Developing the Snapshot of Indiana
During the spring of 2000, Indiana had its picture taken. Not with a camera, but with an instrument that will give us an extraordinarily detailed demographic view of the people living in households and group quarters throughout Indiana: the 2000 Census.
The snapshot taken of Indiana in April 2000 will comprise thousands of data points for our cities, towns, counties and neighborhoods. This snapshot - or, really, thousands of snapshots that make up the Hoosier census album - will provide us with important information about the communities of Indiana. This photo album will be looked at intensely throughout the decade for many purposes: to determine the distribution of federal and state funds; as research for the writing of proposals to build new schools or fund medical research projects; and to assist in transportation planning, government initiatives, business marketing, and community and economic development. Knowing the number and types of people who live in an area, based on their ages and income and skill levels, is an essential thread in all development and planning.
It takes time to develop this Census photograph of Indiana. Millions of forms have been processed according to very strict quality-control guidelines to ensure accuracy and comprehensive and equitable coverage nationwide. A very small but important first picture of the nation was released at the end of 2000, in the form of state population totals used in apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the results of which can be seen in IN the Spotlight.
The remainder of our Hoosier photo album will be released in stages over the next two years. Beginning in April, the governor and the leaders of the Indiana General Assembly will receive the population counts by age 18 and older by race. These data will be used to redraw the congressional and legislative districts. By summer of 2001, more pieces will arrive with details that show us the composition of our populace by age, race, gender and household type. We will begin to see how much we have changed in the 10 years since the last picture was taken. It could be a shock, or we may find that we haven't changed much at all. More likely, we will find that parts of Indiana changed significantly over time, while others did not.