Michael H. Ebner: How comparable are Iowa and Staten Island?

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Michael H. Ebner is James D. Vail III professor emeritus of American history at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Ill.]

Rudolph Giuliani invoked the specter of Staten Island in responding to Betty Schuler’s question about his experience as a former mayor of New York City now campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in rural Iowa.

Here is a handful of census data (2005), based upon Giuliani’s response to his questioner.

 IowaStaten Island**
Persons per square mile*527,589
White population94%74%
Speak language other than English at home (age 5+)6%30%
Number of persons employed in farming, fishing, or forestry (age 16+)59,38757
Single-unit detached home74%34%

* based upon calculations for 2000

** To conduct research on Staten Island in the US Census, look up Richmond County, NY.

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