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Project of the Week: Census 2010

in several ways over the next couple months to help them more effectively spread the word about the 2010 Census. One of the first things we did in that partnership was to create a new group called “US Census Communication Partners” to facilitate dialogue about best practices in reaching the public. The group will be moderated, allowing only government employees from Federal, state and local organizations who are involved with the census, but we also plan to open up a general forum discussion about the Census for all members of the community. (Please also note that there is a dedicated group for employees of the US Census Bureau!)

GovLoop is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau
Below are some excerpts from “An Introduction to the 2010 Census: Counting Everyone Once — and Only Once — and In the Right Place.”


The foundation of our American democracy is dependent on fair and equitable representation in Congress. In order to achieve an accurate assessment of the number and location of the people living within the nation’s borders, the U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years.
The census population totals determine which states gain or lose representation in Congress. It also determines the amount of state and federal funding communities receive over the course of the decade. 2010 Census data will directly affect how more than $4 trillion is allocated to local, state and tribal governments over the next 10 years. In order for this funding allocation to be accomplished fairly and accurately, the goal of the decennial census is to count everybody, count them only once, and count them in the right place. The facts gathered in the census also help shape decisions for the rest of the decade about public health, neighborhood improvements, transportation, education, senior services and much more.

Reaching an Increasingly Diverse Population
The goal of the 2010 Census is to count all residents living in the United States on April 1, 2010. The U.S. Census Bureau does not ask about the legal status of respondents in any of its surveys and census programs. To help ensure the nation’s increasingly diverse population can answer the questionnaire accurately and completely, about 13 million bilingual Spanish/English forms will be mailed to housing units in neighborhoods identified as requiring high levels of Spanish assistance. Additionally, questionnaires in Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Vietnamese and Russian – as well as language guides in 59 languages – will be available on request.

Recruiting Census Workers
By 2010, there will be an estimated 310 million people residing in the United States. Counting each person is one of the largest operations the federal government undertakes. For example, the Census Bureau will recruit nearly 3.8 million applicants for 2010 Census field operations. Of these applicants, the Census Bureau will hire about 1.4 million temporary employees. Some of these employees will be using GPS-equipped hand-held computers to update maps and ensure there is an accurate address list for the mailing of the census questionnaires.

10 Questions, 10 Minutes to Complete
With one of the shortest questionnaires in history, the 2010 Census asks for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home. It takes only about 10 minutes for the average household to complete. Questions about how we live as a nation – our diversity, education, housing, jobs and more – are now covered in the American Community Survey, which is conducted every year throughout the decade and replaces the Census 2000 long-form questionnaire.
Responses to the 2010 Census questionnaire are required by law. All responses are used for
statistical purposes only, and all are strictly confidential.


We have uploaded the original document to our Slideshare site and have embedded it below if you would like to share this message with others. Thank you for spreading the word about this important project.

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Excited about this year’s Census. As a recovering sociologist, I used to use Census data all the time so it’s great to meet people who work on it.

Excited to partner with Census and provide a safe place for collaboration around Census at all govt levels.

Alex Bornkessel

I’ve been curious about how social media and the larger “gov’t 2.0” processes would be applied to the Census for quite a while now–so I’m glad to see them focused here. Seems like the right questions are starting to be asked.