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To and Fro The People Used to Go

Before cutting its copy back, the Bellingham Herald used to print local data trends, such as the number of border crossings (Canada - U.S.) for each month. The numbers included passengers, pedestrians, and crew crossings for Blaine, Sumas, Lynden, and Point Roberts.

The following data is for the month of August and was published on October 6, 1994:

  • 1987: 2,187,315
  • 1988: 1,948,421
  • 1989: 2,373,703
  • 1990: 2,702,366
  • 1991: 2,853,166
  • 1992: 3,016,553
  • 1993: 2,143,136
  • 1994: 1,951,344
Question 1: Pose explanations for the variance in the data (e.g. why the peak in 1992)?

Question 2: Based on this data, how many border crossings would be expected for August of this year? Search for the actual value, and be prepared to be surprised that it is much different (higher or lower?) that the expected value. How can you explain this?