Beginning this spring, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin the task of counting the number of people who live in the United States and compiling demographic information about the entire country.
The U.S. Census is conducted every ten years. A two-page questionnaire is mailed out to every household, collecting the number of people who live in the house, their relationship to one another, their age, race and gender.
Collecting this information is important because the government uses it to allocate congressional seats, possible redistricting and social service funding, and that has a direct impact on organizations like Montrose Counseling Center.
The Census does not collect information about sexual orientation, so it will only collect information about same-sex couples living together. As of right now, same-sex couples will be listed as “unmarried partners.”
The U.S. Census recommends that as far as gender is concerned, transgender persons should select male or female, based on whichever best represents the person filling out the form. Some people believe the Census requires the respondent to fill out their biological gender, but that is not the case.
MCC recently received a letter of appreciation from the U.S. Census Bureau. For the last six months, the Census has been meeting at the GLBT Cultural Center to recruit and train new employees for the 2010 Census. It is estimated that the local Census office will hire as many as 15,000 individuals in the Houston area.