What’s wrong with the count? Tracking the census

After the months of build-up here we are and the fate of the Census is a mystery.

With all of the hoopla and money is the Census count going to miss more people than before? Are some communities going to dramatically come up in their numbers and others fall behind?

With less than two weeks to go, now the time to do some reporting and it is easy to do it. The government updates the mail responses daily, from Monday to Friday and all you need to do is click on its website and then drill down to the communities you want to track. Go to http://www.2010census.gov and follow the tab that takes you to participation rates.

The figures will show the latest rate of participation and the same numbers for 2000.

The figures so far for Cicero, for example, show only a 48 percent participation rate while the number of 61 percent 10 years ago.  Chicago is at a 51 percent rate, down from 58 percent a decade ago. And the rate in some Westside and Southwest side Chicago communities is running below 40 percent. In Orland Park it is 78 percent.

Tracking these figures, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) a few days ago said that the return rates in the immigrant communities where it has worked to get people involved shows that its work has paid off.

Remember if people don’t get counted, there’s less money for services and Cook County’s undercount a decade ago cost the community about $200 million.

So, check the stats and let your communities know what’s going on.

If anyone has any results you want to share and stories you think will help us see what’s happening, please let me know.

Here, for example,  is a story from La Raza which uses this data to tell what’s happening now.

La tasa de devolución de los formularios del censo por correo en el barrio de Albany Park ha sido de un 44% hasta ahora, en comparación con la tasa de participación nacional, que se calcula en un 60%.


Written by on April 7, 2010

Filed Under: Covering the Census, ETHNIC MEDIA


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