Filling out the Census Form and Census Operations


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This webinar will walk through the Census timeline and questionnaire. Presenters will address questions about the issues that often arise when Native people look at the form. This session will also go over Census operations in Indian Country to help you make sure your entire community is counted.

Terri Ann Lowenthal, Funders Census Initiative
Jan Jacobs, Census Bureau

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Filling out the Census Form and Census Operations

  1. 1. 2010 Census: Timeline and Filling Out the Questionnaire March 17, 2010 2:05 – 3:00 pm Eastern To hear audio for the webinar, you must also call in to our free teleconference line. To call in, dial: 1 (866) 379-3045 Conference ID: 63082428
  2. 2. Presenter Contacts Terri Ann Lowenthal Funders Census Initiative 203-353-4364 Jan Jacobs 2010 National Partnerships Amber Ebarb NCAI 2
  3. 3. OVERVIEW Census Timeline: Key operations Role of grassroots organizations The 2010 Census Form: Step-by-Step 3
  5. 5. OVERVIEW OF CENSUS TIMELINE (2010) Feb. – March: Update/Leave operation March – April: Mail-out/Mail-back March 29 – 31: Homeless count 5
  6. 6. OVERVIEW OF CENSUS TIMELINE (2010) March 22 – May 29: Update/Enumerate operation March 22 – April 16: Enumeration of transitory locations April: Group Quarters enumeration 6
  7. 7. GETTING HELP! Questionnaire Assistance Centers Be Counted sites (forms only, through April 19) Telephone Questionnaire Assistance (2/25 – 7/30/10) QAC/Be Counted sites posted at: Community census “partners” 7
  8. 8. OVERVIEW OF CENSUS TIMELINE (2010) May – July: Nonresponse Follow-up (door-to-door visits) Late April – early August: Coverage Follow-up Late July – August: Vacant-Delete check August 2010 – March 2011: Coverage measurement interviews 8
  9. 9. OVERVIEW OF CENSUS TIMELINE By December 31, 2010: First population numbers reported for congressional apportionment By April 1, 2011: Detailed population numbers reported to States for redistricting 9
  11. 11. THINGS TO DO Refer people to official Questionnaire Assistance Centers whenever possible. Answer questions about the census in a private area. – Make sure your staff members fully understand the materials & concepts. Translate instructions and questions for people with limited English proficiency. Explain questions and response choices. If necessary, help people fill out their forms. – Use a private area – Ensure you are speaking with head of household – Seal envelope and help respondent mail the form right away 11
  12. 12. THINGS NOT TO DO Do not pretend to be an official Questionnaire Assistance Center or use the official census logo if you are offering assistance. Do not help people fill in forms or “volunteer” to help QAC staff if your organization is hosting an official QAC. Do not encourage use of Be Counted forms unless people are sure they did not receive one at their residence or that they were left off the form another household member mailed back. Do not gather completed forms for mailing at a later time; ask respondents to place forms in mail receptacles that are emptied daily by the Postal Service. Do not follow census takers around neighborhoods or into buildings to “encourage” people to cooperate; canvassing should be done well before census takers visit. 12
  13. 13. BE TRANSPARENT Distinguish your census assistance activities and volunteers from official Census Bureau operations and trained, sworn Census staff. – For example, use Community Census Center instead of Questionnaire Assistance Center or Be Counted Center. Use slogans aimed at encouraging census participation, not increasing the count. Assist your constituencies in filling out the form fully and accurately, but don’t press them to include people who you know shouldn’t be included on their form. 13
  14. 14. THE 2010 CENSUS QUESTIONNAIRE: Step-by-Step 14
  15. 15. 2010 CENSUS QUESTIONNAIRE: OVERVIEW 10 questions; 6 topics. Language information: – English language forms mailed/delivered to most homes – Bilingual English-Spanish forms mailed/delivered to 13.5 million targeted homes nationwide – Forms available upon request in Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese – Assistance guides available in 59 languages – Replacement forms mailed (in April) to low response census tracts, in English only 15
  16. 16. THE HOUSEHOLDER The householder is the person who fills out the census form for everyone else in the home. Person 1 on the census form. Should be age 18 or older, if possible, and someone who is generally responsible for household members in some way. Whether a household is counted as an American Indian or Alaska Native household depends entirely on the race of “Person 1” -- the first person listed on the Census form. If that person says he or she is American Indian or Alaska Native, then the household will be counted as one with an American Indian or Alaska Native “householder.” 16
  17. 17. NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN HOUSEHOLD Question #1 (Person 1 only): How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Snowbirds? On the questionnaire sent to southern or winter home, write “0” and do not answer any other questions. Fill out form sent to permanent home completely, even if you weren’t there on April 1. Question #2 (Person 1 only): Were there any other people staying in the home that you did not include? Mark reasons. 17
  18. 18. TENURE QUESTION (OWNER v. RENTER) Question #3 (Person 1 only): Asks if the home is owned or rented (“tenure” in data terms). – Offers four detailed choices but does not ask for any financial information (e.g. how much rent). – Tenure data provide a general proxy for higher income households (owner) and lower income household (renter). 18
  19. 19. TELEPHONE NUMBER Question #4 (Person 1 only): Used only if the Census Bureau must follow-up with the household to collect more information or clarify who lives there. Especially important for large households (e.g. those with 7+ residents, or 9+ residents on a bilingual English-Spanish form) If no responsible person (e.g. 18+) in the home has a phone, encourage using a neighbor’s or relative’s phone number (they can act as a go-between). 19
  20. 20. NAME Question #5 for Person 1. Question #1 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #1 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual English- Spanish forms) – Used to reduce likelihood of duplicate count. – Respondent can have access to a copy of their own census form for any purpose after the census (such as to prove U.S. residence). – Genealogists can do research about family histories, using census forms, after 72 years. 20
  21. 21. RELATIONSHIP QUESTION Question #2 for Persons 2 - 6 (or 8 on bilingual form) Everyone in household is “related” in some way to Person 1 (the householder) Question offers many options, including for “nonrelatives” (e.g. roommates; boarders) Gay/lesbian couples can check husband/wife, if applicable, or “unmarried partner” 21
  22. 22. SEX/AGE/ DATE OF BIRTH SEX: Question #6 for Person 1. Question #3 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #3 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual forms) AGE and DATE OF BIRTH: Question #7 for Person 1. Question #4 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #4 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual forms) Date of birth is used to reduce likelihood of duplicate count, since only about 10,000 people are born each day. – DOB also used to confirm correct age. 22
  23. 23. HISPANIC ORIGIN & RACE OVERARCHING CONCEPT: Self Identity People must answer both the Hispanic origin and race questions. Under federal policy (Office of Management & Budget, not Census Bureau), Hispanic is considered an ethnicity, not a race. Hispanic origin question comes first to encourage people to answer both questions. 23
  24. 24. HISPANIC ORIGIN & RACE HISPANIC ORIGIN: Question #8 for Person 1. Question #5 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #5 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual forms) RACE: Question #9 for Person 1. Question #6 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #6 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual forms) 24
  25. 25. HISPANIC ORIGIN People not of Hispanic origin should mark “no” and move on to the race question. People of Hispanic origin should mark the subgroup with which they identify (e.g. Mexican; Puerto Rican; Cuban). If subgroup of choice is not listed, write in another Hispanic/Spanish origin (e.g. Dominican; Venezuelan; Nicaraguan). People of Brazilian ancestry are not considered to be of Hispanic origin. 25
  26. 26. RACE People may choose one or more races. – They will appear in “Two or more races” category (e.g. there is no official “multiracial” category). Census Bureau publishes race data for single race responses (e.g. “AIAN alone”) and for all inclusive responses (e.g. “AIAN alone or in combination”). Census Bureau publishes data for race groups by “of Hispanic origin” and “not of Hispanic origin.” 26
  27. 27. Who is American Indian/ Alaska Native? The Census Bureau uses the definition of AI/AN published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): “A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.” This definition of who’s Indian is quite different than the one in federal law that says an Indian person is a member of an Indian tribe. What gives American Indian and Alaska Native people special status in law is a political relationship – as a member of a Native governmental entity -- not who one’s ancestors are. Simply saying that one is Indian on a Census form does not convey any special relationship or privileges.
  28. 28. There are 19 box to write in enrolled or principle. If the name is longer than the 19 spaces, you can write outside the assigned boxes. We will capture up to 30 characters. Also, if a person writes in more than one tribal name, we will capture up to 2. If a person writes a tribal name in the SOR box, Census will capture that as well.
  29. 29. “SOME OTHER RACE” People who don’t identify with any listed race category may check “Some other race” (SOR) and write-in their identity. – 90+ percent of people who check SOR write in “Hispanic.” People may check a listed race (e.g. Black or White) and also write-in another national origin on the SOR line (e.g. Jamaican or Arab American) – Census Bureau will tabulate these respondents only as a single race (unless they actually check the SOR box). – Census Bureau plans series of Special Reports that will provide more detailed information gleaned from write-in responses, for larger groups). People who check only SOR and write-in, for example, Somalian will be tabulated as Black(OMB Directive 15). 29
  30. 30. “I DON’T SEE MYSELF IN THE RACE QUESTION!” American Indians and Alaska Natives can write-in a Tribal affiliation. No check-box for “Asian” or “Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander” race categories – Check off one of listed nationalities or write-in another (e.g. Pakistani or Cambodian). – Reason: Immigrants often don’t identify with term “Asian” or “Pacific Islander (they are an American construct). Census Experimental Program testing alternative race questions during 2010 census for 2020 census. – Test options would offer more opportunity to identify Black and White subgroups (e.g. Haitian; Caribbean; Arab; Polish) 30
  31. 31. COVERAGE QUESTION Question #10 for Person 1 Question #7 for Persons 2 - 6 (single language forms) Question #7 for Persons 2 - 8 (bilingual forms) Does this person sometimes live or stay someplace else? – Designed to help spot possible omissions (undercount) or duplicates (overcount). – Census staff will follow-up by phone to clarify, if necessary. 31
  32. 32. ADDITIONAL PEOPLE For Persons 7 - 12 (Persons 9 - 12 on bilingual form), fill out: – Name – Sex – Age and date of birth – Related to Person 1 (householder)? (yes or no) Census staff will follow-up by telephone with all “large households” (Coverage Follow-Up operation), to collect remaining information. 32
  33. 33. Questions? Concerns? To ask a question online, click To ask a question on the Q&A button at the top on the phone, press *1 of your screen and type your question in. on your keypad. (No need to use the You’ll be put into a queue and the “Ask a Question” hand button, operator will un-mute your line at just ask away.) the appropriate time.
  34. 34. Upcoming Webinars: Mapping Hard to Count Communities, March 19, 2010 Urban Indian Outreach, March 24, 2010
  35. 35. Join the Campaign! We are only two weeks away from Census day, April 1st 2010; plan events now! Ways to be involved right away: Sign up at Sign the action pledge. Forward emails and website to friends. Request Indian Country Counts materials and Census Bureau materials for events.
  36. 36. Presenter Contacts Terri Ann Lowenthal Funders Census Initiative 203-353-4364 Jan Jacobs 2010 National Partnerships Amber Ebarb NCAI 36