The Census Is Coming!
I like to consider myself the head of my household.
Even though I live with two very beautiful roommates, I take charge of utilities and dealing with the landlord- so when I saw a letter addressed to the “The Resident At,” I grabbed it and opened it up to see it was a lovely letter from the U.S. Census Bureau. The letter was warning me that the 2010 Census form will soon be coming my way in about a week. It was short, to the point and had instructions for reaching the 2010 Census website in many languages.
I could go visit the site and play with the 2000 Census map to see how my neighborhood did the last time this happened (Arlington had 72% participation in 2000) or learn why it’s actually important, but I was too lazy to do all that work- so I asked my high school friend Mike. He moved down here a couple of years ago to get a job working for the… you guessed it, Census Bureau.
His three things you should know about this year’s Census:
- More than 400 billion dollars in federal funds are allocated every year based on census population data.
- It’s quick and easy- 10 minutes, 10 questions.
- For every 1% increase in the participation rate, it saves the federal government 90 million dollars in taxpayers dollars.
That last point was interesting, when I asked him about saving money he explained that those that don’t fill out the form can expect a knock on the door, from a Census enumerator looking for the info. It costs $25 for the government to send an enumerator out to count a person, while it only costs the government $.42 to buy a stamp when you send the form back in the pre-paid envelope after you’ve answered the questions.
What kind of questions will be on the form? Mike told me you can check it out online which I did and it’s pretty basic stuff- nothing too revealing just stuff about who lives there. I mean a Census is just about counting people right?
Well thanks to my pal Mike I’m all briefed and ready to fill out that bad boy when it comes in the mail- will you be?