The 2010 Census forms have now arrived. This is an opportunity for Liberians to finally know how many of us live and work in Minnesota. We have loosely thrown around numbers ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 as the size of the Liberian population in Minnesota, but no one knows for sure.
The census forms will help us answer this nagging question about the numerical strength of our community in Minnesota. This is more than bragging rights, but about the development of our people and community as a whole. So, it is extremely important that all Liberians fully participate in the 2010 Census. The more Liberians that are counted as Liberians; the more we stand to gain financial and social service support, and political influence from federal and state agencies.
This is what we need to do to be fully counted: on the 10-question form, which asks a person’s name, address, phone number, age, race and ethnicity, put an “X” on question 9, identifying your race category, then write in “Liberian” in the space below. It is imperative that everyone with an ancestral or parental connection to Liberia whether you were born in the United States, became a naturalized American citizen, are a green card holder or on TPS/DED, add “Liberia” when answering question number 9 on the census form. The information is strictly confidential, and the Census Bureau does not share data with other agencies, including immigration or law enforcement authorities.
Government data shows that there are only 3,000 Liberians living in the State of Minnesota. We all know this is inaccurate, but the only solution to officially and accurately count Liberians is to indicate on the 2010 Census Form “Liberian” on question 9.