Friday, February 12, 2010

Census 2010 -- It's In Our Hands

If people in northwestern Pennsylvania want their fair share of federal funds, then everyone must count.

This year (2010) the U.S. Census will again take place across the country, and a lot is at stake when the counting is done. Each year more than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed to states and localities on the basis of population statistics gathered in the census.

That is money used for things like schools, senior centers, bridges, highways, as well as the number of seats Pennsylvania has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Key Dates

During March, census forms will be mailed or delivered to households all across the country. Thursday, April 1 is designated as "Census Day," a point of reference for you to use in filling out the form. In other words, on April 1 how many people lived in your residence.

From April until July, census takers (also called enumerators) will be visiting households that did not return a form by mail. By law, the Census Bureau must deliver the numbers to the President by December 2010.

The Census Form

The Census Form has 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to fill out. It asks for basic information about household members. It does not ask for Social Security numbers or your legal status in the country.

You cannot fill out a census form online.

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including the IRS, FBI, CIA or any other government agency.

A lot is at stake when people are counted, so please take the time to fill out the form — "It’s in our hands."