Stand up and be counted in 2010 census
Getting an accurate count has real impact on our community
April 1, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) -- Minneapolis City leaders and representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau today marked one year until the beginning of the 2010 U.S. Census. April 1 is Census Awareness Day, and City leaders are using it to encourage everyone in Minneapolis to fill out and send in their Census form, because getting an accurate count of residents in the city is more important than ever.
An accurate count has a significant impact on people in Minneapolis-- it’s estimated that every 100 people missed in the Census count leads to a $1 million loss to the people of Minneapolis over the next decade. That’s because more than $300 billion in federal and state funding is allocated to communities based on census data every year. Having an incomplete count means a community won’t get its fair share of that funding. That money goes to support things like school lunches, Head Start programs, home energy assistance programs, Medicaid grants to states, assistance for families in need, and job training and placement for adults, youth, and dislocated workers.
In Minneapolis, that $1 million would be enough to:
• Place nearly 350 people into full time employment
• Create seven new affordable housing units for individuals or families
• Provide more than 10,000 medical or dental visits for uninsured patients at a community clinic
• Test more than 33,000 children for lead poisoning
• Help at least 25 new businesses get started by providing low interest loans, creating hundreds of new jobs
"We want everyone in Minneapolis to get counted," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Having a good count means more than just having a new population number a sign—it has real impacts on our community. Getting a complete count means we are better able to build a city that works for everyone and takes care of all those who need help."
"I know it sounds like April 2010 is a long way off, but we need to start getting ready right now," said City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren. "One of the things we’re doing in Minneapolis is to create a Complete Count Committee to do the important work of reaching out to all residents to participate in the census. Everyone needs to understand that the census is simple and safe. We look forward to working closely with the U.S. Census Bureau and the local communities to make sure everyone is counted."
"The 2010 Census will guide the people of Minneapolis for the next 10 years," said Dennis Johnson, the Regional Director for the U.S. Census. "Everyone has a hand in making this the best census possible."
The results from the 2010 Census are also taking on a significant meaning across Minnesota, because the state’s voice in Congress is linked to the state’s population. If Minnesota’s population doesn’t keep pace with some other states, the state could potentially lose a seat in the House of Representatives. The figures are also used locally—they help determine everything from state legislative districts to school district boundaries.
In 2000, the Census response rate in Minneapolis was 67 percent, which was equal to the national average but lower than the statewide average of 75 percent. Some sections of Minneapolis had a lower than 50 percent response rate, including portions of north Minneapolis, the Phillips community, and areas around the University of Minnesota. City and Census leaders are working to boost participation citywide, with a special focus on those areas that have had low participation in the past.
Published Apr. 2, 2009