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The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
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Contact: Public Information Office
Residents are encouraged to mail back their 2010 Census forms today. Those who wait to mail back their forms should expect to be visited by census workers, who will visit homes in person to ensure an accurate count of every person living in the United States. Census takers, who are members of the community in which they are working, will visit a household up to six times, each time leaving a door hanger featuring a phone number. Residents can call the number on the hanger to schedule a visit and be counted.
"Now's the time to clear off your kitchen table and stick that form in the mail," U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. "Residents who fail to mail back their forms today should be prepared to get a knock on their doors in May and July."
Nationwide, about 68 percent of households have mailed back their census forms. In 2000, the mail participation rate was 72 percent.
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 is 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.