There was a very good article by Jonathan Shugarts in Sunday's Republican American, but there was one little detail in the article that raised a red flag in the back of my mind. Fourteen hours later, that little red flag moved to the front of my mind.
In his article ("Search for killer extends to Albania"), he writes that "Waterbury has about 14,000 Albanians." I know there are a lot of Albanians in Waterbury, but 14,000 seems a little too many. This is the sort of arithmetic problem that I don't normally pay close attention to, but I know that number just can't be right. Just after midnight, it suddenly started bothering me.
Waterbury's total population is supposed to be around 107,000. If there are 14,000 Albanians, they represent 13% of the population. For comparison, the US Census estimates that in 2000 there were 19,400 African-Americans, 23,354 Hispanics, 24,476 Italians, and 12,514 Irish in Waterbury.
Being the research geek that I am, I naturally did some research on the topic. According to the census, there were 2,174 Albanians living in Waterbury nine years ago. That's just slightly more than two percent of the population. I can't believe that there's been an influx of 12,000 Albanians in the past nine years--that's a huge number of people.
So how many Albanians are there now in Waterbury, and where did Shugarts get his data? The way the article is written, it seems like the number is coming from Police Chief O'Leary as justification for spending $5,000 to send some of our police officers to Albania.