YALOBUSHA – County residents are already seeing activity by workers for the 2010 Census almost a year before the count is scheduled to begin.
Census forms are scheduled to be mailed during March of 2010 with the actual count to begin after Census Day on April 1.
Currently Census workers are performing address canvassing, a process that began in early April of this year and will run through July 15. Census workers will be walking every street in the country verifying and updating census address lists and maps.
“The census workers we hire are members of the community and will be working in their own neighborhoods,” said Gabriel Sanchez, Regional Director for the Dallas Region, which covers the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Around 15,000 workers have been hired for the task in just these three states.
In most areas, addresses will be updated without households being contacted by census workers. However, in some instances where confirmation or clarification is needed, a census worker will come to your door, Sanchez added.
These workers will be wearing official census identification badges and will carry a handheld computer. If anyone has questions or concerns about census workers, Sanchez said to contact the regional office at 1-800-563-6499.
“A complete and accurate address list is the cornerstone of a successful census,” said Sanchez. “Building on the achievements of 2000 Census, we have been testing and preparing for the 2010 count all decade and we’re ready to fulfill our Constitutional mandate to count everyone living in the United States.”
Census officials emphasize that it is easy and safe to participate in the 2010 Census. It is against the law for Census Bureau employees to disclose or publish any private information. No authority can obtain personal identifiable data from the Census Bureau. The airtight law applies to the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Officials add that the 2010 Census is simple with only ten questions and point out the importance of an accurate count. The numbers determine the allocation of over $300 billion a year for schools, playgrounds, senior citizens’ programs, libraries, infrastructure, hospitals, community programs and more. The number of residents in each community also determines congressional seating and redistricting.
Earlier this year the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that estimates the cost of the 2010 census at $11.3 billion. That is a cost of $72 per household compared with $56 per household in 2000, adjusted for inflation, the report said.