Nonprofit Newswire | Census Undercount Feared in Poorest U.S. Areas

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July 7, 2010; Source: Diverse Issues in Higher Education | Perhaps we were all too sanguine about the Census Bureau’s ubiquitous advertising plus the hiring of a half million census workers to make sure that just about everyone got counted in the 2010 census, especially with so many local and national nonprofits working hard to reach their constituents and clients. But indications are that in some areas, people have been missed. In the Mississippi Delta, where communities depend on federal grants keyed to census counts, leaders are concerned. For example, the national mail participation rate was 72 percent, but in Sharkey County, it was only 49 percent, in Issaquena County only 36 percent. The temporary Census workforce is about to go out of existence. Will the Delta be undercounted? Or is the real question, by how much will the Delta’s population be undercounted? The result will be lost federal program dollars in a part of the country where they are most needed.—Rick Cohen