Friday, December 18, 2009

States have Snowbirds on their Census radar

Minnesota's efforts to count its traveling residents during the 2000 Census were modest.

Barbara Ronningen, one of the state's demographers, says she gave her father, Sidney Ronningen, and other Minnesotans who went south for the winter fliers to hand out at gatherings of the state's snowbirds at annual picnics in Arizona and Florida.

"We weren't in danger of losing a congressional seat back then," she said.

The 2010 Census is different. The state stands to lose one of its eight congressional seats because population growth has lagged behind other states. So, Ronningen says, it is working aggressively with communities and organizations to make sure each head is counted, whether in Minneapolis or Mesa.

Those who live in their home state the majority of the year but occupy a winter residence in another state when Census forms are mailed in March should follow these guidelines to be counted as residents in their home states:

Leave the rest of the form blank, but write "usual residence elsewhere" on it so the Census Bureau will know why zero was entered.

If no one is staying at their home state residence, snowbirds should wait until they return home to complete the form sent to that residence.

If a form hasn't been received, a Census taker is expected to contact residents between May and June.
Full Story...
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