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Census counts

Published March 04. 2010 05:00PM

The United States Census will be arriving in your mailbox soon so keep an eye out for the form.

It will be the shortest census in United States history with only 10 questions. Once you have filled out the form mail it back in the prepaid envelope that is provided. If you fail to send in the form, a census taker will show up at your doorstep to ask you the questions.

Every decade the census is conducted by the United States Census Bureau. The first census was taken after the American Revolution in 1790, under the then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The 2010 Census will be the 22nd federal census in United States history. State or local municipalities will sometimes conduct their own census to get a better understanding of who lives in their community.

The federal census is important for a variety of reasons. It is only conducted every 10 years in the United States making it fundamental that everyone fill it out. There will not be another census until the year 2020.

The 2010 Census will help local communities receive more than $400 billion dollars in federal aid. An accurate count is vital for small communities facing economic hardships or communities that are rapidly growing.

The funding is used to help hospitals, schools, job training centers as well as senior centers that rely on federal funding. It is essential in providing necessary funds for bridge repair, other public works projects and emergency services. The numbers collected by the census also determine how many seats our state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.

All information collected in the census is protected under federal law. They are not allowed to use or sell your personal information for any type of financial gain.

Greg Swatt

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