AARP is helping the U.S. Census Bureau to spread the word about the 2010 Census. Conducted every 10 years, the census is much more than a population count. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states, and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments.
Accurate representation and funding is especially important to older people and retirees because these individuals may rely on government, community and social service programs. Census data help guide local planning decisions, including where to provide additional social services, establish senior centers, build new roads, hospitals and schools, or determine locations for job training centers. Without a complete count, vital community services such as health care, transportation and other assistance programs may not be adequate.
As part of our organization’s partnership with the Census Bureau, we will help to promote the importance of census participation to older persons and retirees in our community. Specifically, we will help to inform members of our community that the 2010 Census is easy, important and safe.
The 2010 Census form is easy to complete – the form has only 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes. Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons can call the TDD number, 1-866-783-2010. Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC) will assist those unable to read or understand the census form, and Language Assistance Guides, available at all QAC locations, will be in large type, Braille, as well as in 59 languages.
By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
We will continue to share information with you about upcoming census events we are hosting, as well as those in our community. Below are key dates for the 2010 Census:
· March 2010: 2010 Census forms are delivered.
· April 1, 2010: Census Day – the official day of the population count. Information provided on 2010 Census forms should represent respective households as they exist on this day.
· April – July 2010: Census workers visit homes that did not return forms.
· Dec. 31, 2010: Census Bureau presents population count to the President of the United States.
Visit the California Complete Count calendar for events near you.
As a Census Bureau partner, we are committed to helping achieve a complete count of our growing and changing population in 2010. Watch for additional details in the coming months, or visit 2010census.gov to learn more.