TODAY'S QUESTION: What should Columbia do to count the "hard-to-count" population in the 2010 Census?

Friday, March 26, 2010 | 10:34 a.m. CDT

Columbia stands to lose about $1,400 per year for every resident who is not counted. Missouri is also in the position to gain or lose a U.S. House seat depending on the results of the 2010 Census.

This past decade, Columbia's population hit the 100,000 mark for the first time ever.

However, counting every individual is not an easy task. Certain individuals — college students, soldiers, the homeless, immigrants and "floaters" — fall into the hard-to-count category. Missouri's hard-to-count citizens make up 5.2 percent of the state's population.

Columbia's three college campuses contribute to this figure. College students make up 30 percent of those that fall into that group.

Local groups are working to track shelter populations, and census officials are taking steps to encourage undocumented immigrants to fill out the census.

Census-based funding is used for education, transportation, senior services, job training, hospitals, bridge and road repair, emergency response and child care.

What should Columbia do to count the "hard-to-count" population in the 2010 Census?


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