Updated February 14, 2010Between March and July 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau will, as required by the Constitution, attempt to count every one of the more than 300 million people living - legally or not - in the United States. How will the 2010 census work and why is it important to you?
Census 2010: So Much More than a Head Count
Besides determining how many seats - votes - your state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, the 2010 census will go a long way toward deciding how much of over $400 billion a year in federal funding will go to your state and community. History has shown that states with low census response rates suffer financially for years after the census. If your community's economy is hurting, a 100 percent census response can help it recover.
2010 Census Questions
From its 2000 effort, the Census Bureau learned that people simply hated the long, booklet form, questionnaire that posed page-after-page of questions that got just a little too personal, thank you. As a result, the 2010 census form will ask only 10 questions, which the Census Bureau says you can answer in 10 minutes.
US Census: The Cost of Not Being Counted
An estimated 3.4 million people went uncounted in the 2000 census. As a result, studies have shown that 13 states and the District of Columbia will lose a total of $4.1 billion in federal funding between the years 2002-2012. With its huge population of illegal immigrants, who tend to go uncounted, California alone is losing over $1.5 billion in federal funding, or about $2, 869 per uncounted person.
Should the US Census Count Illegal Aliens?
Whether you call them "undocumented aliens" or "illegal aliens," they are non-citizens - over 12 million of them -- living and often working in the United States, and they are counted in the decennial U.S. census. Should they be?
What do Census Takers Do? Door-to-Door and Face-to-Face
If you do not fill out and mail back your 2010 census questionnaire, there is a good chance a U.S. census worker - a census taker - will visit you at home and/or call you on the phone. Even though all they want is your ten answers to their ten questions, the census takers have one hard job.
How to Identify a Real U.S. Census Taker
Unfortunately, somebody illegally posing as a U.S. census worker may come to your house, call you on the phone or send you email asking questions real census workers are strictly forbidden from asking, like "May I come in," or "What is your Social Security number?" Of course, all these scammers are trying to do is steal your identity. Fortunately, there are several ways you can confirm the census taker's identity.
Apportionment and the Census
Apportionment is the process of fairly dividing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states based on population counts from the decennial U.S. census.