For the past few weeks, I've been both hearing and seeing ads with the following slogan: "Con el censo avanzamos todos." (Translation: "With the Census we all Advance.") Unbelievably, the time has arrived for another Census, which is required by the U.S Constitution to take place every 10 years. This applies to households in the mainland U.S and Puerto Rico. According to a letter we received from the Census Bureau, we should be receiving our questionnaire sometime this month. The primary objective of the Census is to measure the demographics of the country. These numbers would then help the government allocate resources to each of the states, as well as Puerto Rico, based on the number of inhabitants in each area. In addition, the Census also helps determine the number of representatives each of the 50 states would be allowed to send to the House of Representatives.
For obvious political and economic reasons, the Census is a tremendously important event. Although Puerto Rico, due to its territorial status, is not represented in the lower house of the U.S Congress, the island does heavily depends on federal funding. Unsurprisingly, there has been an agressive advertising campaign here on the island to urge people to participate in the Census. Here are some of the results from the Census 2000 of Puerto Rico:
Population: 3.8 million inhabitants (Male: 48.1%, Female: 51.9%)
Race: White-80.5%, Black-8%, Asian-0.2%, Other- 11%)
Hispanic- 98.8% (Puerto Rican-95.1%, Cuban-0.5%, Other Hispanic or Latino-2.8%)
As the Dominican population in Puerto Rico is quite large, I would be surprised if Census 2010 fails to mention this important group again. On the other hand, as many Dominicans on the island are illegal immigrants, an accurate count of this group may be hard to obtain.
(Image above obtained from the U.S Census Bureau).