Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 Census Fraud Awareness

The 2010 Census

The 2010 Census is underway and you may be wondering about whom you can trust. The Census is easy, important, and safe – just fill out your form and mail it back.
In March of 2010, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States and Puerto Rico. When you receive yours, just answer the 10 short questions and then mail the form back in the postage-paid envelope provided. If you don’t mail the form back, you may receive a visit from a census taker, who will ask you the questions from the form. A census taker must follow-up in person with every address that doesn’t mail back the form in order to obtain the responses.

The Census is Safe
• The 2010 Census will ask for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home – just 10 simple questions that will take about 10 minutes to answer.
• The Census Bureau safeguards all census responses to the highest security standards available.
• Your answers are protected by law and are not shared with anyone. The census taker who collects your information is sworn for life to protect your data under Federal Law Title 13. Those who violate the oath face criminal penalties. Under federal law, the penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.

When Census Takers will be Going Door-to-Door
• From April to July 2010, we will knock on the door of every household that does not mail back a completed 2010 Census form.
• It’s critical that you take just 10 minutes to fill out and mail back your form rather than wait for a census worker to show up on your doorstep. About $85 million in taxpayer dollars are saved for every one percent increase in mail response.
• The Census Bureau must get a census form to – and a completed form back from – every residence in the United States. That’s more than 130 million addresses. This is why the census is the largest domestic mobilization our nation undertakes.

How to Identify a Census Taker
• If a U.S. Census Bureau employee knocks on your door, here are some recognition tips to assure the validity of the employee:
o The census taker must present an ID badge that contains a Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. The census taker may also be carrying a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
o The census taker will provide you with supervisor contact information and/or the Local Census Office phone number for verification, if asked.
o The census taker will ONLY ask you the questions that appear on the census form.

What the 2010 Census DOES NOT Ask
• 2010 Census takers will not ask you for your social security number, bank account number, or credit card number.
• 2010 Census takers also never solicit for donations and will never contact you by e-mail.
• 2010 Census takers will not ask about your citizenship status.

For more information about the upcoming 2010 Census visit

El Censo del 2010

El Censo del 2010 ya está en marcha y quizá usted se pregunte si es confidencial. El Censo es fácil, importante y seguro; sólo llene su cuestionario y envíelo por correo.
En marzo de 2010, el cuestionario del censo fue enviado a todas las personas que viven en Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico. Cuando reciba el suyo, conteste las diez sencillas preguntas y envíelo por correo en el sobre prepagado incluido. Si no lo devuelve, un empleado del censo lo visitará en su domicilio para hacerle en persona las preguntas del cuestionario. Los empleados del censo deben dar seguimiento en persona a cada dirección que no devolvió por correo el cuestionario para poder obtener así las respuestas a este.

El censo es seguro
• El Censo del 2010 solamente pregunta su nombre, sexo, edad, raza, origen hispano, si es usted dueño o alquila la propiedad. Son sólo 10 sencillas preguntas que le tomará responder alrededor de 10 minutos.
• La Oficina del Censo salvaguarda todas las respuestas al censo utilizando los más altos estándares de seguridad disponibles.
• Sus respuestas están protegidas por ley y no son compartidas con nadie, ni siquiera con otras agencias del gobierno. Por ley federal, Título 13, cada empleado del Censo hace un juramento de por vida para proteger su información. Quien lo viola podría enfrentar, por ley federal, una multa de hasta $250,000 dólares, hasta 5 años de prisión o ambas penas.

¿Cuándo visitarán los empleados del Censo los domicilios?
• Entre abril y julio de 2010 estaremos visitando cada domicilio que no devolvió por correo el cuestionario del Censo del 2010.
• Es importante que tome 10 minutos para completar y devolver su cuestionario y evite así la molestia de que un empleado del censo lo visite en su hogar. Además, por cada punto porcentual (1%) de aumento a nivel nacional en el índice de devolución de los cuestionarios por correo, los contribuyentes podrán ahorrar alrededor de $85 millones de dólares en fondos federales. La Oficina del Censo debe obtener las respuestas al censo de todas las personas que vivan en Estados Unidos. Esto significa más de 130 millones de direcciones. Es por esto que, el censo es la movilización nacional más grande que nuestra nación lleva a cabo.

¿Cómo identificar a un empleado de la Oficina del Censo?
• Si alguien toca a su puerta y dice ser un empleado de la Oficina del Censo, estas son las maneras en que podrá usted verificar si en verdad lo es, o si es un impostor:
o El empleado del censo deberá mostrarle una identificación que contiene el logotipo del Departamento del Comercio y la fecha de expiración. También llevará consigo una bolsa con el logotipo de la Oficina del Censo.
o Para propósitos de verificación, si usted se lo pide, el empleado del censo le proveerá información sobre su supervisor (nombre) y/o el teléfono de la oficina local del Censo.
o Los enumeradores del censo le harán únicamente las preguntas que aparecen en el cuestionario.

¿Qué no se pregunta en el cuestionario del Censo del 2010?
• Los empleados del Censo no le preguntarán su número de seguro social, cuenta de banco o tarjeta de crédito.
• Los empleados del Censo nunca le pedirán donaciones y nunca lo contactarán por correo electrónico.
• Los empleados del Censo no preguntarán acerca de su estatus migratorio o el de su familia o allegados.

Para más información acerca del Censo del 2010 visite,

Early Tax Filers

(Thanks, Dale!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

TIME magazine and the Census race questions

Why the U.S. Census Misreads Hispanic and Arab Americans

The gist of the argument: "The Hispanic-origins and race sections should be combined into one, less confusing section that asks folks what ethnic and/or racial group they belong to: white, black, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander or Hispanic. It should (as it already does for some groups on the form) provide space for designating subgroups - like Arabs, for example."

as though race and ethnicity were ever simple in America.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In case you hadn't heard about the Census...

March 2010
Dear New Yorker,

Census forms have arrived at your address, and I am writing to remind you to take 10 minutes to fill-out the 10 questions for each person living in your home, and mail it back today.

The Census is safe and confidential. By law, no one other than the Census Bureau staff is allowed to see your questionnaire for 72 years – not even the President. As you know, the census is a count of every person, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, living in the United States and its territories. It is required by the United States Constitution and is the foundation of our representative democracy.

The Census is important. Census data will be used to determine everything from how many representatives you get in our political system to how much money our State will receive from the federal government for essential services like education, affordable housing, and health care.

The Census is easy. I am asking all New Yorkers to fill out the census form for each person living in your home and mail it back today. If the Census Bureau does not receive your form, the Census Bureau workers will complete the count by knocking on the doors of households that did not return a census form.

If you need help completing your questionnaire, Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) have been set up at community organizations and businesses throughout the state to make sure you have the necessary resources to complete your census form, including a staff person to answer census-related questions, language assistance, and Be Counted forms if you have misplaced or lost the original questionnaire. For information in English call 1-866-872-6868 or for help in the following languages call: Spanish: 1-866-928-2010; Chinese: 1-866-935-2010; Korean: 1-866-955-2010; Russian: 1-866-965-2010; Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010. The TDD telephone number for assistance is 1-866-783-2010.

Please visit to get up-to-date information on Census 2010 in New York State. You are New York, Make Yourself Count! Mail back your form TODAY!


David A. Paterson
Governor of New York State

Friday, March 26, 2010

Loving the DMV

Good source of info (noted by a colleague).

•In the yellow bar at the top, click on “online-transactions”
•Then under “Online services” click on “DMV-Regulated Business Transactions”
•Click on “Find DMV-Regulated Businesses”
•In the middle of the page you can click on “Find DMV-Regulated Businesses Now”
•You can then choose from Public Vehicle Inspection Stations, Motor Vehicle Repair Shops, Dealers, or Businesses that Deal in Junk or Salvage Vehicles. At the bottom you can select by ZIP Code or County.
•Once you get to your selection, you can sort by clicking on the headings, e.g. by Facility Number, Facility Name, Street, City, ZIP or County.
•If you click on the Facility Number, you can get additional information, for example, if the facility is licensed both as a dealer and an inspection station.

On the DMV site you can also get the annual # of registered cars, commercial vehicles, etc. by county.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nonfatal occupational injuries, illnesses: govt workers

Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work for State government and local government workers, 2008
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

There were 277,680 occupational injuries and illnesses with days away from work reported for State and local government combined in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fifty percent occurred in service occupations, including health care support and protective service workers. In contrast, 22 percent of the injuries and illnesses in private industry occurred in service occupations.

State government workers sustained occupational injuries and illnesses at an incidence rate of 170 cases per 10,000 full-time workers and required a median of 8 days away from work to recuperate. The incidence rate for local government workers was 195 and the median days away from work was 9. For comparison, the incidence rate for private industry was 113 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

There were a total of 206,580 cases of days away from work in local government and 71,100 cases in State government. Sprains and strains comprised 43 percent of the injuries and illness in local government at an incidence rate of 83 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. For State government, sprains and strains comprised 39 percent of the cases at a rate of 67 per 10,000 full-time workers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics

Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting all possible statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up everyone's encyclopedia of European statistics, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the very latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users alike.

Statistics Explained currently features 762 articles.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

History of the Census

Interesting mix of information here, including several useful links.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Loss of 1890 Census data to fire: a genealogist’s nightmare

Of the decennial population census schedules, perhaps none might have been more critical to studies of immigration, industrialization, westward migration, and characteristics of the general population than the Eleventh Census of the United States, taken in June 1890. United States residents completed millions of detailed questionnaires, yet only a fragment of the general population schedules and an incomplete set of special schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows are available today.

UAlbany's Census 2010 event

To the University at Albany Community:

UAlbany students are pledging to be counted in Census 2010 by dipping their hands in purple and gold paint and placing their handprints on the Lecture Center windows, starting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23. I invite faculty and staff to add their handprints, as well. The handprints will be a reminder "It's in Our Hands," one of the key Census 2010 messages. The event will take place in the Lecture Center area downstairs from the University Library. It is all part of UAlbany's efforts, in partnership with census officials, to build awareness of the importance of being counted. Census staff will be on hand to answer questions and distribute information.

Each person counted is worth about $1,600 a year in federal funding to a region. U.S. Census data is used to determine funding for education, health care, transportation and other important services that affect our daily lives as members of the UAlbany community.

I appreciate everyone's efforts to make Census 2010 a success by completing your census forms and returning them.


George M. Philip

Friday, March 19, 2010

Secretary Locke on Daily Show with Jon Stewart

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night on the cable channel Comedy Central.

The Secretary was on the show to raise awareness of the 2010 Census and encourage Americans to promptly mail their forms back. As a colleague noted, "Secretary Locke was on point about the importance of the census and reassuring about its safety and confidentiality."

The episode featuring the Secretary has been posted on The Daily Show's website, and will remain there today and through the weekend.

The Locke segments:
Part 1
Part 2

The whole show.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Article I, Section 2

In recognition today of the 259th birthday of James Madison, the principal writer of the Constitution and the fourth President of the United States, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves visited Montpelier — Madison's colonial home near Orange, Va. Groves stood in Madison's library, the very room that one of the Founding Fathers used to draft the Virginia Plan that became the Constitution.

As each U.S. household receives a 2010 Census form, every resident is encouraged to participate in a process that is as old as the nation itself. That process is the decennial census, mandated in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, mainly written by James Madison, one of our nation's founders and our fourth president. U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves recently visited Madison's historic home, Montpelier, in Orange, Va., and stood in the room that was the library where Madison drafted the Virginia Plan that became the Constitution. Groves paused to reflect on his own obligation to participate in the 2010 Census and to "ensure that we get it right."

Please view and share this video with family, friends, neighbors, and networking community.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Updated Legislative Spending Posted on Internet

Office expenditures of individual state Senators and Assembly members for the six months ending September 30, 2009, the latest period for which data are available, have been posted in a searchable format on the Empire Center's government transparency website,

The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen

Begorrah, Return Your Census Forms!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dr. Groves' Take 10 Message On YouTube

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves explains how people can view 2010 Census mail participation rates of their communities and compare them with the rates of other areas around the country.

Population of the Dead

We know that there are about 6.8 billion people on the Earth right now. But how many people have EVER lived on the planet? Here's a guesstimate from 2002, when the world had a mere 6.215 billion people.

(Thanks again, Dale.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

How the Census Counts Prisoners: Significant Political Stakes

From Citiwire.

If the facts in the story are accurate., e.g., if states can now choose how to count inmates, this would likely cause a problem if a prisoner is from one state and incarcerated in another. As a colleague noted: "They could then technically be counted in two states(or neither state) depending on how each state decides to handle this."

Universities play key role in the new economy

Universities and higher education systems across the country are taking leading roles in their states’ economic development efforts — and a report released today by the Rockefeller Institute of Government says this trend seems likely to strengthen as the nation moves into the era of an “innovation economy.” The study found that higher education’s increasingly important role builds on, but goes well beyond, the research strengths of universities — incorporating efforts as wide-ranging as job training, business consulting, housing rehabilitation and even securing seed money for new businesses.

The report, A New Paradigm for Economic Development, was written by David Shaffer, a senior fellow at the Institute, and David Wright, the Institute’s director of urban and metropolitan studies. It was conducted at the request of State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, who has made economic revitalization a centerpiece of the strategic planning process she is conducting for the 64-campus system.
To read the report, see the Institute's Web site.

Census Confidentiality

When you fill out and mail back your 2010 Census form, your responses are safe and confidential.

Every Census Bureau employee must pass a background check before being hired and must swear under oath to protect the confidentiality of census responses. This is an oath for life. Any employee who reveals any personal census information is subject to severe penalties -- including a fine of up to $250,000, imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

By law, no other government agency, law enforcement agency, national security agency, court, or anyone else can access your responses -- not anyone for any reason.

No law overrides the confidentiality law that protects personal information collected by the Census Bureau, or can force the Census Bureau to share census responses.

The Justice Department recently confirmed that no provision of the Patriot Act overrides the confidentiality law that protects census responses.

The Department of Justice Letter is Below (click on it to make larger)

9th Census (1870) Graphically


Presented here are all of the maps and charts from the first statistical atlas of the US Census, widely praised in its time and still a wonderful example of sophisticated graphics, the out-of-date racial/psychological nomenclature notwithstanding.

(Thanks to Dale.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey, the Census Can Be Fun!

On Wednesday, March 10, as part of Feet in Two Worlds' coverage of the 2010 Census, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show hosted a live conversation on New Yorkers at risk of being undercounted. Annie Correal, a reporter for Feet in Two Worlds and El Diario/La Prensa, was at the event and recorded her impressions.

Something unexpected happened at our event on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show about the census: people laughed.

The census is the biggest number-crunching story of the year, and yet, amid the talk of statistics and the maps of hard-to-count neighborhoods, the panelists on the live panel organized by Feet in Two Worlds found time to show a little humor.

Angelo Falcón, chair of the Census Advisory Committee on the Hispanic Population, told listeners that when it comes to the census, the Hispanic community is receiving a positive message, focused on all the things they stand to gain by being counted and receiving more federal funding. But, he joked, he also told people to fill out their forms precisely because some anti-immigrant groups don't want them to.

Latinos should take part in the Census to bust anti-immigrants' chops: Angelo Falcón, chair of a census advisory committee on Hispanics.

"There are a lot of people who don't want you to sign the forms, so fill them out just to bust their chops!" Falcón said.

When Lehrer asked how you would say that in Spanish, Falcón shot back, "Busta de chops!"

Despite the collective good humor, the theme was serious. Lehrer reminded his listeners that historically, New York has had the lowest rate of response to the census in the nation, and that it has lost billions in federal funding as a result. His questions for the panelists were, "Why is it so hard to get New Yorkers to get people to send back their census forms?" And, as a corollary, "Why are immigrants so hard to count?"
As a way of reminding his audience of the perennial difficulties in counting the population, Lehrer played a clip of a vintage Saturday Night Live skit featuring Christopher Walken, which the host dated to 1990. In it, a census enumerator knocks on Walken's door, and asks him how many people live there.

"Oh boy, that's a good question. I'm bad with numbers. Maybe eighty."

When the census worker balks, he says, "Seems high, doesn't it?" and adjusts: "Not eighty, how about four?"

The Feet in Two Worlds project on the Census is made possible thanks to the generous support of the 2010 Census Outreach Initiative Fund at The New York Community Trust. Link above leads to audio.

House Bans Misleading Census Surveys

From the DCCC (partisan barking removed):

The House of Representatives voted yesterday 416-0 to ban misleading fundraising letters disguised as 2010 Census forms.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) recently sent out political fundraising letters that looked like U.S. Census letters.

The Census Bureau was concerned that these misleading mailings would undermine response rates for the official census forms, which arrive in mailboxes next week. By misleading and confusing Americans about which forms to return, lower mail response rates of census forms increase government costs because a census employee is sent to every home that does not respond by mail.

The US Census estimates every one percent decrease in the mail response rate costs taxpayers approximately $85 million to send census workers back to re-count.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup

If you have a mail order/Internet business in New York State, and you have NYS customers, you need to charge sales tax on the eligible items at the rate of the location of the purchaser. This can seem quite onerous.

Fortunately there is an electronic Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup. You type in the street address and ZIP Code and it will generate the correct rate. Incidentally, trying to find a list of sales tax rates by ZIP Code would be fruitless, since ZIP Codes are no respecters of county boundary.

One thing this lookup does NOT do, however, is to indicate which counties have set aside, at the county level, the sales tax on individual clothing items that cost $110 or less. You need to check this chart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2009 State Payroll Posted Online

New Yorkers today can search the complete 2009 state government payroll on, the government transparency website. The updated database includes names, titles, base pay rates and total pay received by the 298,247 people who worked in the state's executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point last year.

The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen. 518.434.3100

The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations

National Public Radio has posted an audio slideshow of long-gone or almost-obsolete professions. Aspire to be a pinsetter in a bowling alley? How about a lamplighter? Unfortunately, there may not be much call for those skills in today's job market.

There was a bowling alley affiliated with the Catholic church in my neighborhood; I always thought being a pinsetter would have been cool.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NPR story on foundation & nonprofit support for 2010 census

NPR will air a story by Pam Fessler on philanthropic and nonprofit census activities today (3/9) on All Things Considered.

Right now, it’s set for sometime between 4:36 and 6:36 PM, although that could change. If you miss the piece, you can hear it later at their website,

Boat Registration Statistics

A reader wrote: When doing research for a question on boats over 34ft in length on the DMV website, I found it did not provide useful information so I had to expand my search. While doing my expanded search I found a website that provided a description of the boat owners by state and then a further division by county.
This is absolutely correct. There's also a breakdown by city or ZIP Code.

The site can provide the address of people who have a boat license as well as the length and docking port of the boat. I figured this would be useful information for people who need to know more info about boat owners.
You can search Boats by Boat Name, Boats by Registered Owner or Boats by Ship Builder, if you already know those components. A detailed power search, which would include people's addresses, or download capacity costs $20/month or $200/year.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jobs still available

Took the enumerator test today. Got a 28.

Out of 28 -yes!

Some advice:
Take the practice test.
When you take the real test, do the ones you find easy first, then the ones you find tricky. Then double-check your answers; I changed THREE of my responses.

You may have gotten a letter from Census today; it is NOT the form, but the letter informing you that the form's coming next week. Fill out the form quickly and completely; save taxpayer dollars,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Census confidentiality laws trump Patriot Act

Provisions of the Patriot Act pertaining to information-gathering and -sharing do not override federal confidentiality laws when it comes to the U.S. Census, the Justice Department said this week.

The clarification by government lawyers came at the request of minority lawmakers, who were seeking to allay the fears of constituents about the first national headcount since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the leaders of the congressional Asian Pacific, Black and Hispanic caucuses, Assistant Attorney General Ronald H. Weich said, "The long history of congressional enactments protecting [Census] information from such disclosure, as well as the established precedents of the courts and this department, supports the view that if Congress intended to override these protections, it would say so clearly and explicitly."

In this case, federal Census laws trump the Patriot Act, and the agency will keep information obtained during the headcount confidential and away from other departments, Weich said.

More HERE.

Help Promote Census Jobs in Your Community!

Census time is here! Questionnaires are being delivered this month and the Census Bureau continuing to recruit for full-time and part-time census workers. It offers great pay at $12.25 per hour minimum, flexible hours, paid training and reimbursement for work-related expenses, like mileage. Census needs your help in ensuring that there are census workers from all neighborhoods. It hires locally, because local workers know their communities best! Please encourage your clients, constituents, customers, friends and family members to consider working on Census 2010.

All Census applicants are required to take a 1/2 hour basic skills test. Links to the application materials you will need (including a practice test that you can share) can be found here. Census applicants are also required to bring 2 forms of identification to the test session. For a list of proper identifications and for more information on Census jobs, vist the website at
To sign up for a test, call our toll-free Jobs Line number at (866)

If you have questions or would like more information, please call the Partnership department at (617) 223-3610.

Thank you for your help in supporting the largest civilian mobilization in history. "Together we can make a difference. It's in our hands."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Get your NYS income tax return prepared for free

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. You can now find a VITA location in New York convenient to you with our easy-to-use online service. Simply type in your address and ZIP code to find nearby VITA locations to serve you.

VITA offers trained community volunteers who can help with special credits, like the earned income tax credit. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, most sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program can receive their refunds more quickly compared to returns filed on paper - and even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into one's bank account.

Why Children Count Too

Children have been undercounted in every census since the first one in 1790. Local communities rely on census information in planning for schools, child care, health and other critical services. Babies need to be counted today, so they can benefit tomorrow from community services.

Featuring Dora the Explorer, the popular children's cartoon character, the Census Bureau has teamed up with Nickelodeon to create a toolkit with resources to help you spread the word in your community. Please visit HERE to download
the children's fact sheets and web buttons in English and Spanish.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Updated guidance on 'snowbird' enumeration

People who contact the Census Bureau on this topic with receive the following information:

Counting "Snowbirds" in the 2010 Census

Where Should Snowbirds Be Counted?
Some people live in one state but spend the winter in another state with a warmer climate. These people are often referred to as snowbirds, and the Census Bureau considers them to be on a yearly cycle of travel between the two residences.

They should be counted in the census at their usual residence. This is where they spend most of their time during the year.
• This is not necessarily the state they vote in;
• This is not necessarily the state they have lived most of their life in;
• This is not necessarily the state they consider their home, their
permanent residence, or their legal residence.

Here are two examples of how to determine usual residence for a snowbird.
• If you spend 4 months of the year in State A and 8 months in State B, your usual residence is State B. You should be counted in the 2010
Census in State B.
• If you spend equal parts of the year in State C and in State D, you have no usual residence. If you happen to be living in State C on April 1, 2010, you should be counted in State C in the 2010 Census.

Filling Out Your Census Forms

In most of the country, people in snowbird situations will receive a census form at each residence. If you are a snowbird, you should return BOTH census forms if you are able to do so. If you are unable to return both forms, we may contact you for additional information.

If you receive a form at your usual residence where you spend most of your time during the year:
• Complete the entire census form you receive at that address and mail it back.
• This is where you will be counted in the 2010 Census.
• If you are NOT at your usual residence at the time of the census, as soon as you return to your usual residence you should complete the entire census form and mail it back.

If you receive a form at the other place, where you do NOT spend most of your time during the year:
• Enter '0' in Question 1 (household count question) on that census form.
• Do not answer any other questions, and then mail it back.

In some cases, we may contact you for additional information.

Dave Sheppard
Chief, Population and Housing Programs Branch
Population Division, US Census Bureau

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Real Estate Price Forecast

When will the value of your house finally start climbing again? Below are exclusive forecasts compiled by financial services company Fiserv for 384 real estate markets across the United States. For the most part, the numbers are looking better

Monday, March 1, 2010

Census Takers Begin Hand Delivering 2010 Census Questionnaires


Most of the Nation will Receive Forms by Mail in 2 Weeks

About 56,000 census workers today began hand delivering 2010 Census questionnaires to roughly 12 million addresses across the nation, mostly in rural areas where people do not receive mail at the same location as their residence. Most of nation’s 120 million households, about 90 percent of the U.S. population, should look for their 10-question forms to arrive by mail mid-March.
While the majority of areas covered by this operation are rural, the Census Bureau also is delivering forms to Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina to ensure everyone is included in the once-a-decade count. Census takers will deliver 2010 Census questionnaires directly to each residence in these areas, leaving a form packaged in a plastic bag at the home's main door. Residents are encouraged to fill out and mail back their census forms ― using the enclosed pre-paid envelope ― as soon as possible.
“Regardless of whether your census form gets dropped off at your front door or you receive it within a few weeks in your mailbox, it’s important that you fill it out and mail it back as soon as possible,” said Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves. “With only 10 questions, the 2010 Census should only take about 10 minutes to complete.”
In 2000, about 72 percent of the population mailed back their census forms ― halting a three-decade decline in the national mail participation rate. Mailing back the forms save taxpayers money, as it reduces the number of census takers that must go door-to-door to follow up with households that failed to do so. The Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage point increase in the national mail response rate.
Editor’s note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau’s home page. Go to
and click on “Releases.”

“It costs us just 42 cents in a postage paid envelope when households mail back their 2010 Census forms,” Groves said. “The Census Bureau will spend about $25 per person if we have to go out and knock on the doors of households that don’t mail them back.”
The Census Bureau is urging everyone to take 10 minutes to fill out their census forms and mail them back. Starting March 22, visitors to the 2010 Census Web site will be able to track how well their communities are participating in the census on a daily basis. Communities will even be able to embed a Web-based tool on their own Web sites that automatically updates the daily rates. An interactive Google-based map is now online that allows visitors to find out how well their communities did in the 2000 Census. The Census Bureau is challenging all communities to improve their 2000 mail participation rates in 2010.
All census responses are confidential. Answers are protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone. The Census Bureau takes extreme measures to protect the identity of individuals and businesses. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ individually identifiable answers with anyone, including tribal housing authorities, other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide. The 2010 Census form will be one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.

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