The 2010 Census is fast approaching. As data users, we all know how important it is to have accurate data about the populations in our communities. Historically, low-income communities, communities of color, and immigrants have been less likely to respond to the Census. Undercounting people in these communities leads
to less fair decisions about political representation and the distribution of
federal, state, and county funds – including funding for education, health,
and social services.
Of concern to all of us across California: Ten of the 50 “hardest to count” counties in the nation are right here in California, though all counties contain pockets of people at risk of being undercounted.
What can you do? Organizations working in these communities will be critical to ensuring a fair and accurate count. The Nonprofits Count website is a hub for nonprofits interested in engaging in Census-related activities; this resource provides a comprehensive tool kit and suggests ways to reach your community. Community-based organizations also can partner with the Census to spread the word in your community through posters, newsletter announcements, brochures, and other customizable materials. And you can use the Healthy City California website to find out where the “hard-to-count” communities in your area are located. Multi-lingual outreach materials and other information are available on the 2010 Census website.