QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: The next census (which counts all residents regardless of age) will show that Weston’s population has declined since ten years ago.
REASONING: Ten year records from the post office and driver’s license bureaus show that more households have left Weston than have entered it.
ANALYSIS: There are a few problems with the argument. One problem is that “household” can mean one person or ten people. It depends on family size.
The other problem is that post offices and drivers bureaus may not accurately track all residents. Not everyone gets a new drivers license when they move.
- This is pretty vague: many people could be 1,000 or 100,000 people. Further, if they move in and out they’ll have no net effect on the population.
- It doesn’t really matter what happened during the past century. Trends can reverse themselves.
- This would weaken the argument. It shows that the population is unnaturally low.
- CORRECT. This shows that the households that left were large and the ones that stayed were small. This increases the likely population loss.
- This tells us something about each group but it doesn’t tell us how big each group is. Further, the census measures the entire population and not just adults.
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