Thursday, October 1, 2009

ATTENTION: U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey

U.S. Census

What is the American Community Survey (ACS)?

The ACS is part of the Decennial Census Program. It is a survey that is sent to a small percentage of our population on a rotating basis.

This data was previously collected only in census years in conjunction with the decennial census. Since the ACS is conducted every year, rather than once every ten years, it will provide more current data throughout the decade.

The ACS is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193. The Census Bureau may use the information it collects only for statistical purposes. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you, and all other respondents, strictly confidential.

Why is this information so important?

Local and state governments use statistical information the Census Bureau provides to distribute money to cities and towns. The census data help to plan and fund:
-School construction
-Transportation systems and highways
-Police and fire precincts
-Public housing
-Future utility needs

Data analysts use census data to:
-Determine how cities are growing and changing
-Determine sites for new businesses
-Determine if a community has the workforce a company needs
-Forecast future demand for products
-Determine sites for day care and nursing care

How do individuals benefit by answering the American Community Survey?

The American Community Survey and the Puerto Rico Community Survey provide up-to-date information for the nation, states, cities, counties, municipos, metropolitan areas, and communities. It will help the community to establish goals, identify problems and solutions, and measure the performance of programs.

Communities need data about the well-being of children, families, and the elderly to provide services to them.

The data also are used to decide where to locate new highways, schools, libraries, hospitals, and community centers; to determine the goods and services its residents need.

How will the Census Bureau use the Information?

For statistical purposes only and cannot publish or release information that would identify someone’s household.

The information will be used in combination with information from other households to produce data for the community to help federal, state, and local governments plan, administer and evaluate government programs. Similar data will be produced for communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

General Information about the 2010 U.S. Census-
-The census is a count of everyone living in the United States every 10 years
-The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution
-The next census is in 2010
-Your participation in the census is required by law
-It takes less than 10 minutes to complete
-Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census
-Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $400 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year

Important Dates:
Fall 2008: Recruitment begins for local census jobs for early census operations
Spring 2009: Census employees go door-to-door to update address list nationwide
Fall 2009: Recruitment begins for census takers needed for peak workload in 2010
February– March 2010: Census questionnaires are mailed or delivered to households
April 1, 2010: Census Day
April – July 2010: Census takers visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail
December 2010: By law, Census Bureau delivers population counts to President for apportionment
March 2011: By law, Census Bureau completes delivery of redistricting data to states

More information can be found here.

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