That 10-question Census form is very clear. Right there at the top, it asks how many people are living in your household on April 1.
So why, when April 1 is still three days away, are those folks at the Census pushing people to fill out their questionnaires and mail them back before Thursday?
A sharp-eyed News Tribune reader wants to know.
And while we’re on the subject, where are the Census forms for people in Eatonville – or other places – who have only P.O. boxes and no home mail delivery?
The short answers, according to local Census Bureau spokeswoman Cecilia Sorci, are:
• Yes, it’s OK to fill out your Census form and send it in now, even though the questionnaire uses an April 1 count date.
• Census forms are coming to rural residents who don’t get mail on their porch or at the street, but they’ll be hand-delivered and it may take some time. If you haven’t received your form, expect it within a few days.
Both questions were posed to The News Tribune reader representative by subscribers. Each asked that her name not be published.
“The form says the count is to be taken as of April 1,” one reader said. “What if you fill it out before then and there’s a change?”
The reader said she knew of some people would could die before April 1, and that would change the count.
April 1 is officially designated Census Day, the official reference point for the every-10-year snapshot of the U.S. Population, officials say.
But it’s not a hard-and-fast fill-out-the-form date, Sorci said.
“The reality is that most people’s households are quite stable and they know who will be in their homes come April 1,” she explained.
“But if you do anticipate that your household numbers will change by April 1, if someone’s gravely ill or if someone’s expecting a child or if you’re planning to move, then by all means, wait until April 1 to fill it out and send it back.”
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