Last Updated on December 31, 2009 by Paulette Brown-Hinds

The California Complete Count effort today announced the availability of 1 million dollars in grants to fund outreach efforts in thirteen counties. The funding will be offered to County Complete Count Committees in the top thirteen Hardest-to-Count (HTC) counties – allowing targeted funds to reach 80 percent of the HTC population in the state.

“Engaging hard-to-count communities is at the heart of our outreach strategy in 2010,” said Census 2010 Director Ditas Katague. “These counties provide important services to Californians that may be missed by the Census. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure that these populations are included.”

The HTC counties were ranked based on their share of the Census 2000 undercount and from figures derived by Department of Finance population projections. HTC refers to people and communities that have been shown to be most at risk of being missed in the census.

The Census Bureau identifies HTC communities according to twelve different factors, including housing status, poverty, population mobility, and language spoken at home.

In order for the counties to be eligible for funding, County Complete Count Committees must submit a general plan outlining their outreach strategy and how their efforts coordinate and leverage existing federal, state and community outreach activities.

The California Complete Count effort, coordinated out of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, will review general plans, provide technical assistance and allocate the funds in early 2010.

The counties below were identified as the top thirteen HTC in the State along with the estimated proportional percent of dollars allocation based on undercount, HTC and non-response rates from Census 2000:

1. Los Angeles 43.0%

2. San Diego 8.88%

3. Orange 8.5%

4. San Bernardino 6.63%

5. Riverside 5.25%

6. Alameda 5.0%

7. Santa Clara 4.38%

8. Sacramento 4.0%

9. Fresno 3.88%

10. San Francisco 3.13%

11. Kern 2.88%

12. Contra Costa 2.38%

13. San Joaquin 2.13%

National Census Day is April 1, 2010.

A complete and accurate count of California’s population is essential to the State to ensure adequate funding and representation over the next ten years. The decennial Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and participation is required by law. The questionnaire for the upcoming 2010 Census will be one of the shortest in the history: just 10 questions that will take only 10 minutes to complete. All responses are kept strictly confidential.