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2010 U.S. Census data collected for government

2010 brings about another U.S. Census, and with every person needing to be counted, some students have questions about the Census and its purpose.

“Required once every 10 years by Article 1 (Section 2) of the U.S. Constitution, the census will count every person living in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens,” said Michael Aumack, census partnership specialist. “Census data are used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives, re-district each state and determine the distribution of the Electoral College.”

The U.S. Census was first conducted in 1790 by President George Washington to count every individual in the U.S. for the purpose of determining the number of representatives for each state, Aumack said.

“The USA was the first country in the world to base its democratic form of government on a ‘house of representatives’ based on total population,” Aumack said. “The Senate has two reps per state, but the House of Representatives has 435 seats that are allocated based on the total population of each state.”

For most ESU students, this is the first time that they will be filling out the U.S. Census, and the process presents a new and different task to those that are new to living on their own.

“This will be my first census, but I haven’t received it yet,” said Katie Galliart, freshman English secondary education major. “My family moved here in June of 2000 from Heidelberg, Germany, and I’ve never really thought about the census much since I wasn’t even here when the last one was conducted.”

Some students believe that doing a census every 10 years, while not intruding too often, may not be as accurate as one that could be done more frequently.

“I think three to five years would be better since everything in our country changes so fast,” said Aaron Thomson, sophomore physics major. “10 years ago everything in our nation was totally different.”

Thomson discussed his belief that the census was an important part of the US tax system.

“I think it’s very important,” Thomson said. “If everybody fills out everything then our government will know what’s going on, and where to put our money.”

Aumack emphasizes the necessity for college students to participate so that their government knows where to put the tax dollars they contribute.

“The college students living on-campus in dormitories will be counted by a census taker who will work with the Residential Life staff to count everyone living in the dorms,” Aumack said. “Those students who live off-campus will get a census form delivered to their door by the postal service or a census worker, and each student living in the apartment or house should answer the questions on the form.  Once the form is completed, the students should simply put the completed form in the envelope and deposit it in a mailbox or give it to a postal worker.”

If students have any questions about answering the Census, Aumack said that students should call 1-866-872-6868 for English instructions, and for instructions in a language other than English they should visit the official U.S. Census Web site at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/contact/index.php.

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