If you received an envelope in the mail from the U.S. Census Bureau, don’t think it’s a piece of junk mail. This is the year the U.S. Census Bureau is collecting important data on every household in America. The Census is conducted every 10 years, and it is mandatory to participate.
By answering the 10 short questions on your census form, you are helping your local community. Each question helps to determine how much in federal funds can be allocated for hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, public works projects, and emergency services. The U.S. Census is of particular importance for people with disabilities. Accurate data will help determine funding for social service programs and other assistance programs people with disabilities rely on.
The Census also helps the federal government determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
You should send in your form by April 1. For every household that does not send in a form, a census taker is required to follow up so, if you don’t mail in your form, you can expect a visit to your home between April and July.
However, be on the watch out. There have been reports of people taking advantage of the 2010 Census as a means to collect personal information. You never want to give anyone personal information such as social security numbers, bank account or credit card details, Internet usernames or passwords. The U.S. Census Bureau:
- Does not conduct the 2010 Census via the Internet.
- Will not send e-mails about participating in the 2010 Census
- Will never ask for your social security number
- Will never ask for money or a donation
- Will never send requests on behalf of a political party
- Will never request PIN codes, passwords, or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial institutions
Should you get a knock on your door from someone who claims to be a census taker, be sure you check for a valid Census identification badge. Don’t invite anyone you don’t know, even a qualified census taker, into your home.
Find out more about the 2010 Census online to understand how it works, why it’s important and how to participate.