The countdown to the 2010 Census has begun, and the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to national, tribal, state and local officials and community leaders to ensure an accurate count.
With Census Day in less than a year — April 1, 2010 — the Census Bureau has launched a critical national effort that affects the apportionment of congressional seats, and how the federal government annually allocates $300 billion in federal assistance to state, local and tribal governments.
The 2010 Census will have one of the shortest census questionnaires in the history of the United States, dating back to the nation’s first census in 1790. The 2010 Census will ask for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and whether the householder owns or rents their home. The census form will take only about 10 minutes on average to complete, and answers are protected by law and strictly confidential.
“The participation of community leaders, organizations and local governments can help make the 2010 Census the most accurate census in our nation’s history,” said Arnold A. Jackson, Associate Director for Decennial Census.
More than 11,000 state, local and tribal governments have registered for the Local Update of
Census Addresses (LUCA) program to update the Census Bureau’s address information for their communities. Communities also can begin planning for Complete Count Committees, a team of local government, business and community leaders, who are appointed by a governor for a statewide committee or by a community’s highest-elected official for a local committee.
Members of the committees work to make sure their communities are counted. During Census 2000, more than 11,800 Complete Count Committees were formed to help develop and implement locally based outreach and recruitment campaigns.
“The 2010 Census is the consummate partnership between local, state, tribal and federal government,” said Keith Hite, president of the National Association of Towns and Townships and executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. Preparing early for the 2010 Census is a great way for local leaders to learn the makeup of their communities and what they need from local government. Reasons for residents to be aware of the upcoming census and the need to participate are:
• The federal government uses census numbers to allocate more than $300 billion in federal funds annually for community programs and services, such as education, housing and community development, health care services for the elderly, job training and more.
• State, local and tribal governments use census information for planning and allocating funds for new school construction, libraries and other public buildings, highway safety and public transportation systems, new roads and bridges, location of police and fire departments, and many other projects.
• Community organizations use census information to develop social service programs, community action projects, senior lunch programs and child-care centers.
• The numbers help businesses identify where to locate factories, shopping centers, movie theaters, banks and offices — activities that often lead to new jobs.
• The census totals are used to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, states use the numbers to allocate seats in their state legislatures.
For information about forming a Complete Count Committee, contact the Detroit Census Center at 313-396-5200 or visit http://www.census.gov/Detroit.
More information about the 2010 Census can be found at http://www.census.gov/2010census.