Thursday, April 8, 2010

Census 2010 Answers Frequently Asked Questions

It’s not too late! Fill out your form now!

Q: I received a duplicate form. What should I do with it?
A: If both forms are exactly the same, the second one should be destroyed in whatever manner makes you comfortable. If the questionnaires are different, complete the one that most closely matches your address and fill the other out by indicating that “0” people live at that address.

Q:Why do you ask for my phone number?
A: We use your phone number if we have questions about any items on your form. It saves time and money if we can call you instead of sending an enumerator to your home.

Q:What happens to my form after it is mailed back?
A: The data from your form is captured and then the form is destroyed.

Q:What if I am not sure how to answer questions #8 and #9?
A: You need to answer these questions the way you identify yourself. If the answer you want is not printed on the form, use the “other” blank to write in your response.

Q:I need help filling out my Census form, what do I do? What if I require language assistance?
A: Visit one of our Questionnaire Assistance Centers. Questionnaire Assistance Centers are located in public places such as grocery/retail stores, recreation halls, libraries, and places in the community that are convenient for residents to visit. Their main purpose is to assist people in the completion of the census questionnaire and to offer language assistance. Language Assistance Guides are available in 59 languages, as well as Braille and Large Print versions. To find the locations nearest you, go to or call toll-free 866-872-6868. Spanish Speakers can call 866-928-2010.

Q:Why have all of my neighbors received their form and I haven't?
A: Please remember that the 2010 Census mail-out is the largest single delivery ever undertaken by the U.S. Postal Service – over 120 million forms were mailed the week of March 15. It takes time to sort and deliver this amount of mail. Questionnaires are still being mailed out and delivered. If you have not received a questionnaire by April 12, call Telephone Questionnaire Assistance toll-free at 866-872-6868.

Q: I lost my form, what should I do?
A: If you’ve lost your form, be patient. We may be sending you a second questionnaire, which should be delivered by April 12. If you still have not received a second form by April 12, please call the toll-free help line at 866-872-6868.

Q: What if the city listed on my form is not the city where I live?
A: Some of the addresses on census forms list a different city name or no city name. Don’t worry. If you received a Census form at your home, your response will be counted in the jurisdiction where your form was physically delivered. The 2010 Census mail-out is the largest single delivery ever undertaken by the U.S. Postal Service–over 120 million forms were mailed in March. To streamline delivery in a mailing this large, addresses in a particular ZIP code were sometimes labeled using a single city name that is valid for the ZIP code, even though some people in that area usually receive mail addressed to a different city name. The Postal Service does not have a problem with this. For many addresses there are multiple city names that are acceptable for accurate delivery. If you received a form at your address, you’re fine. Fill it out and mail it back, just as it is. We have coded your house to the right geography and we will place your response within the right area.

Q: What do I do with the form at my vacation home?
A: Answer the first question (“How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?") with the number “0” and send it back in.

Q: I’m a snowbird. I live in North Dakota, but I am in Arizona until July, how can I be counted in my home state?
A: The general rule of thumb for snowbirds is to be counted where you spend the majority of the year. If you spend the majority of the year in North Dakota but will not be home to answer your Census form before April 1st you have a few options. If you are going to return back to North Dakota before July 1st, simply return home and wait for a visit from a Census Taker who will collect your information. If you will not be home before July 1, find a Questionnaire Assistance Center or Be Counted site near you and fill out a form with the address where you spend the majority of your time. Locations can be found online at or call 866-872-6868.

If your household doesn’t mail back a questionnaire by the third week of April 2010, a trained Census Bureau enumerator will visit your household, starting in May. Enumerators will try multiple times if necessary to reach a knowledgeable household member, visiting housing units multiple days at different hours. When the enumerator makes contact, he or she will collect the census data by interview.

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