The website launches an all-out marketing campaign to get people to fill out their Census questionnaires next April. The population is counted every 10 years, and the numbers are used to reapportion seats in Congress and redraw state and local political districts. They also are used to determine where more than $400 billion in federal money should go every year.
The government is bracing for a lower response rate to the questionnaires than in 2000, partly because of a larger and more diverse population. The website is available in Spanish, and sample questionnaires can be viewed in 59 languages.
This effort for Spanish-language inclusion is important to Lancaster city where, according to a December 2007 report from the county Workforce Investment Board, “it is very probably that [by the end of 2022], Latinos will surpass the White non-Latino population.” At the time of the report, 18% of Latinos in the county spoke English “not well or not at all.”
I’ll be following the census effort and the resulting data closely, so if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to receive this blog by e-mail, add the RSS feed to your reader, or bookmark the data and trends page.