Is it true that West Penn Township has no minorities living within its boundaries? Or has the U.S. Census Bureau dropped the ball?
In a communication received at township headquarters and released at Monday's board of supervisors meeting, the American Community Survey (ACS) of the United States Department of Commerce claims that the township has 4,204 residents of which none are black, Hispanic, Latino, African American or Asian. In other words, all are classified as white, except possibly 10.
According to the survey, 4,204 residents are white and the remaining 10 are either American Indian or Alaskan native. But minorities are almost conspicuous by their absence.
Oddly enough, while no residents of the township supposedly fall into the minority category, the census reports that West Penn Township has 161 residents who speak a language other than English.
At Monday's board of supervisors meeting the three supervisors appeared to informally question those findings.
In addition, the supervisors and others seem to question the population estimate of 4,204 residents.
Many feel the township has over 6,000 residents.
It is important to point out that the results of the ACS survey are not estimates from the 2010 U.S. Census, but are five-year estimates which had been collected from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2009.
The results also show the median household income for township residents to be $50,000 per year. Median family income is higher at $61,318. Per capita income is reported as $26,387.
Census figures are often deemed important because they impact grant eligibility and the monies a township will receive from Liquid Fuels disbursements.
In addition, the data helps state and local government establish priorities, assess needs, develop plans and implement policies.
The township will appeal the results by sending a representative to one in a series of appeals sessions to be held in the coming months.