Hidalgo County challenging census population figures

Some in the Rio Grande Valley feel it was a less than impressive count by the U.S. Census Bureau.

After ten years, Hidalgo County only saw a 31 percent increase in population.

"We were disappointed in the count...the official count, Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said. We were told there were approximately 774,769 living in our county...there has to be at least a million living here."

Garcia said the county is taking legal action to get those numbers corrected.

Garcia said there is over 1,200 colonias in Hidalgo County.

He said, unfortunately, many of those people were never mailed their census form and were not counted.

"Because of the number of dollars involved and the budget issues that everyone is facing...we can't just sit back and let it happen, Garcia said. We have to be proactive and that's what we're trying to do."

One of those people not counted was Antorales Reyna.

She said she helped get the word out about the Census and what a high population count could mean for the county.

She said after weeks of waiting for her own packet to arrive---she realized it was not coming.

"I didn't get a Census form...I had to go to Lupe for one," Reyna said.

Action 4 News contacted the U.S. Census Bureau.

They said over 16,000 people from the community were hired to go door-to-door, over a two-month period, to get an accurate count.

Reyna said no one in her community ever received a packet or a visit from Census workers.

"I know a lot of people who were not counted, Reyna said. That's going to have an impact on our education and other areas too. I feel so many people were left out."

Elected officials have two years to challenge the population numbers. The time starts on June 1st and ends on June 1st of 2013.

For more information about the Count Question Resolution Program, go to the U.S. Census website.