January 29, 2008 – Gov. Tim Kaine has designated the Demographics and Workforce section of the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service as liaison to the United States Census Bureau.
The U.Va. demographers will assist the bureau with the upcoming 2010 Census through an initiative known as LUCA (local update of Census addresses). While the Census Bureau updates its address lists continuously, this year marks the first time state officials have been invited to participate in making certain the lists are complete and accurate.
"Participation in LUCA is extremely important for improving census coverage," said Qian Cai, director of the Demographics and Workforce section. "Census enumerations determine each state's representation in Congress, affect the size and shape of voting districts for the General Assembly and influence funding for a variety of community programs and services."
U.Va. demographer Susan Perrone, a former Census Bureau employee with degrees in statistics and mathematics from Yale and Clemson, will lead the LUCA project.
The United States Census, conducted every 10 years, counts the number and distribution of people living in this country. The first census, taken in 1790 by U.S. marshals on horseback, counted 3.9 million people. The 2010 Census will attempt to count more than 300 million and will be conducted by mailing a questionnaire to every household and living quarter in the United States.
U.Va. demographers will concentrate on providing accurate addresses for Virginia's "non-household" population. This includes those people living in so-called "group quarters" such as dormitories, military barracks, correctional facilities and other forms of institutional housing.
Information from Virginia is due to the Census Bureau within several months. "Collecting and reviewing all of this data is an enormous task and will require timely cooperation from multiple state agencies," Perrone said. "We appreciate the governor's support and know agency leaders will share the commitment to insuring a complete and accurate count of Virginia's non-household population."