Be counted

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As you have no doubt been made aware, either through the countless television commercials, radio spots, newspaper stories and the number of mailed items received recently, the once-per-decade U.S. Census is ongoing.

The process, which is ordered every 10 years by the Constitution, aims to obtain an accurate count of those living within the United States. In doing so, the count helps properly allocate congressional representation, distribute state, federal and nonprofit spending allotments, and aids planners in better meeting the demands of a particular population.

In short, the Census is a crucial exercise and should be treated as such by every resident.

An accurate count can better position the localities of Western Tidewater to receive much-needed federal and state funds for such things as education and infrastructure development.

So far, the response rates in Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County are outpacing the state and national averages. That’s encouraging.

Still, those rates need to keep growing. Every resident who mails the form back, with all answers completed correctly, helps save valuable taxpayer dollars.

More important, the information collected is key to tracking population trends and crucial to allowing our government and economic leaders to be more competitive in recruiting new industries, businesses and retail development.