Census forms in Spanish prove difficult to find
The following report comes from JCOnline.com in Lafayette, Indiana:
By Curt Slyder
Mida Grover is the Hispanic/Latino liaison for Lafayette School Corp. It’s her job to reach out to families in the school district who speak Spanishbut might not speak English.
Since the U.S. Census Bureau recently began mailing 2010 census forms to people throughout the country, families she works with have been getting theirs — in English only.
That led several families to contact her, asking her what they could do ahead of the April 1 population count of all people in the United States.
“I’ve also alerted people in other buildings in the district to be prepared for people coming in there,” she said.
That concerns Lafayette City Clerk Cindy Murray, co-chairwoman of Tippecanoe County Complete Count Committee. “People don’t know where to go, what to do,” she said.
Though census forms are available in six languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian — finding out where to get a form in a language other than English has been a problem.
That is especially troubling, local officials have said, as they try to get as many people counted here as possible. Spanish-speaking households have been a particular target for the Complete Count Committee, as the community’s Hispanic estimated population has increased since the last census in 2000.
In Tippecanoe County, the Hispanic population grew from 7,834 in 2000 to 12,020 in 2008, according to U.S. Census estimates. That was a 53 percent increase. The Hispanic population is 7.3 percent of Tippecanoe County’s total, according to those estimates. That’s up from 5.3 percent in 2000.
Similar stories can be told about surrounding counties. In Clinton County, the estimated Hispanic population grew 89 percent between 2000 and 2008. In White County, it was up 39 percent. In Montgomery County, it was up 110 percent.
The federal census office mailed out forms based on data from the 2000 census, according to Jim Powell, office manager at the local U.S. Census Office in Market Square Shopping Center. His office oversees Tippecanoe and 16 other nearby counties.
(To continue reading click here.)