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In the race to get 2010 U.S. Census forms returned, LaRue County exceeds the state average. According to the U.S. Census Web site, 73 percent of LaRue County Census forms have been returned. The state average is 69 percent.
Neighboring Nelson, Taylor and Hart Counties are at 74 percent; Hardin County is at 71 percent; Green County is 75 percent; and Marion County is at 69 percent. The national 2010 Census participation rate is 65 percent.
“At this point, most everyone should already have their form,” said Carolyn Franklin, Kentucky Partnership Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau.
This year will be the first time a short form is being used. The 10-year census form will have 10 questions and take about 10 minutes to fill out, according to 2010.census.gov. Citizens will not be asked their Social Security numbers or income on the short form.
Among the questions are name, relationship status, gender, age and date of birth and race. The 10-year census is to obtain as accurate a population count as possible, Franklin said.
An accurate count is important so communities can get their fair share of funding and congressional representation, she said.
Each year more than $425 billion is awarded to states and communities according to population information gathered during the 10-year Census — that’s more than $4 trillion over 10 years, Franklin said.
“We want every form and every person counted so we can get funding,” Franklin said.
If the self-report is not returned, a follow-up post card will be sent. If the second attempt is still not returned, a Census worker will make a visit. Every 1 percent of the population requiring a follow-up visit costs the government about $90 million, Franklin said. The cost of personal follow up is the reason Census workers made such a big push to make the population aware up front what is required and what to expect. There are 140 federal programs based on the population count of each county. A customer assistance center will be open through April 19 to answer questions on how to fill out the Census form. The regional office servicing those who live in LaRue County is in Bowling Green and can be reached at (270) 392-3365.
A longer, more detailed survey will be sent separately. The American Community Survey is sent to 2.5 percent of households at a time and will be received every five years. This form asks more personal questions including income and housing, race, language and military service to name a few. This information helps local governments in budgeting, community planning and developing community programs and transportation planning. Both forms must be filled out by law, although the entire population will not receive both at the same time.
Federal law protects the personal information you share during the Census. “The Census is safe, easy and secure,” Franklin said.
For more information, visit www.census.gov/__2010census.