After Ad Blitz, Census Bureau Says Public Must Do Its Part
Mask, Teresa, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Letters explaining the upcoming U.S. census should have reached the homes of all suburban residents today, with the official forms to follow next week.
After a major advertising blitz and educational campaigns in cities across the country, census bureau officials say the public now has to do its part.
"The census is now in the hands of the American people," said Neil Tillman, acting chief of the bureau's decennial media relations team.
About 83 percent of the population will get a short form. Tillman said this decade's short form seeks less information than there is on a typical driver's license. It will take 10 minutes to complete, he said.
About one in six residents will be asked to fill out the long form, which will take nearly 40 minutes. Besides asking for ages of people in household and the type of home the resident lives in, it also asks for information about income, education and child care.
The biggest change in this decade's census is that people will not be limited to one choice when it comes to race. Residents can check as many race options as apply. That was a sticking point in past years, particularly when it came to people of mixed heritage.
If residents do not return the forms by the April 1 deadline, their communities risk losing federal dollars doled out based on the number of people who live in town.
Census officials primarily are worried about a repeat of the 1990 census where significant numbers of people were not counted. …