Census data forthcoming, but handwriting’s already on the wall

The last major census data are now a decade old, but the 2010 census is now essentially done, and some big new data sets are expected on Tuesday of this week.

In 2000, there were 281,421,906 people accounted for in this country. Back then, it was shown that about 7 percent of individuals five years and older spoke Spanish at home. (See county-level map in PDF.) For the new data, that percentage is expected to jump dramatically. The American Community Survey (ACS) project of the Census Bureau has released some compelling numbers valid for the period 2005-2009 showing growth in this category. Added to that, consider this fact from ACS:

While the native-born population has remained the majority during this period, the foreign-born population has come to represent a greater share of the total

population, increasing from 9.6 million or 4.7 percent in 1970, to 31.1 million or

11.1 percent in 2000. According to the 2009 ACS, 38.5 million of the 307 million

residents in the United States were foreign-born, representing 12.5 percent of the total population.

Finally, this week The New York Times unveiled its “Mapping America” census exploration tool. It gives you demographic breakdowns of every county and census tract in the nation.

If we haven’t asked the question well enough by now, it is now past time to do so, and at all levels: How equipped is The Episcopal Church to partner with Hispanic communities and churches as well as Spanish-speaking leaders and entrepreneurs among the faithful? We know that in some quarters, from seminaries to conventions to church structures, an honest effort has begun, and some deep and lasting relationships and ministries opportunities have arisen. How far-reaching and how effective has it all been? Does it measure up to the level of need? Can it ever?

Use this space to tell us who you are and what you’re up to. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Let us pray.

Padre nuestro que Estás en los cielos:

Santificado sea tu nombre,

venga tu reino,

sea hecha tu voluntad,

como en el cielo Así también en la tierra.

El pan nuestro de cada Día, Dánoslo hoy.

Perdónanos nuestras deudas,

como también nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores.

Y no nos metas en Tentación,

mas Líbranos del mal.

Porque tuyo es el reino, el poder

y la gloria por todos los siglos.


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