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The U.S. Census Bureau today submitted to Congress the subjects it plans to address in the 2010 Census, which include gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and whether you own or rent your home. Estimated to take less than 10 minutes to complete, the 2010 Census would be one of the shortest and easiest to complete since the nation's first census in 1790.
Under law, the decennial census subjects must be submitted to Congress three years before Census Day on April 1, 2010. Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said the subjects represent the necessary balance between the need for data and the Census Bureau's commitment to eliminate redundant questions and reduce the time it takes to complete the form.
"The successful planning and implementation of a redesigned decennial census for 2010, coupled with the introduction of the new American Community Survey, allows the Census Bureau to produce an accurate and cost-effective count of the nation's population," Kincannon said.
The Census Bureau also submitted its planned subjects for the American Community Survey (ACS) - a new yearly survey that eliminates the need for a decennial long-form questionnaire, while providing key socioeconomic and housing data about the nation's rapidly changing population every year rather than once a decade.
Every 10 years since 1940, nearly 20 percent of all households received the detailed long-form questionnaire. ACS, fully implemented in 2005, meets a critical need to have more timely, current and detailed data on which to base important decisions for all levels of government, community organizations and businesses.
"It is important to realize that decision-makers need ACS data to make choices that affect our daily lives, such as where to build a school, place a new road, improve public health care and provide services for the elderly." Kincannon said. "Our goal is to provide a questionnaire that is quick and easy to complete to ensure that respondents fill it out and mail it back."
Census data directly affect how more than $200 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to local, state and tribal governments. The data also are vital to other planning decisions, such as emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.
The actual questions that will appear on the 2010 Census questionnaire must be submitted to Congress by March 31, 2008.