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Fayetteville and a surrounding nine-county area in North Carolina is one of two sites in the nation chosen to participate in a dress rehearsal for the 2010 Census.
The dress rehearsal will bring approximately 2,450 temporary jobs and provide residents of the Fayetteville area an opportunity to help the U.S. Census Bureau produce a more accurate count of the people and housing units in their community and across the nation in 2010.
"Our principal goal is an accurate decennial census," said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. "In 2010, we will meet this goal through the reengineered census process - a process that will use new technology, contain costs and deliver more timely data."
The Fayetteville area was selected because it presents a unique challenge to census takers with its mix of urban, suburban and rural areas and two military bases (Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base). The region is home to 29 different ethnic cultures, a significant American Indian population, the state's largest Hispanic community and hosts the state's fifth largest African-American community, based on Census 2000 statistics.
Many of the methods the Census Bureau plans to use to make the 2010 Census simpler, more cost efficient and more accurate will be tested in the dress rehearsal. These operations include the use of GPS-equipped hand-held computers and mailing replacement questionnaires.
All housing units in the nine-county area (Chatham, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond and Scotland) will receive a census short form that takes about 10 minutes to complete.
The 2010 Census will be a short-form-only census. The nationwide implementation of the American Community Survey in 2005 replaced the need for a long-form questionnaire in 2010.
These improvements will increase overall response rates and enhance accuracy. San Joaquin County, Calif., was selected as the second dress rehearsal site.