Monday, March 15, 2010

Census 2010 - It's Only 10 Questions!!!

Every household in the US will be receiving the 2010 Census form sometime this week. The Census has eliminated the long form, so every household will receive the same form. There is some information regarding the Census that is not well known or often debated. The links and quotes below are to help clarify Census issues.

The Cost of the Census

Responding By Mail Can Save Taxpayers Hundreds of Millions:

- The Census Bureau today estimated that if every household completed and mailed back their census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion. The Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage point increase in the nation’s participation rate by mail.

- “It costs the government just 42 cents for a postage paid envelope when a household mails back the form,” said Census Director Robert M. Groves. “It costs $57 to send a census taker door-to-door to follow up with each household that fails to respond.”

Census Confidentiality

Excerpt from letter to The Honorable Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from Assistant Attorney General Ronald W. Weich:

In particular, your letters express concern on the part of some members of the public that information-gathering or information-sharing provisions of the Patriot Act may override the confidentiality requirements of the Census Act so as to require the Commerce Secretary to disclose otherwise covered census infol1nation to federal law enforcement or national security officials. The long history of congressional enactments protecting such information from such disclosure, as well as the established precedents of the courts and this Department, supports the view that if Congress intended to override these protections it would say so clearly and explicitly. Because no provision of the Patriot Act, including Section 215, indicates such a clear and explicit intent on the part of Congress, the Department's view is that no provisions of that Act override otherwise applicable Census Act provisions barring the Commerce Secretary and other covered individuals from disclosing protected census information possessed by the Commerce Department.

Legal Obligation

2010 Census Forms Arrive in 120 Million Mailboxes Across Nation:

- Participating in the census is required by law for everyone living in the United States, and the public is encouraged to promptly mail back their 2010 Census forms once they are delivered this week between March 15-17.

For more information go to http://www.census.gov/.

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