Community leaders to encourage full participation in important, safe decennial population tally
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry welcomed the City’s 2010 Census Complete Count Committee as they started their work recently to encourage all Fort Wayne residents to complete the 10-question census form that will arrive in mailboxes next year. Mayor Henry proclaimed today as U.S. Census Day in the City of Fort Wayne.
A voluntary committee, the nearly 20 members will work with difficult-to-enumerate populations in Fort Wayne with the message that the decennial headcount is important and safe.
“The U.S. Census is not only an important tool for demographics, but it is also critical for determining grants and funding for federal programs at the local level. For each person who is not counted, that is much-needed money for health and human service programs, job training, Title 1 education programs, transportation funding, agricultural grants and Housing and Urban Development grants that will not come to Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “Fort Wayne’s Complete Count Committee will supplement the Census Bureau’s advertising efforts by using the members’ local connections of neighbor informing neighbor to result in every person being counted.”
The Complete Count Committee will not actually go door-to-door for people who do not complete the census form; that is the responsibility of Census employees. Instead, committee members will use outreach strategies to increase the number of people who complete the questionnaire.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, groups most likely to be undercounted are:
·People below poverty
·Immigrants and refugees
·People living in large urban areas or rural areas
The Census Bureau encourages local, tribal and state governments to assemble Complete Count Committees to get more people to complete the mail-in form. The U.S. Postal Service will mail out questionnaires in March 2010.
Under federal law, all responses to census questionnaires are private and strictly confidential. The President and all federal, state and local agencies – including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Welfare and law enforcement entities – do not have access to census responses.
The Census Monitoring Board estimated Census 2000 undercounted about 47,000 people in Indiana with an undercount rate of 0.77 percent. Of those not counted, the board calculated 40 percent of them were under age 18 for an undercount rate of 1.15 percent for children.
In addition to federal funding, census numbers apportion the number of Congressional districts for each state, which also results in the number of seats Indiana has in the Electoral College for presidential elections.