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The importance of the 2010 Census

April 1, 2010 seems like a lifetime away right now.

But that day stands as one of the most important for this area. It’s Census Day. The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States. All residents of the U.S. must be counted. All residents mean people of all races and ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.

The U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every 10 years. The census will show state population counts and determine, based on that count, representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As much as that representation is important to the state, this area could benefit from a complete count. Every year, the federal government can allocate more than $300 billion to states and communities based partially on census data. If everyone in this area participates that means that the data is more accurate. Additionally, census information helps determine locations for schools, roads, hospitals, job training, child-care and senior citizens centers, just to name a few items.

You’ll hear a good deal about the census during the upcoming months. A questionnaire won’t be delivered to you until March 2010; census workers will visit households that do not return questionnaires.

Selma Mayor George Evans is encouraging everyone to be counted. We join him in that effort. Too much depends on the numbers.