Indiana Begins Planning to Count Every Hoosier Next Year

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Indiana Begins Planning to Count Every Hoosier Next Year

Census determines how many House seats each state gets, plays major role in distributing federal grant money

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The next census is eight months away, and Indiana is getting ready.

The Census Bureau encourages states to collaborate with local governments and nonprofits to get an accurate count. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says every state agency is being asked to come up with a plan by mid-October for how it will spread the word. She says even agencies which don't normally deal with individuals directly deal with companies or groups who do.

The 10-year population count helps determine how much money Indiana gets from dozens of federal programs -- every Hoosier is worth about an extra $2,700. The census also determines how many House seats each state has. Indiana lost a seat in 2000 when population growth didn't keep up with the country. Demographers believe Indiana is unlikely to gain or lose seats this time.

Census Bureau regional director Marilyn Sanders says state and local marketing efforts should make an extra effort to get a full count of groups with the lowest response rate: preschoolers, young adults, and people who don't want to share any information about themselves.

Sanders says privacy rules prohibit the census from giving your data to other agencies. Indiana Business Research Center co-director Carol Rogers says you share more information on Google and Facebook every day than you'll surrender by completing the census.

Indiana is the 17th-most populous state. Crouch says she wants to see Indiana break the seven-million barrier. That would be a 5% increase over a census estimate last year, and an 8% jump over the last official census in 2010.

(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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