That's why it's so important that you fill in the form and promptly mail it back. Census information affects the numbers of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.
When you do the math, it's easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services like:
- Job training centers
- Senior centers
- Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
- Emergency services
Plus the Census does not share information with other government agencies. Here is FAQ from the Census Bureau:
How is my information protected?
All Census Bureau employees take the oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, including the IRS, FBI, CIA or any other government agency.
Can my neighbor see my information?
No. Individual census records are not shared with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, -- not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.
How can I keep my information safe?
The easiest way to keep your information safe is to fill out your census form and mail it back right away. Also, look for identification from census takers and remember that the Census Bureau will NEVER ask for any information to be submitted online.
What steps are taken if my information is compromised?
A determination of the sensitivity of the information and the specific details associated with incidents determines the action the Census Bureau takes. Actions range from sending notification letters to providing credit-monitoring services. All incidents are reviewed and Census Bureau senior management receives regular status reports on the incidents.
Why is the Census Bureau using Global Positioning Systems (GPS)?
The Census Bureau uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to help locate addresses. A handheld computer is equipped with GPS and is used during our address canvassing operation. Address canvassing is a field operation where census workers systematically travel all known and new streets and roads to identify every structure where people live or could potentially live and update our address list and maps. For the 2010 Census, we attempted to collect GPS coordinates for each structure to make sure it is recorded in the correct location. The census workers also confirmed, added and deleted addresses using a GPS-equipped handheld computer. All this work was done to ensure a complete and accurate address list for delivering the 2010 Census questionnaires next year.
Are the GPS coordinates collected during the 2010 Census operation kept confidential?
Yes. All address information, including GPS coordinates, is protected by the confidentiality requirements of Title 13 of the United States Code. All Census Bureau employees take an oath for life to protect identifiable information about individuals and businesses gathered by the agency. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with the IRS, FBI, CIA or any other government agency. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.