- How’d your state do? How do you think it could be improved?
- “Still a little ooky about social media? Well, believe it or not, social media is a major element of news nowadays.”
- This talks specifically about social media, the news, and recent weather.
- “Technology is dramatically transforming the election process. Election offices are challenged to keep pace through leveraging technology to increase transparency and improve communication with the public. Here are five technology trends being adopted by election offices across the country to better serve voters, candidates and the media.”
- “The Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll shows totals for state and local government full-time and part-time employment, and it details employment by government function at the national and state level.”
- This came in after the original post. Thanks to Alex Howard for the heads up on this!
Back in April, this blog asked the question: “How Can Social Media Help Governments Serve the Booming Hispanic Population?” I gave a few ideas then (see the bottom of that post).
Well just last Thursday (May 26th), the U.S. Census Bureau “released a 2010 Census brief on the nation’s Hispanic population”. It’s got some newly compiled data in it. Here are some of the highlights:
- “Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7% growth rate“
- The Hispanic population growth of 15.2 million people “accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase (of 27.3 million)”
(For some thoughts on “How can local governments better engage the Hispanic population?”, scroll down to the end of this post.)
Where was the population growth?
“The Hispanic population grew in every region of the United States between 2000 and 2010, and most significantly in the South and Midwest.”
- “The South saw a 57% increase in its Hispanic population” (4 times the 14% total population growth in the South.
- In the Midwest, Hispanic population grew by 49%” (more than 12 times the 4% growth of the total pop. in the Midwest).
(click here for larger image)
Hispanic growth by State
“The Hispanic population experienced growth between 2000 and 2010 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.” (emphasis added)
- “In 2010, 37.6 million, or 75%, of Hispanics lived in the 8 states with Hispanic populations of 1 million or more: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado.”
- However, “Hispanics were 16% or more of the state population (matching or exceeding the national level) in eight other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.”
Hispanic growth by County
- “The Hispanic population increased to more than twice its size since 2000 in at least one of every four counties.”
- “Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, Hispanics at least doubled in population size in 912 of them.”
- “Hispanics were the majority of the population in 82 out of the nation’s 3,143 counties.”
Not where you might expect: “Among the 469 counties with at least 10,000 or more Hispanics in 2010, the top five fastest growing counties were Luzerne, Pa. (479 percent change); Henry, Ga. (339 percent change); Kendall, Ill. (338 percent change); Douglas, Ga. (321 percent change); and Shelby, Ala. (297 percent change).”
Here’s an interactive map of the percent of Hispanics per county for 2010 (*minus Alaska & Broomfield County, CO). Below is a static map of (what should be) the same thing.
(click here for larger image)
How can local governments better engage the Hispanic population?
So what’s the point? Well… many local governments are going to have to serve an ever-increasing population of people who don’t necessarily communicate the best in English. And although this Census data doesn’t discuss language specifically, at very-least, governments are going to have to adapt to helping people with a different culture than what they might be used to.
How can governments better engage these citizens? After all, they too live in the community, run businesses, and pay taxes.
- Learn their culture.
- Find out how they would like to interact with their government. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Some Hispanics would have a much better experience with government if things were in Spanish. And isn’t that key to strong customer service in government: Helping people to have a pleasant experience? In fact, you might even consider hiring customer service personnel who are multi-lingual.
- Use simple technologies to communicate with them (such as Twitter and Facebook). You might be surprised at how many Hispanics use the Internet and social media. Worried about a “digital divide”? According to a post from the Davenport Institute, they draw the conclusion that Gov 2.0 may actually help engage Hispanics.
- If you video your local government public meetings and put them online, consider making them available in subtitles. After all, this process could end up saving clerks time. Have an opinion on this? Let us know!
- For more ideas, see the bottom of this post on the topic of “How Can Social Media Help Governments Serve the Booming Hispanic Population?“
The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the “Center of Population” for the 2010 Census.
What is the “Center of Population”? According to the Census Bureau,
The mean center of population is determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of identical weight.
So, onto what you’re really wanting to see. Drum-roll please…
The 2010 Center of Population for the U.S. is in Texas County, Missouri (2.9 miles from Plato, MO).
Some more information about the history of the Center of Population for the U.S.:
Historically, the center of population has followed a trail that reflects the sweep of the nation’s brush stroke across America’s population canvas. The sweep reflects the settling of the frontier, waves of immigration and the migration west and south. Since 1790, the location has moved in a westerly, then a more southerly pattern. In 2000, the new center of population in Edgar Springs, Mo., was more than 1,000 miles from the first center in 1790, which was near Chestertown, Md.
CA cities having hard time dealing w/ FOIA requests.
- “Now, IT officials working in California cities are saying that they are overwhelmed by the complexity of the public archived information being sought.”
- “Although responding to record requests has traditionally been a function of a city clerk’s office, in recent years IT departments have become heavily involved in the process as federal and state laws have included electronic documents under the public records umbrella.”
- Article: “Transparency Bill Ups E-Discovery Pressure on California Cities” (GovTech.com, HT)
- “comScore, Inc. … released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that 174 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in March for an average of 14.8 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in more than 5.7 billion viewing sessions during the course of the month.”
- More stats in the release…
- “as mobile development in the federal government continues to ramp up, tools to help agencies and individuals assess how (and when) to intelligently proceed are increasingly important. Recognizing that every situation is unique, an understanding of a few critical questions should provide some clarity for those making the decision on how best to proceed with mobile development.”
Sunshine Review’s Post: “Open government and data resources“
- “Through FOIAchat, a weekly live chat Sunshine Review hosts on Twitter, we’ve run into a lot of really great resources for those of you hoping to learn more about your government. Usually, it takes some investigation to get data and documents from governments, but these resources host searchable information online for you to utilize.”
- The U.S. Hispanic population is on the rise. How can Gov 2.0 help local governments serve this population of citizens?
So there you have it! Any more ideas? Let us know in the comments!
The Hispanic Population in America is on the rise. The overall growth in the U.S. States of Hispanics (or Latinos) was 15,171,776 from the 2000 to 2010 Census (U.S. Census Bureau, only U.S. States).
But the growth isn’t just happening where you might think it is.
Take a look at this map. It shows the growth of the Hispanic population (per county) from the 2000 Census through the 2010 Census. (Dark Green = most growth. Red = Decline in Percent Change. Click here for a larger size image. Notice that the most growth in the population (as a percent, since the 2000 Census) is not happening in the Southwest.).
Notice that the most growth in the Hispanic population (as a percent, since the 2000 Census, including Latinos) is not happening in the Southwest.
Where are large populations of Hispanics?
Here’s an interactive map of the percent of Hispanics per county for 2010*.
*minus Alaska & Broomfield Co., Colorado; from the U.S. Census Bureau
Reaching out to Non-English Speaking Citizens
Marketing and Public Relations are things that local governments do all of the time. (If you have a poorly designed website, don’t use social media, or rarely speak with reporters, that’s still saying something).
More and more, local governments are going to have to converse with a rising Hispanic population (some of whom would have a much better experience with government if things were in Spanish).
So the question becomes, how can local governments reach out and help it’s citizens who don’t understand English all that well?
Can technology help local governments communicate with Spanish-speaking Americans?
- Use Facebook: What if the local government had a Facebook Page where questions can be asked & answered in Spanish? This way, fellow citizens can answer the question in Spanish… saving the local government time and resources to form a response. Hispanics (like everyone else) use Facebook, so it reaches them where they’re at.
- Use Blogs: Post on multiple topics that describe (in Spanish) how certain government processes work. It allows for citizens to comment on the posts and get clarification from each other. At the same time, future readers of the posts might have their own questions already answered. Example posts:
- How to pay a parking ticket.
- How to pay taxes.
- Where to vote (and how to register).
What ideas do you have? Are there examples of local governments using social media to reach the Hispanic Population? Let us know in the comments!