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Demographics & Other Data

Census

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this survey all about?

This survey is part of the census. In the past, the decennial census, such as the Census 2000, consisted of a short form and a long form. The short form was sent to all households and its data was used to count the population. The long form was sent to 1 in 6 households and it provided characteristic data, such as income or commute information. The ACS has replaced the long form. A sample of housing units nationwide receives questionnaires from the ACS each month. As a result, demographic, socio-economic, and housing data are released every year rather than every ten years.

Do I have to answer all of these questions?

Yes. You should answer all of the questions. The survey is part of the census, and answering it is required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code). Give your best estimate for items that ask for detailed amounts. Your answers are anonymous.

What happens if I don’t complete the questionnaire and mail it back?

The Census Bureau will contact you by telephone or personal visit to obtain your responses.

Why was I selected for this survey when none of my neighbors were?

The Census Bureau takes a random sample of addresses (not people). Any address has about 1 chance in 480 of being selected in any month (but not more than once every five years).

How do I know that the information I give will not be used improperly?

The Census Bureau will protect the confidentiality of your information. Federal law sets a high fine and the possibility of imprisonment for any Census Bureau employee who gives your personal data to anyone inside or outside the government.

How will my community benefit by having data from this survey?

Your community will receive federal funds based on this information for schools, roads, senior centers, and other services.

Please contact Darlanne Hoctor Mulmat for more information at darlanne.mulmat@sandag.org or (619) 699-7326.