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Contact: Public Information Office
It's not too late to mail back your 2010 Census form, and if confusion over how to answer the questions is what is stopping you from filling it out and mailing it back, or if you haven't received a form, the U.S. Census Bureau can help.
If you haven't yet received your form or have misplaced it, “Please wait a little longer,” said U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves. “We have not yet finished delivery of the forms. However, you can pick up a “Be Counted” questionnaire at one of our assistance centers, or if you prefer, after April 12, you can request a form from our telephone questionnaire assistance phone line.”
Residents that normally pick up their mail from a post office box don't receive a form in the mail but will be visited by a census taker beginning in May. However, if they prefer, these residents can pick up or request the form.
One of the main avenues for assistance and information about the form is the 2010 Census Web site <2010census.gov>. It contains a plethora of information about the 10-question census, including the uses and history of the questions. It also includes form-filling instructions in 59 languages other than English, as well as in-language instructional videos and updates on the latest census news.
The Census Bureau has also opened 30,000 questionnaire assistance centers throughout the country to help people navigate the form and answer such questions as: “Do I include my son who's away at college?” (no) and “What box should I check as my race?” (there's no right or wrong answer; it's however you self-identify). People who need help understanding the questionnaire in languages other than English are also able to get in-language guidance on how to fill out the form.
The Be Counted forms for people who have misplaced their form or never received one are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. All Be Counted forms received by the Census Bureau will be cross-checked against all other forms received to ensure households aren't counted twice. There are 10,000 stand-alone (unstaffed) “Be Counted” sites where these special forms can be picked up (in addition to the questionnaire assistance centers).
Both the questionnaire assistance centers and the “Be Counted” sites are operational until April 19 and can be found in public areas such as libraries and community centers donated by businesses and organizations. The questionnaire assistance centers are staffed by trained volunteers and Census Bureau employees. Hours and days of operation vary by site, but the information, along with addresses of both the closest assistance centers and “Be Counted” sites to you, can be found on an interactive map on the 2010 Census Web site (http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/).
People who prefer to ask a person their questions can call one of the questionnaire assistance hotlines — English: 1-866-872-6868, Spanish: 1-866-928-2010, Chinese: 1-866-935-2010, Korean: 1-866-955-2010, Russian: 1-866-965-2010, Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010, TDD (hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010.
A new page on the 2010 Census Web site can answer many of the questions people have about how and where people should be counted (http://2010.census.gov/2010census/).
The Census Bureau estimates that if every household completed and mailed back their census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion.
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide. The 2010 Census form will be one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.