Census Day: April 1, 2010
10 Questions. 10 Minutes. Impact the next 10 years in Greater Philadelphia

The census is a physical tally of everyone living in the country which takes places every 10 years, as stipulated by the United States Constitution. The Census Bureau conducts the count by mailing paper questionnaires to every known address in the country. The results will determine the distribution of seats in Congress, as well as around $400 billion in federal funds for everything from transportation to hospital care. The census results also constitute the country’s biggest and most complete market-research survey, and are therefore invaluable to business.

The 2010 census will ask households how many people live there, and to report their race, sex, age, and whether they own or rent. The data on population will help firms decide where to open stores and distribution centers. The other questions provide a profile of consumers in each area, and so help managers pick what products to stock in shops, among other things. In addition to retailers, such information is also vital to consumer-goods firms, restaurant chains and property companies.

Among the most rapidly growing populations in urban centers are nonregistered residents who fear reprisal if they complete the census forms. The Constitution does not require people to be citizens to be counted by the census.

Complete Count: The Importance of Census Data

  • Every year, the federal government can allocate more than $400 billion to states and communities based, in part, on census data.
  • Census data guide planning for roads, schools, new hospitals, retail stores, new housing development, job training centers and more.
  • Census data are used to determine the need for additional social services, block grants and other grant programs essential to our communities.
  • Census data determine legislative districts for State Assembly and City Council members.

With a complete count of our residents, we can show that Greater Philadelphia is on the move again. This is not a partisan issue about Democrats or Republicans. This is about the people of the Greater Philadelphia region and what our quality of life will look like over the next 10 years in terms of federal funding.

For more information, go to http://phillycounts.org/. The Young Professionals Network is a member of the Young Professionals Complete Counts Committee.