Thursday, March 4, 2010

U.S. Census Bureau says renters are among the "hardest to count"

With the 2010 census set to begin in a few weeks, advocates for "hard to count" groups -- which includes minorities, the homeless, the poor, and renters -- are trying to raise awareness about the importance of accurate counting for these communities.

From the Patterson Irrigator:

“The census has always been important, but more now than ever,” said Sallie Ayala-Perez, regional coordinator for the National Association of Latino and Appointed Officials’ census outreach in the Central Valley. “It’s imperative we count everyone, because we cannot afford to miss out on any money that will help our community survive this economic crisis.”

. . . Census workers have said they realize getting an accurate count might be hard to actually accomplish, as California has 22 percent of the nation’s “hardest to count” populations. Those groups traditionally include the homeless, poor families, minorities, children and people who are isolated by language.

This year, the U.S. Census Bureau has also acknowledged that renters, families living in large households and individuals whose homes have gone through or are in foreclosure should be considered part of that group.

People should know that the "census bureau is legally prevented from sharing someone’s personal information with anyone else. That pledge of confidentiality extends to other government agencies, such as the FBI, the CIA, the welfare department, the immigration department and even the president."

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