Census "Road Tour" starts in Somerset

Officials in Somerset joined Kentucky’s governor in kicking off the 2010 Census, Portrait of America Road Tour.

“It’s extremely important that everyone in the Commonwealth be counted,” said Ben Johnson with the 2010 Census Road Tour.

Local and state officials say how many Kentuckians are counted could determine how much federal funding the state receives.

“$400 billion a year that the federal gov’t gives out to the state and local communities and it’s based on how many people we have,” said Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Ky.

“Information is used all day…every day….where schools are located…retail establishments are established,” said Johnson.

Some could be afraid to fill out the form for fear that the U.S. Government will find out too much about them but officials say those fears are unfounded.

“We do not ask for social security numbers, income information, and all census employees are sworn to confidentiality for their lifetime,” said Johnson.

Already Kentucky officials are optimistic about what this year’s count will show.

“It’s estimated that we have about a quarter of a million people more in Kentucky today than in 2000,” said Gov. Beshear.

Census forms will start arriving in mailboxes later this month.

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