Gulfport pastor encourages people to be counted by federal census

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Preparations are underway to make sure every Mississippian is counted in the next federal census. Right now, the University of Mississippi's Center for Population Studies is training census workers and going to the homes of those who don't mail forms back in.

Reverend Lee Adams of Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport has long been an advocate for getting people to respond to the census. During the last count he worked as census manager for the 12 southernmost Mississippi counties.

Adams says in 2010 the form will be more concise, only seven questions. He says some people especially minorities tend not to respond because of distrust of government, but he says that ends up hurting communities when it comes to government funds.

Reverend Adams says the census does not ask for social security numbers, so people shouldn't be worried about giving out information.

Mississippi lost one of its congressional seats after the last census.