COLUMBIA, SC - Our U.S. Constitution mandates that every 10 years, the federal government must count the people who live in this country. The next census is in the Spring of 2010. But we mention it now, because before Census Day, April 1, you're likely to hear a lot about the census. Some of the information will be reliable, and some may not be.
I'd like you to know why filling out and mailing in your census form is important to our state and our local communities. First and foremost, the census provides data that are used to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds each year. If we're not counted, we won't get our fair share.
The 2010 Census results will also be used to decide how many representatives our state gets in Congress. And if every resident responds to the census, experts say South Carolina stands a good chance to pick up one more seat in the House.
This 2010 Census form is just ten questions long if you live alone -- longer if others share your household. In 2000, only Alaska had a lower return rate of census questionnaires by mail than did South Carolina. Next year, let's do better!