Thursday, August 6, 2009

Missionaries Mixed Up in $300 Billion Location Fiasco

What: The Washington Post revisits the issue of whether LDS missionaries should be counted for the 2010 census.

Quote: "Utah officials argue that the census should count the estimated 13,000 state residents who are temporarily living in other states or overseas as Mormon missionaries. The arguments are parochial, but the stakes are huge: Population figures compiled during the census will help determine the distribution of at least $300 billion in federal funding to state and local governments for roads, schools, hospitals and other programs."

Reaction: People seem to forget that I put this issue to rest with my previous assertion that "Missionaries are People Too!"


  1. There is no need to put this issue to rest, because there is no real issue. There is not the remotest chance that overseas missionaries will be counted. Even if the director of the Census was himself a returned missionary, they would not be counted. Oh wait (er, Waite)--he is a returned missionary!

  2. In the last two censuses US military and federal civilian employees overseas were counted. The only real issue with counting other US citizens overseas is cost.

    The allocation issue is trivial. Suppose there are 20,000 missionaries from Utah. Out of a population of 2.5 million, that might increase Utah's population dependent funding by 0.8%.

    That is about $20 million out of ~$2.6 billion dollars per year in federal transfers to Utah state and local governments, roughly $1000 per person, assuming all of it is population dependent.

    It is probably a bigger issue in area with large military populations. Virginia comes to mind.