Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
State demographer says snowbirds critical to census

OCT. 26, 2009

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State Demographic Center estimates that fewer than 3,000 people will determine whether or not the state keeps its eight congressional districts.

Because of this, the state is making a special effort to get all Minnesota residents to participate in the census, including those who spend the winter months in warmer climates.

The Census Bureau counts residents at their “usual” address, and it is up to the residents to decide which is their usual address.

“Every Minnesotan needs to answer the 2010 Census they receive at their Minnesota address,” State Demographer Tom Gillaspy said. “If they respond to the census form they receive at their winter “snowbird” address, they will be counted as residents of that state, not Minnesota. If even a small fraction of Minnesotans miss this opportunity, we could easily be left with only seven representatives in the US House of Representatives.”

The state is working to get the word out now, because it wants snowbirds to be aware of the situation before they leave for the winter.

The forms will be mailed before many of the snowbirds return to Minnesota.

According to Gillaspy, the Census Bureau will mail questionnaires to all regular mailing addresses in mid-March. Minnesota snowbirds will receive forms at both their Minnesota and their winter addresses.

The Census Bureau will hand-deliver questionnaires to people who have non-home delivery, such as Post Office boxes. The US Post Office will not forward census questionnaires.

According to Ashley Edwards, local government liaison for Minnesota’s Census 2010 campaign, said that in addition to determining whether the state keeps its eight congressional districts, the accuracy of the census will also affect the distribution of $400 billion in federal spending.


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