New census office opens in Gainsville

GAINESVILLE - The nation's 2010 people count has begun.

The Early Local Census Office located at 715 Queen City Parkway officially welcomed guests Wednesday night to celebrate the 2010 national census and the opening of the new facility. One of 150 local census offices that opened nationwide in 2008 and 2009, this building will be the home for all Gwinnett-based census operations until one solely dedicated to Gwinnett opens later this year.

According to Gerson Vasquez, a spokesman for the office, the Gainesville ELCO will be key in counting the very large Latino and Asian communities located throughout Northeast Georgia.

"Gwinnett is its own monster and it deserves its own office," Vasquez said. "And it will get it. It's one of the most diverse counties in Georgia."

Vasquez said new technology, including hand-held computers and global positioning systems, is being used in this census count and one of the goals of this effort is to validate the addresses of every household in the United States. He said the collection of this data by a national census work force is vital for the mailing of questionnaires, which should arrive in the spring of 2010.

The U.S. Constitution requires a count of the population every 10 years. Census results are used to determine congressional representation, redraw congressional lines and to distribute $300 billion of federal funds annually.

For more information, visit www.census.gov.