We’re seeing some more confusion over the census. Some folks are puzzling over why they seem to be getting both a short form census and a more extensive list of questions called the American Community Survey. With word out about scammers sending out census-like questionnaires to obtain personal information, folks are wondering if the survey is legitimate, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Here’s the scoop:
• The American Community Survey is a bona fide mailing from the Census Bureau.
• The survey is separate from the once-a-decade census. It is randomly mailed to 250,000 households a month to gather more detailed demographic information, such as housing, commuting, income, ancestry and other items. It replaces the long form that was sent out to some households every 10 years. The idea is to provide more timely information on demographic trends.
• If you happen to get both the census and The American Community Survey, you are required to answer both, says the Census Bureau:
The American Community Survey, which replaced the decennial census long form, has different questions and purposes than the 2010 Census population headcount. Your participation in both is vital and required by law. Data about how our communities are changing are crucial to many planning decisions that affect you—such as neighborhood improvements, emergency preparedness, transportation, senior services and much more.
Here’s more from the Census Bureau.
Take a look at the American Community Survey.
Here’s a press release the Better Business Bureau on put out about the community survey: