The Benefits of Documenting Hungarian Heritage in the 2010 US Census

Washington, DC – The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States and takes place every ten years, as required by the Constitution. This year, the Census Bureau is mailing out census forms in March. The government has simplified the form, which now consists of only ten short questions. Question number 9, which asks for information about race, but also allows citizens to record their heritage, nationality group, and ethnicity, gives the Hungarian-American community an excellent opportunity to provide the government with an accurate estimate of the number of US residents with Hungarian ancestry.

At the fourth Hungarian Americans Together Conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio on September 17-18, 2009, the participants discussed the issue of the Census and its implication for the Hungarian-American community. They prepared recommendations to inform the community’s leadership for addressing the importance of answering question 9 correctly.

Once a citizen records their identity information, the Census Bureau is bound by law to register it in the final results of the 2010 Census. These results are important, because policymakers both in the legislative and executive branch of the government pay attention to the composition of the population in the USA. If the government is aware of the number of Hungarian-Americans in the US, they will hopefully take a more proactive role in addressing the concerns of this community.

When answering question 9, therefore, it is very beneficial for citizens with Hungarian heritage to state that they are Hungarian in the extra space provided. To make the information about race even more useful to the Hungarian-American community, citizens can designate their identity with even more specificity, namely as Hungarian-Romanian, Hungarian-Serbian, Hungarian-Slovakian, Hungarian-Ukrainian, or Hungarian-Austrian, if they come from Transylvania, Vojvodina, Slovakia, Transcarpathia, or Burgenland respectively.

Any personal data provided is protected under federal law. Additional information on the census can be obtained at:

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php

or in Hungarian at:

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/language/hungarian.php

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