U S Census Bureau

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      I worked for the Census Bureau during the 2000 Census. They do send out

      forms early, and the type that you get is random. I don’t recall for sure

      just when they were sent out, but I do know that there are preliminary

      checks and such that are done, remapping areas to include new streets and

      changes in old ones, etc. I do recall that certain of the more rural areas

      were dealt with first due to the travel aspects and the special issues

      dealing with addresses in rural areas.

      If someone doesn’t fill out and return the form by a certain date, then the

      address is listed in the non-response database and that is the listing that

      is used for follow up visits. Sometimes there will be a new house built and

      the address is listed, but since no one lives in it yet, there won’t be a

      response. The enumerators will go out and visit the location along with all

      of the other locations that didn’t respond in that general area. They report

      back what they find, and it is entered into a database. If someone does live

      in the residence, then they ask in person the questions on the form, or if

      they can’t get the information from the resident, then they eventually ask

      the neighbors for the information. So if you want the correct information to

      be given, give it yourselves.

      Some people feel that it is an invasion of privacy, but since our government

      needs to know how many people live in a given area so that representation

      can be properly given to the residents, and government funds can be fairly

      allocated to the local governments responding is most definetely worth your

      time. As for personal info – there is a 72 year gap between the Census that

      is being taken and the time it is released to the public. As for the actual

      forms – after the data is entered, the forms are destroyed – I know this for

      a fact since I was among the last to be layed off from the last census from

      my local office. I managed to stay employed through the teardown/office

      closing period. The government spared no expense – we had cardboard desks –

      I kid you not! I worked in Office Administration, not the field. My crew was

      the ones that entered the data, and printed all of the listings for the

      enumerator crews.

      Hope that this helps,


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