Staff Editorial

Students should put census near top of priority list

The time to be counted has come again.

Every 10 years the federal government mails out a questionnaire for everyone in America to fill out.

Although it might not seem like much to most people, these questions are a big deal.

By knowing how many men, women and children are in the U.S., the government can determine how more than $400 billion in federal money will be used within the next decade. Federal money is used to build and fix highways, schools, medical facilities, bridges and senior centers, among other structures.

The Houston Chronicle reported that for every person not counted, Houston loses about $1,700 in federal funds.

By filling out a census form, you also affect how many seats Texas will occupy in the U.S. House of Representatives. This makes the census one of the most influential and powerful documents that people come into contact with.

As a college student, it is important to get involved and encourage relatives and friends to participate as well.

And while it is important to be counted so that the state sets the correct federal compensation, temporary jobs that come with the census are also vital. Students interested in work over the summer, or even during the final weeks of this semester, can take advantage of these openings.

The government has apparently embraced all ways of attracting employees, as there are several listings on Craigslist for jobs. The listings state that no experience is required and that applicants need to bring two forms of identification with them when they apply. A job as a census taker pays $17.75 an hour across Houston, with a higher pay rate for those possess bilingual skills. More information on census jobs is available at

The census is an extremely important part of keeping our country up to date. Without correctly determining how many people live and work in Houston, we can look forward to more shoddy roads and bigger potholes; not to mention being underrepresented in Congress.

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