Story pick: More than a name change
In today's Washington Post, Carol Morello does a great job examining the question: What’s in a name? It seems that virtually overnight, what was known as Woodbridge in Prince William County is now, according to the U.S. Census, Marumsco. Only no one told the residents.
Morello writes: “Jackie Gabelia, 89, who moved into the area 45 years ago and raised a daughter in the two-story home she and her husband bought brand new, said many of her friends couldn't find Marumsco Shopping Plaza, much less the community. ‘I always thought I lived in Woodbridge,’ she said. ‘I just can't understand why they changed it.’”
It's an excellent example of digging beneath the numbers. Imagine waking up and a large part of Vienna is no longer called Vienna or a chunk of Chevy Chase is no longer called Chevy Chase -- and the newly-drawn lines change your community's racial breakdown. If the name hadn’t changed, Woodbridge, which was about half white during the last census, would have been majority minority this time around. With the change, the newly designated Marumsco takes that title and the sliver of land that remains Woodbridge is 51 percent white.
| February 11, 2011; 8:27 AM ET
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