The Jedi Gap

By Eric Crampton 14/05/2013

Is there a growing Jedi gap? Or is the Canadian National Household Survey letting us down?

The CBC reports:

Once numbering in the vicinity of 20,000, the ranks of those in this country who claim to be Jedi Knights inspired by Star Wars movies have dwindled to fewer than half that figure, according to Statistics Canada’s first release of data from the 2011 National Household Survey.
“A lot less this time. I think there’s about 9,000 reporting Jedi,” said Jane Badets, a senior analyst at Statistics Canada.
“And that was true elsewhere in other countries. A lot less than in other countries, too, doing censuses. Very low reporting of things like Jedi.”
What started as a gag among friends on a British Columbia ski hill ballooned into something of a phenomenon on the 2001 census when thousands of Canadians told Statistics Canada they followed the Jedi religion of Star Wars lore.

But Frances Woolley shows some very large problems with the NHS. Either Canada’s ethnic make-up changed radically since 2006, or ethnicity affects one’s likelihood of answering voluntary surveys; the latter seems more likely. Canada abandoned the mandatory long-form census in favour of a voluntary alternative set of surveys. Alas, non=response bias seems to be pretty heavy, as was rather expected. And we can’t easily measure it. So we can’t tell whether Canada has fewer Jedi or whether the drop is an artefact of the change in survey method.

Recall that New Zealand had 20,000 Jedi in 2006; we have yet to see figures from the 2013 Census. Our Census remains mandatory. While we know that while Jedi will not lie, they may refrain from identifying themselves as Jedi if it’s voluntary.

This has important national defence implications. While New Zealand has been able to cut defence spending down to trivial levels, trusting in its strong cohort of Jedi in case of any emergency, Canada cannot really tell whether they really need the Joint Strike Fighter because of dwindling Jedi numbers, or whether the Jedi just failed to complete the voluntary forms.

It also has implications for ongoing negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Trade talks. If Canada can no longer rely on Jedi mind tricks to defend supply management in dairy, perhaps New Zealand’s Jedi will be able to push us towards free trade.

Our daughter, born on Star Wars Day three years ago, is one of the Jedi in the 2013 New Zealand Census.

0 Responses to “The Jedi Gap”

  • (Cue Deep Vader Voice)

    Eric, I…am…a…Jedi.

    Yes I ticked – er – wrote that in the religion box. I did last census. Much like I used to vote McGillycuddy Serious in lieu of anyone sensible.

  • I suspect a large number of Jedi are now followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. A move from the force being with them to being touched by His noodly appendage