My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Census forms in Spanish prove difficult to find

The following report comes from 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.)

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3 Responses to “Census forms in Spanish prove difficult to find”

  1. Anonymous CL Says:

    It is easy to find out how to get a Census questionnaire in other languages.

    On the back (outside, the way it arrives folded) of all English-only Census questionnaires, it says:

    If you need help completing this form, call 1-866-872-6868 between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The telephone call is free.

    TDD — Telephone display device for the hearing impaired. Call 1-866-783-2010 between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The telephone call is free.

    NECESITA AYUDA? Si usted necesita ayuda para completar este cuestionario, llame al 1-866-928-2010 entre las 8:00 a.m. y 9:00 p.m., 7 días a la semana. La llamada telefónica es gratis.

    You can call and request a replacement questionnaire in a language you’re more familiar with (one of the five other languages offered – Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian) be mailed to you.

    Or you can call and be assisted with translation/understanding of the English form by a phone representative speaking any of dozens of other languages.

    The Be Counted Centers and Questionnaire Assistance Centers spread around peoples’ local communities will also have questionnaires people can immediately pick up in all six languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian).

  2. GS-X Says:

    This story tells us how the 2010 Census is not going according to plan.

    While Spanish-reading residents who are disappointed they did not receive the bilingual English and Spanish form may not want to call 1-866-928-2010 for a Spanish form, they are more likely to be enumerated if they do.

    If the Spanish Be Counted form is used, I recommend copying the address from the English form to the Spanish Be Counted form exactly.

  3. GS-X Says:

    Correction: If the resident’s census form has a different city/town because of the junk mail bulk mailing rate,
    they should not copy the city/town from the English form. On the Be Counted form, they should write the city/town in which they live.