The US Census Bureau will open its St. Louis office tomorrow in order to begin preparing for the 2010 Census count. The new office, 500 N. Vandeventer, will coordinate the census in the St. Louis area, a massive project that will employ more than a thousand people.
A decennial census of the country is mandated by the US Constitution, and the results have important consequences. Census results are used to allocate Congressional seats, representation in Jefferson City, and ward lines in St. Louis; votes in the Electoral College; and our fair share of many government funding programs. People look at census results (and their trends) as objective measures of the success of local economies and public policies.
Census takers are supposed to count every person living in a residential structure, including citizens, long-term foreign residents, prisoners, and undocumented residents. Recent censuses have also attempted to count — or to estimate accurately homeless people and migrants and add those numbers to the totals. In the years between the decennial counts, the Census Bureau makes estimates of the population. (By the most recent Census Bureau estimate, the population of the City is 355,663 — up again, a trend of which we are proud.)
City agencies have spent a great deal of time and effort preparing for the census. The Census Bureau counters work from available lists and maps, and we want to make sure they are working from good ones. The City’s Planning & Urban Design Agency has worked closely with the Census Bureau over the past two years to make sure that the Census Bureau will have a list of every new residential address in St. Louis in hand when they begin the official count. (The Census Bureau has been great to work with.)
I will be writing a lot more about this important civic moment as we get closer to it, but I will be standing with Congressman Lacy Clay tomorrow to remind every St. Louisan how important it is that every one of us completes a census form and gets counted.
And if you are looking for an interesting job, call the Census Bureau recruiting office at 1-866-861-2010, or visit www.2010censusjobs.gov.