Local News

N.C. Hoping for a Complete Census Count in 2000

Posted February 28, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— When the census was last taken 10 years ago, North Carolina lost millions of dollars because so many people who lived in the state were not counted.

On March 1, 2000 the count begins again, and there is a major push to include everyone. All it takes is a few minutes to make sure you are included.

During the next 60 days, thousands of official census forms will be sent to homes throughout the Triangle.

Where names and addresses do not match, census takers will be knocking on doors asking personal questions.

That may be intimidating for some, but minority leaders say the census takers are doing everyone a favor.

"It's information that will be used for the allocation of financial resources for your community which will end up affecting your quality of life and the quality of life of your children," says Aura Camancha Maas, director of the Latin American Resource Center.

Maas understands the reluctance of some minorities to volunteer personal information.

She stresses all the information is confidential, and this census provides a chance for something more.

"This is a great opportunity for us to let all the members of the community know that we are here, that we belong here just like everybody else. This is our community," says Maas.

The United States is required by law to take a census every 10 years as a way of determining how the population is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives.