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Census Bureau Says Return Your Form, Avoid a House Call

The 2010 Census is under way and those working on it urge residents to return their forms as soon as possible. The bureau hopes to receive as many back in the mail as possible prior to April 12. For those who do not mail back the form, a Census enumerator will begin knocking on doors after to record the information personally.

Those working on the Census stress its importance as the number of residents in a community can determine the amount of governmental aid a community will receive as well determine a community’s need when it comes to factors such as transportation and medical facilities. According to the Census Bureau, Census data “helps to determine how more than $400 billion of federal funding is spent on infrastructure and services.” In addition, the data will be used to redraw Congressional districts.

Every household should have had a Census form mailed to it. Residents of that household should take the time to fill it out and mail it back to avoid a visit from a Census taker. Such a visit is estimated to cost the Census Bureau $70 to $90 each. As of Friday, March 26, Nassau County has a 27 percent participation rate with the Census. The participation rate is the percentage of forms mailed back by households that received them.

Census workers also want residents to know that all information gathered is confidential. For those who may be afraid to divulge information, Census workers are not allowed to share information with any other governmental agency even if there are residents that are in the country illegally or are living in an illegal apartment. The purpose of the Census is to just count the public, said Census area manager William M. Harfmann.

Those who need assistance with the Census form because of a language barrier or some other reason can visit a Questionnaire Assistance Center. Visit 2010. census.gov/2010census/ take10map and click on “Find a Questionnaire Assistance Center.” People can also visit the website www.2010.census.gov.

A count must be submitted by the Census Bureau by December 31. At sometime next year, the data will be available.

In addition, 2 percent of the population will be filling out, in addition to the Census form, the American Community Survey, which is a lengthier and more comprehensive questionnaire. This survey is being distributed by the U.S. Census Bureau but is separate from the Census.

– Joe Rizza