The 2010 census is being mailed to residents this month and recipients can expect a few changes.
One of the main changes to the census, which is distributed once every 10 years, is the discontinuation of the long form. In previous years, one sixth of households received a longer version of the survey.
Beginning this year all households will receive the short form of the census. The short form is only 10 questions and does not ask information about the respondent’s legal status or social security number. Types of questions include name, age, race, household relationship and date of birth.
The census is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also helps determine funding for community initiatives including hospitals, schools, public works projects, senior centers and emergency services.
U.S. Postal Service branches will determine the mailing date for the census. Residents should expect the packet sometime in mid-March.
If a resident does not receive a form, call 866-872-6868. Residents who fail to complete the survey will receive a replacement survey. After March, census takers will visit any home that has failed to return a form.
Homeowners should ask census takers for identification and know that the census employees will never ask to enter a home.
College students who live on campus are counted through the school’s housing department. A Service Based Enumeration program is also attempting to count homeless residents at service-based organizations including soup kitchens and shelters. People who are without a home can pick up a Be Counted form at most service locations.
For information about the census, visit http://2010.census.gov.