Census Takers Begin Hand Delivering 2010 Census Questionnaires to 12 Million U.S. Households

       About 56,000 census workers began on March 2, 2010
hand delivering 2010 Census questionnaires to roughly 12 million
addresses across the nation, mostly in rural areas where people do
not receive mail at the same location as their residence. Most of
nation’s 120 million households, about 90 percent of the U.S.
population, should look for their 10-question forms to arrive by
mail mid-March.

While the majority of areas covered by this operation are rural,
the Census Bureau also is delivering forms to Gulf Coast areas
affected by Hurricane Katrina to ensure everyone is included in the
once-a-decade count. Census takers will deliver 2010 Census
questionnaires directly to each residence in these areas, leaving a
form packaged in a plastic bag at the home's main door. Residents
are encouraged to fill out and mail back their census forms - using
the enclosed pre-paid envelope - as soon as

 “Regardless of whether your census form gets dropped off at
your front door or you receive it within a few weeks in your
mailbox, it’s important that you fill it out and mail it back as
soon as possible,” said Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves.
“With only 10 questions, the 2010 Census should only take about
10 minutes to complete.”

2000, about 72 percent of the population mailed back their census
forms - halting a three-decade decline in the national mail
participation rate. Mailing back the forms save taxpayers money, as
it reduces the number of census takers that must go door-to-door to
follow up with households that failed to do so. The Census Bureau
saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage
point increase in the national mail response

“It costs us just 42 cents in a postage paid envelope when
households mail back their 2010 Census forms,” Groves said.
“The Census Bureau will spend about $25 per person if we have to
go out and knock on the doors of households that don’t mail them

Census Bureau is urging everyone to take 10 minutes to fill out
their census forms and mail them back. Starting March 22, visitors
to the 2010 Census Web site will be able to track how well their
communities are participating in the census on a daily basis.
Communities will even be able to embed a Web-based tool on their
own Web sites that automatically updates the daily rates. An
interactive Google-based map is now online that allows visitors to
find out how well their communities did in the 2000 Census. The
Census Bureau is challenging all communities to improve their 2000
mail participation rates in 2010.

census responses are confidential. Answers are protected by law and
cannot be shared with anyone. The Census Bureau takes extreme
measures to protect the identity of individuals and businesses. By
law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ individually
identifiable answers with anyone, including tribal housing
authorities, other federal agencies and law enforcement


2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and
is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to
apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than
$400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local
governments each year and to make decisions about what community
services to provide. The 2010 Census form will be one of the
shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about
10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the
respondents and the information they provide.

note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the
Census Bureau’s home page. Go to

and click on “Releases.”