The 411 on the 2010 Census:
What is the Census?
The Census is a count of every person residing in the United States. The count must include people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census.
The information collected is used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $400 billion in federal funds to state and local governments each year.
When does Census occur?
Census Day is April 1, 2010.
Why is the Census important?
Census data shapes the future of your community and defines your voice in Congress.
• Every year, the federal government distributes $400 billion in funds based on census data.
• Census information helps determine where to build schools, roads, hospitals, child care centers, senior centers and other services that help our families
• Businesses use the data to build super markets, shopping centers, new hou sing and other construction projects.
• Census data determines the allotment of the 435 Congressional House seats. States with larger increases in population gain more political representation.
• Census data determines key aspects of our civil rights laws.
How do I get counted?
Getting counted is important, easy, and confidential. Below are five key steps you should know in order to get counted:
Step 1: Census advance letters mailed to all households.
Households will receive advance letters between January and March 2010. The advance letter notifies households that a questionnaire is on the way and explains why it is important for them to participate. The letter will explain that their response is mandatory and that their answers will be kept confidential.
Step 2: Census forms are mailed or delivered to households. More than 130 million households throughout the country will receive a Census form in mid-March 2010, either by mail or in person by a Census worker. Households should complete and return the form as soon as possible.
Step 3: Census Day is April 1, 2010.
April 1 is established by the Census Bureau as Census Day. Responses should include everyone living in your house hold on April 1, including name, relation ship to the head of household, gender, age, birth date, ethnic origin, race, and status as homeowner or renter. You will finish in less than 10 minutes and your information will be kept confidential. Households should complete and return their forms as soon as possible. Those households that have not returned their Census forms by April 9th will receive a follow-up visit from a Census worker to obtain their responses in person.
Step 4: Census workers visit house holds that did not return a questionnaire by mail. Between May and July 2010, households that still have not returned their questionnaires will be visited by a Census worker to take a count in person.
Step 5: The Census results are in. By December 2010 the Census Bureau will deliver population counts to the President for apportionment, as required by law. Apportionment is the process that determines the number of representatives that each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives based on population.
Where do I get counted?
The Census Bureau developed residence rules that provide instructions on where people should get counted during the Census. Most people should be counted in the residence in which they live or sleep most of the time. However, some people may have unique living situations and be unsure about where they should count themselves.
Typical Living Situations
People that live at their home and nowhere else are counted at their home via their household's Census form.
People who are on vacation or a business trip on Census Day, April 1, 2010 should be counted at the home where they live and sleep most of the time.
Non-Permanent Residences or Without Housing
People who are living in a temporary housing unit, or staying temporarily with family or friends should get counted in the residence where they live and sleep most of the time or where they are staying on Census Day, April 1, 2010.