Twenty-Ten Census: What You Need to Know

Published November 23, 2009

1) The Census attempts to count every person who lives in the United States.

2) It takes place every 10 years.

3) Data collected determines the amount of representatives your state has in Congress.

4) Census forms will be delivered in March 2010.

5) The form has 10 quick questions, and a postage-paid envelope will be included for you to return your responses. If you don’t send it back, you might get a visit from a census taker, who will ask you the same questions on the form.

6) In March of 2010, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States and Puerto Rico. The majority of the country will receive English–only materials. Households in areas with high concentrations of Spanish-speaking residents may receive a bilingual (English/Spanish) form. In addition to English and Spanish the census form is available in four different languages.

7) Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC) will be available to support those unable to read or understand the form. Language Assistance Guides will be available at all QAC locations in 59 languages, including:
•       Haitian Creole
•       Bengali
•       Hindi
•       Polish
•       French
•       Japanese

8) Language Assistance Guides are available in 59 different languages to help people fill out the English version of the census form. Also, both English and English/Spanish versions of the census form will be available. In addition, the census provides other guides to help ensure forms are filled out. These include Large Print Assistance Guides, Braille Assistance Guides and a Language Reference Dictionary.

9) Census employees take an oath of nondisclosure. They are sworn for life to keep the privacy of the information they collect.

10) All information provided is confidential and its privacy is protected under federal law. Census takers can’t share information to the IRS, FBI or any agency in the government. Violation of that privacy is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

11) Participation in the Census is mandatory.

12) Data collected could also determine how over $400 billion in federal funds are spent in your community for schools, hospitals, job training centers and more.


 

Written by BET.com Staff

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