What exactly is the Census?
requires that the entire population of the United States be counted once every
ten years. On April 1, 2000, every household will be asked to fill out a Census
form that asks questions about the number of people living in the household,
their ages, race and other important demographic data.
is the Census important?
are used to determine the number of members of Congress allocated to each
state and how each district map is drawn.
used to distribute money from federal, state and local governments for
schools, bridges, hospitals, social programs and other uses.
used for future planning and policy decisions.
used for enforcement of civil rights laws.
much money is distributed by the federal government based on the census?
the 25 largest Federal funding grant programs of fiscal year 1998 are responsible
for $162 billion being distributed to state, local, and tribal governments;
about half of this money was distributed using formulas involving census population
data. We expect that at least $182 billion will be distributed annually based
on formulas using Census 2000 data.
the Census Bureau really going to count everyone?
They are going
to try, but even with their very best efforts, some people will be missed.
Minorities, children, the poor, people in rural areas are most likely not
to respond to the census.
will I know when the Census is happening?
The Census Bureau,
for the first time in history, will be using a nationwide advertising campaign
to announce the Census and persuade people to participate. The Census Bureau
will utilize radio, TV, print and outdoor advertising in 18 different languages
to raise awareness and drive participation.
if I forget to fill out my form?
have taught us that about 40 million households will fail to return a completed
form. To count those people, the Census Bureau will be hiring over 800,000
people to conduct a door-to-door headcount of those people who fail to return
their form. It is an expensive process. It is much more cost effective for
the taxpayers to return their forms than to wait for an enumerator to knock
on their door.
the information I give the Census Bureau confidential?
Census Bureau does not share its information about individuals with anyone,
not even other government agencies. Not the IRS. Not the INS. Not the police.
everyone fill out the same Census form?
No. Five out
of six households will get the "short form." This asks just eight
questions: name, sex, age, race, relationship, Hispanic origin, whether you
rent or own your home and how many people live in the household. A randomly
selected one in six households will be asked to complete the "long form."
The long form contains fifty-three questions in twenty-seven different subject
areas related to work, technologies in the home and other demographic information.
will people know that the person at their door is really a Census taker?
All Census Bureau
employees will have proper identification, but also, whenever possible, they
will be people from your own neighborhood. The Census Bureau knows that no
one wants to open the door to a stranger. That is why they are hiring people
from the local area to count their own neighborhoods. They know where the
houses are, where the doors are, and often, who lives behind those doors.
kinds of Census jobs are available?
The Census bureau
needs people for data entry, clerical, enumerator and team leader positions.
Testing for these jobs is starting soon and will continue into the beginning
of next year. If individuals are interested in working for the Census Bureau,
call them at 1-888-325-7733 or visit the Census Bureau website at www.census.gov.
do people get Census forms?
In March of 2000,
every home in America will receive a pre notification letter by mail telling
them that their Census form is on it~Rs way. Those letters will also contain
instructions on how to obtain forms in more than 37 different languages. Then,
census forms will be mailed out to every household in the United States. If
you do not receive a pre-notification or an actual Census form in the mail,
you can contact the local census office or your local government to find one.
does the Census Bureau plan to use sampling now that the Supreme Court has
restricted its use?
On January 25,
1999, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibits the use of statistical
sampling to determine the population count for congressional apportionment
The Census Bureau, however, intends to release two sets of numbers -- adjusted
and unadjusted. This will allow governments to use the more accurate adjusted
data for non-apportionment purposes like redistricting, funds distribution,
and fiscal planning.
will the Census Bureau collect information on the homeless?
called Service-Based Enumeration (SBE) is designed to provide people without
"usual residence," who might not be included through other enumeration
methods, an opportunity to be enumerated. Additionally, people without a "usual
residence" will be able to pick up Be Counted questionnaires at selected
non-SBE service locations, such as travelers' aid centers and health care
is the Census Bureau doing to provide non-English language assistance?
the census form in the mail will have the option of requesting a new form
in a different language. The Census Bureau is also launching the Census 2000
Language program to overcome language barriers. Census Bureau Language Assistance
Guides will use visual aids to assist respondents in completing the census
2000 forms. Their will be guides available in 49 different languages.