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December 2009
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2010 Census Critical to Jurisdictions

At a special presentation following TMACOG’s October Board of Trustees meeting, local representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau explained the role of the Census and encouraged all jurisdictions to assist in getting a full and accurate count of their residents. They ask that jurisdictions publish the Census 2010 website: 2010census.gov, and work with representatives of the Census Complete Count Committees.

Census data determines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. But census data is also used to allocate more than $300 billion annually of government funding for critical community services. The data is used for local decision-making about location of schools and other public services.

There are some changes to the Census form in 2010. Following resistance to a long form which some people were asked to complete in 2000, the 2010 Census is short, only 10 questions long. People who have more than one residence will be counted at the address where they live most of the time. For college students, that means they will fill out a census form at school.

Local representatives of the Census told TMACOG members that some people are resistant to filling out the census form because they fear that information will be shared with other federal agencies such as immigration, welfare, or law enforcement. Representatives state that the absolute privacy of census data is written into the U.S. Constitution and that such data has never been and will never be shared. The representatives noted that those least likely to be counted are the very young and very old, students, and single parents.

 


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