|Census update offered, results expected in 2011 |
|Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 3:32 pm |
| PAINTING THE PORTRAIT – Weakley County EMA Director Jamison Peevyhouse was awarded by U.S. Census Partnership Specialist LaVerne Walker for his help spreading the word about the 2010 Census. |
While the results of the 2010 Census are not yet ready, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce shared that participation numbers across the nation have grown significantly in the last decade.
In Weakley County alone, the mail participation rates have increased by nine percent from 2000.
“When we came to Weakley County, we came to tell you that we had a tremendous job to count everyone in the right place in the United States,” U.S. Census 2010 Partnership Specialist LaVerne T. Walker said Wednesday morning during a Census briefing held at the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the numbers presented by Walker, the mail participation rates increased by nine percent. Those numbers do not reflect the number of people that had Census takers come to their house or those with post office boxes.
“People who have P.O. boxes did not receive a form in the mail. Those forms were sent back to the Census department because it was undeliverable to an actual residence. At that point, a person was sent to their home to get the information,” Walker explained.
Walker said the goal now is to educate the public about the importance of getting “counted.”
“This is just as, if not more important, than voting because this determines how much money communities can receive. These numbers are used for re-apportionment for federal funds and grant money,” Walker added.
“In 2009, there was a great deal of negative information that had gone out that sparked people’s fears about the Census,” she added. Walker said that a Census employee takes an oath for life. After 72 years, Census information is released to genealogy.
“If someone is requesting a Social Security number from you, I guarantee you they are not with the Census,” Walker stressed.
Weakley County Director of Finance Shawn Francisco asked how would they ensure everyone in the county is counted this year.
“In 2000, we were 15 people shy of moving up to the next grant level in the county. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Francisco asked.
People in the county who have not completed a Census, can contact the Jackson Census office at 731-422-3952. State population results are expected in February or March of 2011. Numbers must be delivered to the president by Dec. 31 of this year.
Follow-ups are still being conducted throughout many communities, including Weakley County.