MOUNT VERNON — Two different census surveys will soon be circulating around Knox County. The shorter, official 2010 Census will include only 10 questions; the American Community Survey includes at least 11 pages for a single-person household.
Census forms, sent to every household in the United States, will be mailed beginning March 15.
“The 2010 Census is simply to count the number of people in the United States,” said Keri Allen, area manager of recruitment with the U.S. Census Bureau. “There are only 10 questions this year and no personal identification is required.”
All questions are based solely on the number of people living in the household on April 1. They include:
•How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
•Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010, that you did not include in Question 1?
•Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
•What is your telephone number?
The following questions are asked of each person residing in the household: Name; sex; date of birth; Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin; race; does person sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
The American Community Survey is much more in depth, said Allen, but still requires no personal identifying information. This form is received by over 240,000 people each month across the United States, according to Allen. In traditional census years, it is possible, she said, to receive both census surveys.
The ACS asks questions along the same lines as the traditional census, but continues on with information that will assist local agencies in determining what programs are needed.
Questions range from the type and build year of the dwelling to the heat source, how much last month’s utility bills cost, some medical history, employment status and income, among others.
The 2010 Census should begin to arrive in mailboxes after March 15. Residents are asked to fill in their responses on April 1 and return them, following the included instructions. Households that fail to return the survey will receive a visit from a Census taker to assist with providing the necessary information.
The number of unreturned formed will determine the number of door-to-door workers needed to complete the process, Allen said. She anticipated about 500 temporary jobs will be available in Knox County, with pay slated for $11.50 an hour and 50 cents per mile.
“Knox County has the lowest number of applicants for these positions of any of the 10 counties I manage,” said Allen. “Knox is the second-largest county in this district.”
Those interested should apply by calling (866) 861-2010. An appointment will be arranged to take a test at the end of February. The test includes 28 questions and typically takes about two hours, Allen said. A practice test can be viewed at www.census.gov.
Those provided with temporary employment will work between 30 and 40 hours a week, she said.
“The majority of the hours are evening and weekends,” Allen said. “You will be provided with a packet of information and a map. You’ll be required to determine if the address actually exists, and then assist the residents with completing the form.”
Four days of paid training will take place in April; workers will start knocking on doors in the summer months.
A push in 2010 is to keep Census workers in their own neighborhoods.
“We want to try to push for local. Of course, someone living in the neighborhood is going to have a better grasp of who comes and goes than someone who doesn’t,” Allen said.
Official census workers will be required to pass a background check. Those knocking on residents’ doors will have an official U.S. Census Department badge around their neck as well as an official badge. Allen urges anyone not comfortable with the credentials shown to call her office at (866) 861-2010 to confirm if their address is on the list for a home visit.
For those not wanting a visit from a census worker, Allen encourages them to complete and return the 2010 Census on April 1.