According to the 2000 Census, only 338,000 individuals were classified as Iranian Americans – even though the actual number is believed to be at least two or three times larger. This has a real impact because Census data plays a critical role in determining how the government funds social services and community programs. It even helps determine the political clout of minority communities.
This year, the Iranian-American community has a chance show the real strength of our community. The Census is a constitutionally mandated count of everyone residing in the United States that occurs every 10 years, which includes everyone regardless of citizenship status. As the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization with a presence in all 50 states, NIAC is partnering with the United States Department of Commerce to increase awareness within our community about the 2010 Census.
After conducting the most successful Get Out the Vote campaign in our community's history, NIAC is dedicated to ensuring that our community is counted properly and fully represented in the 2010 Census.
By coordinating with the U.S. Census Bureau, NIAC is informing the Iranian-American community that getting counted is FAST, IMPORTANT, and SAFE.
FAST: The census is just ten questions and does not take more than ten minutes to complete.
IMPORTANT: $3 trillion is allocated based on Census data which guides local decision makers on important community planning efforts, including where to build new schools and hospitals. The Census also determines how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives, as well as the redistricting of state legislatures and county and city councils. In the past, an estimated one million Iranian Americans have not been counted, and as a result our community has been underrepresented. That is why it is so important for every member of our community to be counted.
SAFE: Many in our community don't submit their census information out of fear for their privacy but all the information you provide is private and protected by law (Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9).
As part of our collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau, NIAC will engage regional chapters to educate their local Iranian American communities about the 2010 Census, participate in future 2010 Census forums, and activate the Iranian-American community with updates to ensure the 2010 Census message is delivered to every corner of our community.
Together with the U.S. Census Bureau and other likeminded Iranian-American organizations, NIAC is dedicated to the goal of every Iranian American being counted because if we don't get counted, we won't count.
The Iranian American 2010 Census Coalition is taking a proactive role to ensure that our community's statistics are accurately reflected and that it has access to key services and an enhanced political voice. Learn more about the Iranian American 2010 Census Coalition here.
NIAC proudly published the IranCensus Report, a study detailing the relative size of the Iranian-American community in each Congressional district vis-à-vis the size of other communities, in 2003. This knowledge is pivotal for the community to be represented in political life.
The IranCensus (456 kb) study is intended to be used as a map for any group or entity that wishes to mobilize the Iranian-American community, regardless of their goals and agendas. It is NIAC’s belief that increased political participation among all segments of the Iranian-American community will ultimately lead to a strengthening of democratic traits and practices in our community. Through intense participation and practical experiences of democratic exercises, a profound understanding of the true meaning of democracy will emerge in our community, enabling healthy internal competition for the leadership of the community and an ability for strong external competition in the face of obstacles that confront us all, irrespective of our political orientations.