State officials involved in the 2010 U.S. Census count are spreading the good word that the latest projections from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate Missouri will likely hold onto all nine of its Congressional seats. But those same officials caution Missouri will hold on by a razor thin margin.
“The projected population for Missouri was 6,022,430 people,” said Matt Hesser of the Office of Administration’s Division of Budget and Planning during an information seminar for State Senators at the Capitol. “We retain the seat by 5,271 people.”
The extremely close margin, according to state officials, is an indication of how important it will be to make sure everyone living in Missouri is counted.
“Missing just an average of 10 four-person households per county could mean the difference between retaining the nine Congressional seats and losing one of the nine,” said Hesser.
Maintaining the state’s nine seats involves much more than bragging rights.
“Much of the federal aid is tied in some way to data that’s derived from the Census,” said Hesser. “Population counts in Census 2010 will influence Missouri’s access to federal aid for the next decade.”
Census forms will be mailed out in March, with April 1st the day Americans will be called on to count themselves in. There will be a non-response follow up for every home that does not return a Census form. Initial non-response contact will be through the mail but would be followed by enumerators making in person visits.