States and Kids
(page 58)

Here's a solution from a group of students from Hermann Middle School in Hermann, MO:

Dear Tim:

To find the number of children in Illinois between the ages of 10 and 14, we first found the percentage of kids in each state between the ages of 10 and 14. Then we eliminated states that we thought would have families different from Illinois due to the reasons people live there. For example, California would mostly be populated by celebrities and people fresh out of college. We also eliminated the District of Columbia, because most of the people who live there work for the government and either have grown children or are too busy for kids. Then we averaged the remaining percentages of kids 10 to 14 in the states we felt had similar types of families (Alabama, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma). We then took the average percentage and multiplied it by the population of Illinois and came to our conclusion that there were 843,600 children ages 10 to 14 living in Illinois in 1990.
Thanks for the challenge!,

8th grade Hermann Middle School Talent Pool Classler

Dear Missorians:

Thank you so much for your response. As a non-celebrity in California, I'm really interested in your reasoning about which states to include :); it's intriguing! I wonder what other readers think about your solution.

You can also check your work (and your assumptions) at the U S Census web site ( where you can get all kinds of information.

Thanks again!

Keep at it!

-- Tim

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