Ten Questions on the 2010 U.S. Census Form with Explanations

Social Studies and the Young Learner 22 (4), p. 6
©2010 National Council for the Social Studies
Ten Questions on the
2010 U.S. Census Form with
Explanations Provided by the Census
1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
We ask this question to help get an accurate count of the number
of people in the household on Census Day, April 1, 2010. We use
the information to ensure response accuracy and completeness and
to contact respondents whose forms have incomplete or missing
information.
2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010
that you did not include in Question 1?
Asked since 1880. We ask this question to help identify people who
may have been excluded in the count provided in Question 1. We use
the information to ensure response accuracy and completeness.
3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage,
owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
Asked since 1890. Homeownership rates serve as an indicator of
the nation’s economy. The data are also used to administer housing
programs and to inform planning decisions.
4. What is your telephone number?
We ask for a phone number in case we need to contact a respondent
when a form is returned with incomplete or missing information.
Please provide information for each person living here.
Start with a person here who owns or rents this house,
apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives
somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will
be Person 1.
5. What is Person 1’s name?
Listing the name of each person in the household helps the respondent to include all members, particularly in large households where
a respondent may forget who was counted and who was not. Also,
names are needed if additional information about an individual must
be obtained to complete the census form. Federal law protects the
confidentiality of personal information, including names.
federal programs must differentiate between males and females for
funding, implementing and evaluating their programs. For instance,
laws promoting equal employment opportunity for women require
census data on sex. Also, sociologists, economists, and other researchers who analyze social and economic trends use the data.
7. What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
Asked since 1800. Federal, state, and local governments need data
about age to interpret most social and economic characteristics,
such as forecasting the number of people eligible for Social Security
or Medicare benefits. The data are widely used in planning and
evaluating government programs and policies that provide funds
or services for children, working-age adults, women of childbearing
age, or the older population.
8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
Asked since 1970. The data collected in this question are needed
by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination
provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights
Act. State and local governments may use the data to help plan and
administer bilingual programs for people of Hispanic origin.
9. What is Person 1’s race?
Asked since 1790. Race is key to implementing many federal laws
and is needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act and
the Civil Rights Act. State governments use the data to determine
congressional, state and local voting districts. Race data are also
used to assess fairness of employment practices, to monitor racial
disparities in characteristics such as health and education and to
plan and obtain funds for public services.
10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
This is another question we ask in order to ensure response accuracy
and completeness and to contact respondents whose forms have
incomplete or missing information.
This text is an excerpt from the Census webpage 2010.census.gov/2010census/
6. What is Person 1’s sex?
Asked since 1790. Census data about sex are important because many
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