Residents of Fayetteville, N.C., and the surrounding nine-county area have the unique opportunity of helping the U.S. Census Bureau prepare for the 2010 Census.
The 2008 Census Dress Rehearsal is an opportunity for the Census Bureau to study certain operations planned for the 2010 Census, ultimately leading to a more accurate count of people and housing units across the nation two years from now.
"It is an honor for our community to be selected to participate in the dress rehearsal, and I encourage all residents to participate and be counted," said Anthony Chavonne, mayor of Fayetteville. "Your participation in 2008 will help ensure that we will have an accurate and complete count of our community's population for the 2010 Census."
On April 14, all housing units in the area (Chatham, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties) will receive a census dress rehearsal questionnaire in the mail that takes about 10 minutes to complete. Residents are asked to fill out and return the questionnaire promptly in the provided postage-paid envelope.
"By filling out and mailing back the questionnaire, residents can help us achieve a high mail response rate," said William W. Hatcher, director of the Census Bureau's Charlotte Regional Office. "This is vital because during the upcoming 2010 Census, each one percentage point increase in the national response rate represents a cost savings of about $75 million."
Fayetteville and its surrounding counties is one of two areas in the country chosen as a national census dress rehearsal site because of its mixture of urban, suburban and rural regions - each providing unique challenges to census workers. The other dress rehearsal site is San Joaquin County, Calif., just south of Sacramento.
For more information on the 2010 Census and the 2008 Census Dress Rehearsal, visit http://2010.census.gov/2010census/.