Will you be counted? Census participation can make impact

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The last time people were counted in Gwinnett County, the population was just over 588,000.

But with traffic backing up farther and new subdivisions erupting in the beginning of the decade, everyone knows that there are more people here than in the year 2000.

In fact, a recently announced estimate has the county topping 800,000 last year to 808,167. An estimated 17,648 people moved in between April 1, 2008 and April 1, 2009.

This April 1, officials are hoping to come up with a lot more than an estimate.

Thursday is the due date for forms in the 2010 Census complete count.

Officials are touting the forms, which were sent in the mail earlier this month, as a way to document the nation's population, determine congressional seats and allocate funding.

Between 2000 and 2008, the county's growth has lead to a doubling of medical assistance and highway planning and construction dollars as well as a near tripling of community development block grants and Title I schools money, all of which are largely based on Census statistics involving population and poverty.

"You can definitely see an impact when numbers grow," said Gerson Vasquez of the Census Bureau.