Monday, March 22, 2010


Just a quick update to let you know that by now census forms have been mailed or hand-delivered to nearly all households across the U.S., and we’re happy to report that the census is on time and on budget. Staying on budget will depend, of course, on mail participation and not having to send census takers out to households that didn’t mail back their forms.

If every household completed and mailed back their census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion. We appreciate all of your efforts to ensure full participation from your community.

We are getting reports from a small number of communities that they are receiving census questionnaires that have a city in the address on the envelope that is different than whatthey usually see on their mail.

This does NOT mean that they will be counted in the city listed in the mailing address on the envelope. The census questionnaire contains a bar code that ensures that census respondents are counted at the physical location where they received their form, not the postal delivery address.
The 2010 Census mail-out is the largest single delivery ever undertaken by the United States – over 120 million forms. To streamline delivery in a mailing this large, packages of forms were sometimes lumped together under the same city name. This is not a problem; for every address there are multiple post office names that are perfectly acceptable for accurate delivery.
As long as the cities in question are served by the same post office, the forms are delivered correctly, and again, the actual physical location of the household is included in the bar code. Throughout the country the census forms are being delivered to the correct location, even those that do not have a city that people are used to seeing on their mail.

The 2010 Census Address List is the most accurate ever compiled. Throughout the decade census employees have been building the census address list. This process included the massive effort to bring census maps into GPS alignment, regularly updating address information, and working with every municipality in the country to update boundaries and check addresses. This process culminated with census employees walking every street in America to make sure each household is in the correct geographic location long before the forms were addressed and mailed.
It’s all part of the Census Bureau’s mission to “Count Everyone Once – and Only Once – And In the Right Place.”

** The Census Bureau will begin posting daily mail participation rates on our Web site next week. Visit the site now to see how your community did in Census 2000, and come back next week to get a daily rate tracker for your community you can embed on your own Web pages. **