What the U.S. Census Means to Dallas

Today the City Council was briefed on the upcoming 2010 U.S. Census and what it means for Dallas.  Deputy Mayor Pauline Medrano is leading the city’s effort to ensure that all Dallasites are counted.  A complete count is critical to our city and state — it will determine how federal funds are allocated, how many U.S. Congressional seats Texas has, and how the boundaries for our state legislature and city council are redrawn.

A few quick facts about the Census:

  • Counts every person living in the United States on April 1, 2010.
  • U.S. Constitution mandates Census be conducted every 10 years (since 1790).
  • Used to redraw city council districts, state legislative districts, and number of seats in U.S. House of Representatives
  • Used for various city projects (e.g., number of children reported in an area determines if city should install play structures or other youth oriented equipment).
  • Census data directly affects how $400 billion per year in federal funding is allocated:
     Emergency food & shelter
     Community Development
     Public transportation
     Road rehabilitation & construction
     Programs for elderly
     Head Start programs
     Title 1 grants to educational agencies
  • Census questionnaires will mailed or delivered to Dallas households in February and March 2010.
  • Census takers will visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail from April to July 2010.
  • Census questionnaire is easy! Shortest questionnaire in Census history, only ten questions, 10 minutes to complete.
  • Answers are protected by law and strictly confidential; information collected is used for statistical purposes only and IS NOT shared with any other local, state, or federal agency.

Here’s the City of Dallas Census website, and check out the City Council briefing on the Census.