Every ten years the government tries to get a head count of people living in the United States. The census is mandated by our Constitution. The numbers and location of people can effect voting district lines and how many seats each state receives in the House of Representatives. The information also has an affect on the distribution of billions of government (tax-payer) dollars for infrastructure and services. There are already warnings of scams and misinformation being circulated online. You should know not to give personal information over the phone or in emails and that you don’t let strangers in your house. Here is some other census information that may be helpful for your family to know:
In March, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The forms have ten questions. All you need to do is fill out the correct answers and mail the form back in the provided, postage-paid, envelope. The forms should be returned by April 1, National Census Day. To see the questions on the form or for more information visit the census website. Your participation is important and is required by law.
Any information given on the census forms (or to census takers) is confidential, protected by federal law, and can not be used against you by any government agency.
Census takers will not come to your house if your census form is returned by mail. If you do not return the form, then you will receive a letter notifying you of a census taker’s visit. All census takers will have government ID and they will not ask to enter your home.
Watch for the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour. “From local parades and festivals to major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four, the Road Tour will attempt to motivate America’s growing and increasingly diverse population to complete and mail back the 10-question census form. Traveling for a total of 1,547 days and more than 150,000 miles across the country, 13 road tour vehicles will provide the public with an educational, engaging and interactive experience that brings the 2010 Census to life. At each event across the country, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the 2010 Census and understand the benefits a complete count can bring to communities everywhere; view a sample 2010 Census form and learn how the collected information is used; and contribute stories and photos to the Portrait of America project to explain why “I count!” and view messages from other road tour participants.” One of the 13 vehicles started it’s journey in Cincinnati on January 4. That vehicle, “Statistics,” was in Cincinnati last weekend with a pep rally held at Eastgate Mall, some information handed out at local Kroger stores and at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at Music Hall. It is now touring West Virginia.
While in Cincinnati, the road tour gave information about potential job opportunities. If you are interested in a temporary, part-time job with flexible hours then consider being a census taker and check out more information and the application at the U.S. Census web site.