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Steven Murdock

1) How long does it take to get to work on average for Lexington residents as compared to the rest of Kentucky?

2) How densely populated in Lexington compared to the rest of the state?

3) What is the percentage of female-owned businesses in Kentucky compared to the rest of the country?

These are the types of questions that the U.S. Census Bureau is able to provide when they work with the information they compile every 10 years. The first population census was taken in 1790 under the general direction of Thomas Jefferson, who was then Secretary of State.

Today, a University of Kentucky alumnus is the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Steven Murdock, who holds a masters and a doctorate in sociologyfrom UK, is currently the Texas state demographer and will head the 2010 census.

“The mentoring I received from UK sociology faculty such as Drs. James Brown, Clyde McCoy, and Tom Ford was instrumental in my professional development," Murdock said. "They not only provided me with a rigorous education in demography but also provided examples that served as role models for me as I developed professionally. I will forever be indebted to them, the department, and the University of Kentucky for their help and guidance.”

President George W. Bush nominated Steve H. Murdock for director of the U.S. Census Bureau on June 18, 2007, and the Senate confirmed him unanimously on Dec. 19, 2007. He replaced Louis Kincannon, who retired after 29 years at the Census Bureau.

The first official state demographer of Texas, Murdock headed the Texas State Data Center and Texas Population Estimates and Projections Program for more than 25 years, taking a leadership role in the States activities in the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses.

Murdock is the author of 12 books and more than 150 articles and technical reports. He received a Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award from Texas A&M University, the Excellence in Research Award from the Rural Sociological Society and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky.

Answers taken from 2000 U.S. Census:

1) 19.3 minutes (Lexington); 23.5 minutes (KY Average)

2) Based on persons per square mile - 915.6 (Lexington); 101.7 (KY Average)

3) 25.7% (KY) 28.2% (U.S.)