Census stresses that every question needs to be answered

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Each question on this census form has a purpose: they all need to be answered.

"One of the questions asks the age of the people that live in the house as well as each person that's filling out the questionnaire.  That ties into Title One, Federal education funding.  All school districts across Texas and across America rely heavily on Title One education grants to help fund our public education system," explains Trent Ashby, co-chair of the Angelina County Complete Count Committee.

When you're asked if you own or rent on question three, it helps the Census determine the country's home ownership rate and it helps show where housing programs need to be administered.

Question seven asks for your age. the Census says they need to know how old you are because governments use it to interpret social characteristics, like predicting the number of people eligible for Social Security, and programs like a senior center could benefit.

"We've been blessed the last two years Texas Department of Agriculture has a grant called Texans Feeding Texans and it's based on the Census in your county and like we had 13,000 senior citizens in Angelina County in the 2000 Census, so we were able  to get a grant last year for $98,000," said Robyn Hight, Director of Angelina County Senior Citizens' Center.

Question eight and nine can help governments know where they need to fund bilingual programs and make sure the minority voice is heard in elections.

"It is at the heart of ensuring that our minority population in Angelina County and really across the country is represented in Congress," said Ashby.

All the information is confidential, but the answers you give will fuel your community.

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