Well, it’s the end of March and I’m guessing majority of the United States population has gotten their Census form. This year will be the first time I am being required by law to fill out this form. Since I really know nothing about it, I looked up the Census 2010 website to better my knowledge and get some answers.
The Census information is used to allocated 400 billion dollars to different communities. The funding goes towards hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, public works, and emergency services. The information on this form also affects the numbers of seats our state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives.
By federal law, census records are confidential (for 72 years) and can not be used by law enforcement, IRS, or any other government agency. Employees of the Census Bureau take a oath of nondisclosure and are sworn to protect the information they are given. If this oath is broken, they can be fined up to $250,000 or imprisonment.
As for the form itself, it is the shortest census form in history. There are only 10 questions (for the head of household): number of occupants, rent or own, telephone number, name, sex, age, date of birth, Hispanic origin, and race. You must then fill out the same information for each additional person living in the home, including illegal immigrants.
Now with all that being said, why in the world does the U.S. Department of Commerce need to know my telephone number? My name? They already asked for my age, why do they need my birth date? Strange they aren’t asking for my address. Oh wait, it’s printed on the back of the form that’s being sent back! And when is race not going to be an issue? I would like to see a box that reads, “American.” Please explain me this, how is any of MY personal information relevant in dividing up federal funding?
Perhaps in 10 years the form will be even shorter; age and sex. Then maybe I wouldn’t be penalized under Title 13, Section 221.