More Census Tidbits

There are a few more interesting tidbits (which address some of the questions from my last post) on the Census home page, from a sort of FAQ subsection:

A: Our experience in Census 2000 proved that paid advertising is a wise investment that reduces the overall cost of the census. For every one percent increase in mail response in 2010, the census will save $85 million that would otherwise have to be spent on door-to-door follow-up with households that didn’t respond. Census 2000 was the first census to use paid advertising rather than rely solely on donated public service announcements. It helped reverse a three-decade-long decline in mail response rates.

A:Years of research have shown that higher percentages of people receiving the mailed census questionnaire return a completed form after they receive the advance letter compared with those who receive merely the census form with a simultaneous request to return it. Every 1 percent of the U.S. households that return a completed questionnaire will save $85 million in taxpayer money that would have to be spent sending people out to interview households in person. The research is clear that the advance letter can save money for all of us. The advance letter is also a way for us to protect the American public from any scams that use the census to exploit people. The scam artists don’t take the time, nor do they exercise the courtesy that we do, to alert the households of an upcoming request. This feature of the 2010 Census is a cost-saver in the long run.

A: To ensure that the public is aware of importance of mailing back the 2010 Census questionnaire when they receive it, and the millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money saved by doing so, the Census Bureau is spending about $1 per person on our combined promotion and outreach efforts. It costs just $.42 cents to mail back the census form in a postage paid envelop. It costs taxpayers $25 per person to send a census taker door-to-door to collect the same information if they didn’t mail it back. Promotional and outreach efforts are heavily focused on increasing the number of households to mail back their form when they receive it this March. For every one percentage point increase in the national participation rate by mail, taxpayers can help the Census Bureau save about $85 million in operational costs.” 

So for goodness sakes folks – if you want to avoid even more wasting of taxpayer money, PLEASE send back yours census forms!  Just so we’re clear, though, the cost of the census is well over ten billion dollars.   Even though the FAQ asked this question, it failed to answer it.

A: The wording of the race category labeled “Black, African Am., or Negro” is based on Office of Management and Budget standards and Census Bureau research that showed a segment of the population still identifies itself as “Negro.” The Census Bureau has a research team dedicated to investigating issues and analyzing data on the nation’s diverse racial and ethnic groups. The Census Bureau is testing the removal of the term “Negro” from the question on race, and results of this research will inform design changes for future surveys and the 2020 Census. We are sorry if some are offended by the use of this word in the 2010 Census and hope that it will not stop them from returning their forms and being fully counted by the census.


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