The 2010 Census forms were set to be mailed out this week and residents in Clermont County are being urged to answer the 10 questions on the form and return it to the Census Bureau. More than 4.5 million Ohio residents will be receiving the questionnaires and 120 million households nationwide will receive them.
All United States residents must be included in the count. This includes both citizens and non-citizens. By law, the Census Bureau must submit state population counts to President Barack Obama by Dec. 31, 2010.
In Clermont County there were 195,385 people counted in 2000 with 72 percent of those being counted participating by returning the form by mail. In the case of the other 28 percent, census workers had to visit the addresses where questionnaires could not be delivered by the post office.
The form contains only 10 questions and is the shortest form in U.S. history. Questions include the number of people living in the residence; any additional people living there; whether the residence is a home, apartment or mobile home; a phone number; first and last names of all the people in the residence; the sex of each person; the age of each person; whether any of the residents are hispanic, Latino or Spanish; the race of each person and if any of the residents live or stay elsewhere.
The information received is confidential and no one can access the information. That information is protected by law.
The questions are structured to provide general demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. The population figures will be used to determine the distribution of $400 billion to state and local governments. The data helps planning for hospitals, roads, job training centers, schools and other population related needs. It will help in the creation of public policy regarding land usage, housing, transportation, economic and workforce development, education, public safety, emergency preparedness and health care.
The figures are used to determine federal, state and local legislation districts. Congressional districts may be redrawn according to the data so that more densely populated areas are given enough legislators to represent them.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has appointed state treasurer Kevin Boyce to serve as the chair for the Ohio Complete Count Committee. He will be working with local communities to ensure that Ohio receives appropriate funding levels from the federal government.
"As the agency entrusted with protecting the people's money, it is critical to the Ohio treasury that we have an accurate count of Ohio residents," said Boyce. "This will allow us to ensure that hardworking Ohioans receive each and every federal dollar they deserve so that we can make these funds work on their behalf."
"It is critical that we have an accurate count of every individual living in Ohio," said Strickland. "We are encouraging all Ohioans to actively engage in this important process."
The Census Bureau reports that taxpayers will save about $85 million in operational costs for every 1 percent of the population who respond to the census by mail. Sending back the form by April 1 results in fewer census takers going from door to door to gather the information.
Some areas of the country where households lack traditional city-style postal addresses, the forms will be hand-delivered, such as hurricane affected areas along the Gulf Coast. This is also the first census to send a bilingual advance letter. More than 13 million households where Spanish is the primary language will receive the information in a format which is clearly understood.
April 1 is Census Day and all questionnaires are due to be returned to the Census Bureau on that day. Between April and July, census takers will visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail. In December, these counts will be delivered to the president to proportionately divide the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states.