The West Virginia University community might not have the Personal Rapid Transit system if it were not for the U.S. Census.

The census is more than a survey that tracks population and other trends around the country – it is a governmental tool used to determine where more than $400 billion in annual funding will go.

Grants obtained using census data have helped support public transportation systems, libraries, schools, hospitals and roads to name a few.

On Friday, Jan. 29 the 2010 Census “Portrait of America” Road Tour will stop in Morgantown to spread the word about the survey’s importance. The tour display will be set up in the Mountainlair from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Students are one of the hardest populations to track in the census, and they are vital to the areas that they reside in,” said Elizabeth Guthrie, partnership specialist with the 2010 Census in Morgantown. “We decided to set up in the Mountainalir in hopes of getting the attention of the students and encouraging them to take a few minutes to fill it out.”

The interactive display will include TVs, laptops and cameras used to inform the public about the census and its many uses. Participants will also be asked to share images and stories of how the census has made a difference in their communities.

WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research Associate Dean Tom Witt, Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Gray and student body President Jason Zucarri are scheduled to speak around 11 a.m. at the tour event.

In addition to an array of information, a recruiter will be present to inform the public about available part-time positions with the census.

The tour will also stop at the WVU Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 30, where it will be on display from 10 a.m. to noon.

WVU and the census

WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economics Research has established a Web site to provide access to census information and much more.

The Web site,, provides links to a sample census questionnaire, details from previous censuses – back to 1790 when the every-10-year census began – and even a link to information on how to get a census job. The site also contains extensive data on West Virginia.

The bureau, a component of WVU’s College of Business and Economics, has been designated as the official West Virginia agency working in cooperation with the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, in the Federal State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates. In this capacity, the bureau will assist the Census Bureau in the preparation of set of high-quality county and sub-county population estimates.

Dr. Christiadi of the bureau is serving as a liaison with the U.S. Census Bureau on population estimates and projections. He represents West Virginia in the Federal State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates and a similar program for population projections.

For more information on the 2010 Census road tour, visit .



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