During the last two censuses, the Census Bureau missed counting millions of people — mostly minorities and low-income people. Undercounting certain populations may reduce federal funding for hospitals, education, child care, and disaster preparation — as well as fair representation in Congress. To address these concerns in the 2010 Census, The Leadership Conference Education Fund partnered with four national civil rights organizations to encourage census participation among hard-to-count populations in 13 key areas around the country.
During the non-response follow-up period (May – July 2010), Census workers visit all addresses that did not mail back a census questionnaire and collect information at the door. During peak operations, 600,000 census takers will go door to door to follow up with households that have not responded to the mailing. The Census Bureau estimates that more than a third of addresses will not mail back a form. More information is available here.
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March 27, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
This week, NPR ran a short piece on the challenges the Census Bureau will face with next year's census, particularly with minorities who have been historically missed in previous censuses.
Terry Ao, director of the census and voting programs for the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and LCCR coalition member, talks about how the recession and the foreclosure crisis, which have been particularly hard on minorities, will make the census even harder.
Ao also participated in a LCCREF census 2010 conference call this week that addressed the challenges of getting an accurate count of underrepresented communities.
March 24, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The Census Bureau announced plans today to launch a $250 million advertising campaign aimed at encouraging minorities in urban areas to fill out their census forms for the 2010 Census. Nearly a quarter of the funding will go towards minority news outlets.
Since minorities and low-income people have been less likely to be counted in past censuses, the bureau uses tools like this ad campaign to reach members of those groups. Traditionally, minorities have been less likely to participate in the census than Whites due to distrust of the government. Latinos, in particular, may be afraid because of the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment and raids in the U.S.
In addition, the 2010 Census presents several challenges that will make it difficult to count minorities, like the displacement of millions of people after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the foreclosure crisis.
Census data is used to determine voting representation in the House of Representatives and the distribution of federal funding for services like education, housing, and transportation.
March 23, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Gary Locke, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Commerce, has vowed to make the 2010 Census a priority.
The Census Bureau is facing serious challenges that may affect the accuracy of the 2010 census. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the foreclosure crisis displaced millions of people, which will make the count difficult. In addition, many people are concerned about their privacy and confidentiality and are reluctant to share any information with the federal government.
At his March 18 confirmation hearing, Locke underscored the importance of the census while outlining the plan to overcome these challenges: "The census only happens once every ten years and we need to get it right – no exceptions, no excuses. That is why it will be run out of the Department of Commerce and by a director who will work with the Congress, the administration and our state and local leaders to make sure you and they are involved every step of the way in making this a successful count."
February 19, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The recently enacted economic recovery package includes an additional $1 billion in funding for the 2010 Census, which will enable the Census Bureau to run the census more effectively.
February 12, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The recent rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and raids over the past few years has made Latinos fearful of giving information to the government, which creates challenges for civil rights organizations that are working to ensure that Latinos are fully counted in the 2010 census.