Every ten years, the United States conducts a census. A census is simply an official count of the entire U.S. population (both citizens and non-citizens) and includes demographic information including age, gender, occupation, etc. The census is actually mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and participation in the census is required by law. Despite the fact that the law insists on our participation in the census, we may often wonder what about the true purpose and use of the data collected by the census.
First, it is important to know that federal law protects you from anyone disclosing the personal information you share during the census process. Thus, there is no need to fear that the information you provide will be used against you in anyway. Next, it is important to know how participating in Census 2010 can benefit you and your community.
The census numbers collected are used to directly affect funding for the City of Fontana. Census data will be used to determine how more than $300 billion annually, in both federal and state funding, is allocated to communities for vital projects/efforts including neighborhood improvements, public health, education, and transportation. In the next ten years – between now and Census 2020 – that $300 billion per year will total $3 trillion! It is amazing to know that spending just a few minutes to fill out your census form will help ensure the City of Fontana gets its fair share of federal and state funding.
Your answers to the census can also help your City leadership and other policy decision makers understand how the community is changing. This information may help to inform decisions about City/community services, and will ultimately mean more effectual and successful prioritization and planning for the City’s future.
The census also affects how we are represented and how our voices are heard in local, state and federal government. The census data are used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, the census data are used to define legislature districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas.
As you know, the next census is approaching and is scheduled for early 2010. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Census 2010 questionnaires will be mailed/delivered to every household in the U.S. in March, 2010. After collecting and compiling the data collected from the census, the Census Bureau will submit population totals to President Obama by December 31, 2010 at the latest.For more information on the 2010 Census and how you can participate in your community to support this effort, visit http://2010.census.gov/2010census/.