- Politics and Social Issues
Why Census Takers Ask Those Nosy Questions and Why Your Answers Matter
Most people are aware that our Constitution calls for a census every 10 years. The purpose of the census is not only to count all the people living in this country, whether citizens or not, but to find out important information about the people who populate this country as well.
Yes, I have heard all the conspiracy theories about why our government is asking so many nosy questions. I will not go into all the many fears that people have expressed to me over the years about why they believe our government is asking so many questions because that would not be an article, but a novel, all by itself. From my background in psychology, I can only say that there are a lot of people in this country who seem to be paranoid for no reason. If they understood how our government works, they would see how unreasonable and unwarranted their fears are.
More from Au Fait
- Gerrymandering and Reapportionment: An Explanation of Both and How They Work
An explanation of gerrymandering and why it always favors the political party in control, and never favors the voters. How political districts are drawn and who draws them.
Local, State, and Federal Services Are Based On the Census
Our government provides many services and public assistance programs to everyone who lives here. Yes, even the wealthy benefit from some of them -- bet that never crossed most people’s minds. Wealthy people and poor people and everyone in between depend on our highway system. People from all socioeconomic levels are affected by the public assistance and government programs available, whether or not they actually take personal advantage of them.
Plans and decisions on everything are based on the Census. Where to build a water treatment plant, where to build an electricity sub-station, and how big each one of these plants should be. Is more low-income housing needed, and if so, where should it be built? How many new streets and highways are needed and where? Is the current public transportation system adequately serving the community? How soon will it be necessary to expand the community education system to accommodate the many young children in the community? Where should new schools be built?
The answers to all of these questions are dependent on the Census to help get the answers. How people answer all those nosy questions will help city planners and officials determine what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and where it needs to be done. The Census will help determine how much money must be raised and how soon must it be raised in order to serve all of these different needs in the community.
Private Industry Expansion Plans and Business Decisions Are Often Based On the Census too
Results of the Census are used by the states and your local community even more than by the federal government. Census results are available to private industry as well. Whether you get a new industrial park that will create thousands of jobs is often dependent on census results.
The decision about whether to build another Papa John’s Pizza restaurant in your neighborhood is often decided according to Census statistics stating how many people are in your immediate neighborhood and what socioeconomic group they belong to.
Census results tell private and public employers alike where the population is and what the educational level of that population is, and many other details that help them determine where to make their investments.
The Federal Government uses the Census to help determine federal subsidies for a multitude of services people from all socioeconomic groups need – clean air, clean water, transportation, healthcare, education, and assistance for low-income people. These are just a few things most people do not stop and think about when they think of services provided by their communities that are planned and carried out as a result of Census results.
Decisions about if and where to build a senior citizen’s Center, a daycare center, a hospital, some fast food restaurants, or a mall, are often made based on Census results.
The answers you give to those nosy questions Census takers ask will almost certainly determine whether your child attends an overcrowded school or a modern spacious school, whether you can find a better paying job or if you will get stuck in a low-pay dead end job, and whether or not an airport expansion or industrial complex will grow up in your back yard. Census results affect a lot of things in our environment and in our lives. That is why it is so important to answer Census taker’s questions and to answer them honestly.
Your Answers to Those Nosy Question Have Long Reaching Consequences
Another big issue that Census results determine is whether or not YOU get representation at both your state and federal levels of government. If you lie to Census takers about how many people live in your household, those other members will not be counted when it is time to determine if there are enough representatives in your state to take into consideration everyone’s needs.
If everyone lies by failing to report to the census taker that 2 or 3 or 5 people are living in their household, that can add up pretty quickly. If officials are not aware of all these people, no representation will be provided for them.
The year after the census is taken and the results of all the counting and all the answers to the nosy questions have been processed, a determination is made in every state as to whether or not there is sufficient representation for all citizens living there. Should there be more representatives, or fewer? Or is it satisfactory as is?
After the 2010 census was taken several states actually lost representatives while a few other states got additional representatives. I took my statistics from Gallup.
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- How Does the Electoral College Work? Which States Have the Most Electoral Votes? How Electors Are Ch
Learn who really elects the President of the United States. How the Electoral College works, why the Electoral College is not fair, how electors are chosen, and how they do not have to vote according to the popular vote in their state.
- Understanding How Unemployment Insurance Benefits Work: This explains Unemployment for both employee
Learn how unemployment benefits work, how people qualify for them, how they are paid for, and what an unemployed person must do to continue receiving benefits.
States That Lost Seats In the House of Representatives
New York -- lost 2 seats
Ohio -- lost 2 seats
Pennsylvania – lost 1 seat
Louisiana -- 1
Michigan -- 1
New Jersey -- 1
Missouri -- 1
Iowa -- 1
Illinois -- 1
Massachusetts – 1
States That Gained Seats In the House of Representatives
Texas – 4
Florida – 2
Utah – 1
Georgia – 1
Nevada – 1
Arizona – 1
Washington – 1
North Carolina – 1
According to Gallup, both the seats lost and the seats gained in the reapportionment will have the most negative effect on the Democratic Party.
Informing People About the Importance Of the Census
This hub is not for the purpose of debating political issues, but with the intent of educating people who may not understand the purpose of the Census and why it is so important that everyone participate in it.
Participating in the Census by being counted and answering the nosy questions is your best opportunity to have your political voice heard at every level of government, and it is your best chance of having services that you need made available to you.
The following video explains why it is important for all people to be counted in the Census. This video is directing information to the Hispanic community, including Mexicans who are here illegally.
However, this same information applies to everyone, because not only representation at the local, county, school district, state and federal government levels are at stake, but also Federal tax dollars are distributed to states, counties, cities, and small towns according the Census statistics. Not being counted can mean your community, or you and/or your family, are missing out on your share.
© 2012 C E Clark