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Hubbard County prepares for 2020 U.S. census

Hubbard County has agreed to participate in the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA).

This is the only opportunity offered to tribal, state, and local governments to review and update the U.S. Census Bureau's residential address list prior to the 2020 Census.

LUCA is a voluntary, once-a-decade procedure and ensures an accurate count for each participating jurisdiction.

The U.S. Constitution mandates an actual count of every person residing in the U.S. every 10 years. The U.S. Census Bureau counts individuals within households and typically collects information about the housing structure and the housing unit. It relies on a complete and accurate address list to reach every living quarters for inclusion in the census.

Census data is then used to apportion representation among states; draw congressional and state legislative districts, school districts and voting precincts; and distribute federal dollars, among other things.

Last week, Hubbard County Environmental Services Officer Eric Buitenwerf told the Hubbard County Board that participating local governments are advised "to do the best it can in reviewing/proofing/editing address data."

"We are not required to do 100 percent of the requested items if doing so proves cost- or time-prohibitive," he said.

Buitenwerf said his office obtained some preliminary address data from the census, which they then compared to their own data.

"This initial comparison showed that the census had record of 15,303 addresses and our total address count was 15,064," he said.

After running a comparison of the sample data, ESO staff found 81 percent of the addresses matched perfectly, 12 percent were partial matches and 7 percent were no match.

"This sample comparison lets us know roughly what percentage of the total address list will likely require our attention," Buitenwerf said.

In February 2018, the county will receive only the addresses within its jurisdictional boundaries that are currently on file with the U.S. Census Bureau. The county will have 120 calendar days from the receipt of materials to complete their review of the address list.

Buitenwerf said Hubbard County Assessor staff will assist in the process by sorting out commercial addresses, conducting other data analysis and editing.

To participate in LUCA, a government entity must designate a LUCA liaison. The LUCA liaison, LUCA reviewers, and anyone with access to LUCA materials must sign a confidentiality agreement. Under federal law, the address list is confidential.

"This all said, since the census is willing to accept whatever proofing and editing we are able to do, we are willing to work on the project and be as of much help as possible," Buitenwerf said.

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