Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Census?
The Census is a count of every person residing in the United States, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status. Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a census of everyone in the United States every ten years, the first Census occurred in 1790 and the next Census occurs in 2010.
What is Census Day?
That is the day that the Census Bureau sets as a reference date for collecting the information. Census Day for the 2010 Census is April 1, 2010.
When will the Census forms be delivered and when should they be returned?
The Census form will be delivered between March 15 and March 17, 2010 by the United States Postal Service. Households should complete and mail back their census forms upon receipt. You don’t have to wait until Census Day on April 1, 2010.
Will there be Census forms in other languages?
Yes, Census forms will be available in Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, or Russian. In addition, language guides in more than 59 other languages will be available.
Why should I fill out the Census form?
The Census information helps ensure that your community receives its fair share of political representation at the federal and state level and government funding. Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is allocated to state, local and tribal governments – that’s $4 trillion over a 10-year period for services that benefit our communities.
Do I have to respond to the 2010 Census?
Yes, your participation in the Census is vital and required by law – Title 13 of the United States Code, requires your response. Also, if you don’t want a Census worker coming to your home, fill out and return your census form when it arrives.
How long will it take me to complete the Census form?
The Census form takes only about 10 minutes to complete for the average household (“10 questions, 10 minutes”)
Do I need to complete a Census form if I’m not a legal resident of the United States?
Yes, the Census is a count of everyone residing in the United States on April 1, 2010, regardless of citizenship or legal status.
Is information on the Census form shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, the police or my landlord?
No, individual Census records are not shared with anyone, including government agencies or private organizations. It is against the law for the Census Bureau to give personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency for a period of 72 years after it is collected.
Does the Census form ask questions about immigration status?
No, they do not. Furthermore, Census responses are confidential and protected by the strongest privacy laws we have. No government agency, landlord or employer can get any household’s census information, even with a court order.
Is my personal information protected?
Yes, all Census employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your data. The penalty for violating this is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
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