich uncounted). If there is a wide gap between these 2 parameters, basic portrait (or sample space in this case) might go weirdly wrong.
D is not right as "homeless" != "poor"

P.S: I personally feel that option C should have been framed as:
The percentage of Americans, who are poor & uncounted by the census is close to the percentage of Americans, who are rich & uncounted

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The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2017, 07:56
Option c seemed to me the most vague, when I tried to analyse it qualitatively.

But if you take away same percentage of ingredients in a mixture, the ratio remains the same.

Say the original ratio was A:B:C...
Let's take x% from each of them.
The new ratio becomes A-A*x/100:B-B*x/100:C-C*x/100:... = A(1-x/100):B(1-x/100):C(1-x/100):.... = A:B:C
Here , x% is the uncounted people in each group.
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The U.S. census is not perfect: thousands of Americans   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2017, 07:56

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