MONTGOMERY— In an effort to ensure an accurate count of Alabama residents, Governor Bob Riley signed an executive order this week establishing the Alabama Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census.
The committee will include representatives from local and state government, community and faith-based organizations, the news media and the business community. The goal of the group is to inform Alabamians about the upcoming census and the importance of participating and being counted.
“Our state has been blessed with growth and development in recent years and it is important that the official records reflect that growth,” Governor Riley said.
Governor Riley named Doni Ingram, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, to serve as chair of the committee. Ingram said that census figures are required for effective business and government planning and affects the number of federal dollars allocated to Alabama.
“Population-based formula grants support schools, assistance to the elderly, Medicaid and child health programs, community infrastructure improvements, law enforcement, energy conservation and many more programs,” Ingram said.
Official estimates indicate that more than 53,000 Alabamians went uncounted when the last census was conducted in 2000. A similar undercount in 2010 could result in Alabama losing out on about $546 million over the next decade, Ingram said.
Part of the committee’s duties will be to identify areas or groups within the state that may be difficult to count and to develop strategies to ensure those areas or groups are included in Alabama’s count.
The committee is part of a collaborative effort between the State of Alabama and the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency tasked with making the official count of people living in the United States and its territories. The census was established in 1790 and has been conducted every decade since.