Why LUCA Matters

Accurate Population Counts

Because LUCA underlies the distribution of the Census forms and fieldworker follow-up on non-responding households, it matters for all of the same reasons the Census matters. Undercounting the population in your community can have damaging impacts on your jurisdiction for an entire decade (read more about that here).

 “Decennial census data directly affect how more than $200 billion in federal grant funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments each year,” said Bart Peterson, president of the National League of Cities and mayor of Indianapolis. “Clearly, the stakes are high, and participation in the LUCA program will ensure cities and towns nationwide receive their fair share of funding for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and much more.”

It's Your Only Chance

This is your one opportunity to make sure all housing units in your community are accounted for. You cannot go to the Census Bureau after Census 2010 and tell them they missed a housing unit, an apartment complex or a group quarters. Even if you can prove people were missed, if the housing unit in question was not on the master address file prior to enumeration, you are out of luck.

Accurate Boundaries

Many Indiana cities and towns have grown through annexation within the past decade. Is your jurisdiction one of them? A fair number of those have updated their boundaries through the annual Boundary and Annexation Survey, but some have not. LUCA will be your best opportunity to make sure the Census Bureau has an accurate geographic boundary for your jurisdiction prior the Census. If they don't, the bureau will not be able to compile accurate data for your community once data from Census 2010 start pouring in (well, you can request retabulations, but it isn't easy and it's not free).

Accurate Roads

Despite the moaning over high gas prices, Hoosiers still love to drive and the past 10 years have seen many new roads constructed. LUCA enables local governments to update the street file. Many companies and organizations around the country use the shapefiles developed by the Census Bureau in their own GIS systems, so there is more at stake than just making sure the Census Bureau knows where your roads are. Between censuses, very few additions to the road files are made, so it is in your best interest to make sure these files are accurate now. Otherwise, you'll have to deal with out-dated data for an entire decade.