STATE AND AREA
AGENCIES ADMINISTERING PLANS UNDER TITLE III AND TRIBAL
ORGANIZATIONS ADMINISTERING PLANS UNDER TITLE VI OF THE
OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED
SUBJECT : The
LEGAL AND RELATED : Older Americans Act, As Amended
This memorandum underscores
the importance of the 2000 Census. It requests the Aging Network
to take the lead at state and community levels in urging older
persons to complete and return their census forms and to participate
as temporary census workers or volunteers.
Census 2000 will be the largest
peacetime effort in the history of the United States. Hundreds
of thousands of census takers and support personnel will strive
to account for the anticipated 118 million housing units and
275 million people across the United States. The importance
of the census can not be overestimated. Federal and state funds
supporting schools, employment services, housing assistance,
road construction, programs for older persons, and several
other activities are distributed based on census figures.
In late March, most of us (about
83 percent) will receive the short-form questionnaire covering
just seven subjects, the shortest it has been in 180 years.
One out of six households (a higher proportion in rural areas)
will be asked to respond to the long form. That covers over
thirty subjects but only one new one, grandparents as caregivers.
With each decade, it has become
more difficult to count everyone in the decennial census. The
percentage of people who mailed back their census forms dropped
from 78 percent in 1970 to 65 percent in 1990. The number of
people who were missed altogether rose significantly. In particular,
minority individuals have shown a reluctance to participate
in the census. We need to be concerted in our efforts to reverse
State and Area Agencies
on Aging are well placed to mount education and information
campaigns to get the word out on the importance of Census 2000.
SUAs in Regions IV and VI are now cooperating with the Census
Bureau to promote participation in the census. Let’s follow
their example, paying particular attention to minority elders
in our outreach and education efforts.
This is a rare year. The message
might well be: not only does your response count, you count,
so be counted.
Older persons can also participate
in the census as workers or volunteers. It is not too late to
sign up. The number to call is 1-888-325-7733.
Jeanette C. Takamura
Assistant Secretary for Aging