You can make history in 2010 by participating in the 2010 Census. Completing and returning your form is one of the most important ways you can contribute to society this year. Conducted every 10 years, the census provides more than a population count. It provides a new portrait of America –shining light on how our nation has changed in the past decade and what our communities need to prosper for the next 10 years. Census data inform critical political and funding decisions on the national, state and local level, as well as provide benefits to businesses, social service and non-profit organizations and many others.
The 2010 Census will provide a vital snapshot of our nation’s growing and changing population and demographics. Every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to tribal, state, and local governments based on census data. Census data guide local planning decisions, including where to provide additional social services, establish child-care and senior centers, and build new roads, hospitals, schools and job training, and community centers. Census data also are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and assure proper district representation.
Participation in the 2010 Census is easy, important and safe. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Census forms will be mailed or delivered to households in March 2010, and every household in the United States should complete its census form upon receipt. Responding immediately by mailing back your form is the most efficient way to complete the census. Census workers will visit households that do not return the forms to take a count in person. They can be identified by a census badge and bag.
Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC) will be available to assist those unable to read or understand the census form, and a Language Assistance Guide also will be available in 59 languages at all QAC locations. For QAC locations near you, go to 2010census.gov.
Every person living in the United States must be counted in the 2010 Census – including people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and noncitizens. The information you provide on your census form is confidential. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
Watch for your census form in April and visit 2010census.gov for more information. Be a part of history. Participate in the 2010 Census.