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2010 Census Communications Campaign

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General Information

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Since 1790, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section II, a head count of the population has been conducted once a decade for the purposes of reapportioning the U.S. Congress. The Census Bureau has been responsible since 1903 for conducting a complete enumeration of the resident population of the United States and its territories in an efficient and cost-effective manner. For Census 2000, some key challenges were to increase the mail response rate (it had been on the decline for two decades) and to improve the coverage of all population groups.

The Census 2000 Partnership and Marketing Program (PMP), an initiative that combined promotion and marketing campaigns with an expanded outreach program, was implemented to reduce the declining response rate.

The Census 2000 program included four components: a paid advertising campaign; community outreach (partnerships); promotions and special events; and media relations. The direct mail package (questionnaire, advance letter, and reminder card) was also designed to increase self-response.

For more information on the 2000 Census Advertising Campaign, please click here.


For the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau again intends to support decennial operations with a comprehensive, nationwide communications campaign designed to reach diverse audiences, which could include some or all of the components of the Census 2000 Communications Program (advertising, media relations, special events, among others). The decennial census has been significantly re-engineered, including the implementation of the American Community Survey beginning in 2005. The 2010 Census will focus on counting all residents living in the United States and its territories.

It is anticipated that the communications contractor will develop, test, implement, monitor and maintain all program components covered by the contract for the period of time determined to be most appropriate for achieving the goals of the Census Bureau.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Acquisition Division

Created: 1/23/2006
Last Revised: October 19, 2012