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Latinos and the U.S. Census

May 3, 2010 1 Comment »

Hispanics are now the largest U.S. minority, comprising 15.1 percent of the total population. The Census Bureau estimates that approximatley 30.2 percent of the population (132.8 million people) will be Hispanic by the year 2050. That means that one third of the population will be Hispanic. How Does the Census Data Benefit Latinos? Census data are used in many ways that can benefit Latinos and improve they life and the life of their families. It directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed. The U.S Census Bureau has a toolkit for reaching latinos that is designed to help organizations that serve Latinos communicate the benefits of census participation. The toolkit overview mentions a number of benefits for the Latino community, which are listed below:

  • Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and the locations of other health services
  • Delivering goods and services to local areas
  • Attracting new businesses and jobs to the state and local areas
  • Designing facilities for people with disabilities, children or the elderly
  • Forecasting future transportation needs
  • Directing funds for schools and programs that help non English-speaking students
  • Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance
  • Drawing school district boundaries
  • Directing funds for services for people in poverty
  • Directing services to children and adults with limited English language proficiency
  • Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population
  • Helping organizations that serve Latinos better plan, evaluate and improve programs

The Census Bureau’s goal is to count everyone, regardless of immigration status. “It’s very important that we have an accurate count of everyone so that we know how public services can be fairly distributed and what the needs of the country will be with regards to different populations.” says Janet Murguia, president and CEO, National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Also, for the first time, the Census Bureau is providing a bilingual form for Spanish speakers. The Census is completley confidential and is not shared with other government agencies. There is a growing effort to make sure Latin communities know that their census form responses are safe and confidential. You can display this poster in your community to create awareness of the coming census.

“For Latinos, participating in the 2010 Census is as important as exercising our right to vote. Census results will reflect the strength of our community and they will cement our demographic value. Hacernos contar es imperativo, se lo debemos a nuestras generaciones futuras!” — Rafael A. Fantauzzi, president & CEO, National Puerto Rican Coalition

More information on: Facts on the Hispanic or Latino Population Hispanic Population of the United States Toolkit for Reaching Latinos

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