Members of the Warren County Complete Count Committee addressed attendees of the Bowling Green Coalition of Active Neighborhoods’ Winter Rally on Thursday about the importance of completing the upcoming U.S. census count.
Committee co-chair Alan Palmer talked about the new process for this year’s census, the first time the count form can be filled out online.
“You will all be getting a postcard in the mail around mid-March,” he said. “It will invite you to participate in the census by going online.”
Palmer said paper copies of the form will still be available for those who want it.
Palmer also talked about the workers who will begin knocking on doors to make sure everyone fills out a census form.
“There will be half a million temporary part-time census takers in communities across the country,” Palmer said.
Palmer said $675 billion in federal funding is at stake in the census count.
“It is distributed throughout the states and communities each year based on the census,” he said, adding that the census also helps determine congressional districts across the country. “Each congressperson is supposed to represent 747,000 people. Kentucky has six congressional districts. We used to have seven and going back in history, we used to have as many as 13 congressional districts.
“We are down to six districts and we hope to keep those seats,” Palmer said. “We are just about 4.3 million people in Kentucky and we are growing, but we are growing more slowly than some other states like Texas and Florida. Even California and New York are losing population. This thing shifts around after each census. They will also reevaluate our state representatives and senators. They will even go further down and look at the magistrate districts.”
In 2010, Bowling Green’s census count showed 58,067 residents, according to Palmer. Current population estimates, however, are approaching 70,000.
“The median age was 27 in Warren County,” Palmer said of the 2010 count. “We have 6,366 businesses in Warren County, according to the 2012 Survey of Businessowners. That is businesses of all sizes.”
Palmer said for each person who is counted would cause money to be lost for Kentucky.
“Each person counts for $1,000 per year,” he said, adding that over the course of a decade, a family of five is worth $50,000 in federal funding.