Fill Out Your Census Form: Millions of Dollars Are at Stake

March 17, 2010
OPA 064/10

News Highlights

  • Census forms arrive in mailboxes this week; forms should be completed and be mailed back by April 1.
  • Call Census Bureau’s toll-free phone lines to get help answering the form.
  • It’s important to fill out the form because the county gets hundreds of millions of dollars based on census.

More Information

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  • Census Form Information

As census forms arrive in mailboxes this week, Fairfax County officials are asking residents to take 10 minutes to fill out the 10-question form. Forms should be mailed by April 1.

If the census is a snapshot of our county, it’s important that everyone be part of the picture,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “I am asking everyone in our community to participate in a challenge. Let’s make Fairfax County the Virginia jurisdiction with the highest response to the census. It’s important that everyone fills out their census form because our community gets millions of dollars for schools, roads and other programs based on census data.”

To get help answering the form, call the U.S. Census Bureau’s toll-free telephone help lines:

  • English: 1-866-872-6868
  • Chinese: 1-866-935-2010
  • Korean: 1-866-955-2010
  • Spanish: 1-866-928-2010
  • Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010
  • TDD: 1-866-783-2010

Residents who do not get a form by April 12 should call the help line. To get a form in a language other than English, Braille or large print, call the help line. Some county households will automatically get a bilingual, English-Spanish form mailed to them.

One of the shortest in history, the 2010 census form only asks 10 questions:

  1. How many people are living in your home, apartment or mobile home?
  2. Are any additional people living in your home who were not reported in the first question?
  3. Do you own or rent the place where you live?
  4. What is your telephone number (in case the Census Bureau has follow-up questions)?
  5. What is your name?
  6. What is your sex?
  7. What is your age and date of birth?
  8. Are you of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
  9. What is your race?
  10. Do you sometimes live somewhere else?

By federal law, information from census forms cannot be shared with any local, state or federal government agency, including Fairfax County. Census workers also take an oath for life to keep this information confidential. There are stiff penalties for U.S. Census Bureau employees who disclose this information, including fines of up to $250,000, up to five years in prison or both.

County officials are asking everyone to participate in the census because Fairfax County gets federal money based on census data. In Fiscal Year 2008, Fairfax County received more than $359 million in federal dollars based on census data. This money helped to fund county’s schools, roads and social services. As an example, the county received more than $50 million for schools.

The U.S. Constitution requires that a census be conducted every 10 years to count everyone living in this country. Everyone must be counted — not just U.S. citizens — as stipulated by the Constitution.

Starting March 22, the Census Bureau will be reporting response rates online every day, showing the percent of people who have mailed back their forms.

For more information about the 2010 census, visit the Fairfax County Web site.


Get News. Get Information. Get Fairfax County.Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711

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