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?“
Over the past month or so we’ve taken a look at some minorities and how technology could help governments serve those who don’t have the greatest (or easiest) access to government services.
Here at CDS Group, we like to take our services to a higher level to better help more people. So, we’re curious and looking for feedback on a few things!
For examples of what we’re thinking about, see here.
We’d greatly appreciate your feedback!
Today (Thursday) is Cinco de Mayo, which “celebrates the legendary Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, in which a Mexican force of 4,500 men faced 6,000 well-trained French soldiers. The battle lasted four hours and ended in a victory for the Mexican army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza. Along with Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture” (source).
Here’s some quick facts about Mexican Americans (these stats* are from 2009):
- 31.7 million – Number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2009. These residents constituted 10 percent of the nation’s total population and 66 percent of the Hispanic population.
- 25.6 – Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compared with 36.8 years for the population as a whole.
- 1.5 million – Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This included about 404,000 who had a graduate or professional degree.
- 4.2 people – Average size of families with a householder of Mexican origin. The average size of all families was 3.2 people.
- $39,115 – Median income in 2009 for households with a householder of Mexican origin. For the population as a whole, the corresponding amount was $50,221.
We recently posted some on accessibility for minorities (such as the Hispanic population) and how they relate to technology in government. Please see two previous posts on “How Can Social Media Help Governments Serve the Booming Hispanic Population?” and “Could better accessibility options help local governments choose video?” and let us know what you think!
*Source for the stats: U.S. Census Bureau’s “Newsroom: Facts for Features & Special Editions: Facts for Features: Cinco de Mayo“, these stats are taken from a section in that report which are from the 2009 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Selected Population Profile in the United States: Mexican.
Let’s think about public meetings for a bit. Several groups of people have an even harder time than the rest of us at attending public meetings.
Most of us just have excuses of a busy life, apathy, etc.
But some people don’t. Consider the following:
I blogged about the influx of Hispanics and Latinos into the U.S. last week (see: How Can Social Media Help Governments Serve the Booming Hispanic Population?).
So, how can Spanish-only-speaking Americans understand what is happening at a local government meeting? They only have a few options:
- The local government can provide a translator.
- The citizen can bring someone along to the meeting to translate for them.
- If the meeting is recorded on video, closed captioning can be added and they can watch the meeting later.
- Or they can watch it immediately if the translation is done live on the TV.
Let’s say that you’re hearing-impaired. You want to be informed about your local government, but you don’t have time to make meetings. The meetings aren’t on video and aren’t closed-captioned.
Or, let’s say that you’re unable to attend public meetings due to a disability that doesn’t allow for you to travel easily. At the same time, there are issues that your local government is dealing with that affect you and you want to be actively involved.
What if public meetings were on video and online? But wait. What if they also had closed captioning in English? What if there was also a transcript that was easily made available by a vendor for the local government? Government officials (and citizens) could easily research past meetings to see what happened. And for areas that have a high population of non-English speaking citizens, what if the closed captioning was also available in Spanish so that someone could watch a translation of the meeting online?
What if local Clerks didn’t have to deal with most of this because much of it would be done by someone else – saving Clerks time?
What do you think?
Would more local governments be interested in posting video of their public meetings online if:
- they could be done in closed captioning by a vendor?
- the closed captioning was also done in another language?
- there was a transcription made available by the vendor so that government officials (and citizens) could easily search a word-for-word record of what happened in past meetings?
I’m not saying that our company does all of this.
But — what if we did? Would it serve your community well?
Let us know in the comments below… I look forward to your thoughts!
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!