Census officials: Sacramento ethnic groups need to be counted

10:07 AM, Apr 1, 2010   |    comments
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2010 CENSUS: All you need to know about America's official count

SACRAMENTO, CA - Brimming with a wide variety of ethnicities hailing from around the globe, Sacramento has often been called one of the most racially-diverse cities in America.

While that's a frequent point of civic pride for many in California's capital city, reaching all those communities for vital information like compiling the current 2010 Census can make Sacramento's racial diversity a steep hurdle to clear.

"There was a 40 percent overall undercount in Sacramento in 2000," said Vidal Gonzalez of Sacramento's La Familia multicultural counseling center. "We could have used that money. So we have to really stress the point that everybody (in 2010) needs to be counted."

Census forms were mailed to every U.S. resident in March. Between April and July, census workers will visit households that did not return forms by mail to try to get a full count by December.

More than $400 billion will be allocated to communities based on the census data. The money goes to schools, highways, job training and other local programs and services.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of Wednesday, only 52 percent of census mailings nationwide have been returned. California participation is 49 percent so far, and Sacramento's participation rate is 48 percent.

"For all communities, it's their ability, their chance to say who they are and where they are," Census spokeswoman Sandy Louey said.

Outreach to communities like Sacramento's large southeast Asian, Hispanic and Slavic-speaking populations are particularly difficult to accurately count, officials say.

Sacramento's Asian Resources spokeswoman May Lee said it's vitally important to make sure minority groups are counted correctly to ensure Sacramento service organizations like hers can received the federal funds they need.

"We turn around and give it back to the community to make sure there's housing, jobs, and good education programs for our youth," Lee said.

2000 Census Count: Sacramento County

  • Chinese: 30,455
  • Vietnamese: 16,372
  • Hmong: 15,814
  • Korean: 4,955
  • Slavic: 645
  • Russian: 15,495
  • Ukranian: 13,326
  • Latino/Hispanic: 195,890
  • Black: 121,804


Reported by: Suzanne Phan, sphan@news10.net

Twitter: @suzannephan


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