By Susan Anderson,
Army News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With about $400 billion a year in federal funds at
stake, the 2010 Census may prove especially important for the thousands
of Army Families who have relocated since 2000 as a result of Base
Realignment and Closure, said a 2010 Census media specialist.
The larger the concentration of Families in and around the installations
that have experienced growth, the larger the support system has to be to
accommodate them, said Robert Crockett, also a retired Army sergeant
In addition to being a “Snapshot of America,” the Census is a device by
which federal funds are returned to the states and congressional seats
are distributed to accommodate state’s changing needs, he said.
Military Families living in areas that have experienced significant
growth may see the direct and indirect benefits of their participation
in the Census through, for example, larger schools, hospitals, roads,
housing for elderly, and job training. States that have grown in
population since 2000 could also gain congressional seats after the 2010
Census, said Crockett.
With only 10 questions, the 2010 Census is the shortest to date.
However, with so many servicemembers deployed, military Families in
particular still may have questions regarding how to answer certain
questions, he said.
The first question on the Census is, “How many people were living or
staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?”
“If a spouse is overseas, then that person receiving the questionnaire
should not count the spouse that is overseas. That spouse overseas would
be part of an overseas enumeration,” and he or she will be listed by
their home state, said Crockett.
“If your spouse is on a military vessel with a U.S. homeport, then they
should be counted as part of your household. If your spouse is on a
military vessel from a foreign homeport, then they should not be counted
as part of your household,” he said.
Military Families stateside will receive the Census form in the mail
just like everyone else. Those who live in barracks stateside will
Servicemembers and their Families located overseas will not receive a
form. The Defense Manpower Data Center will provide records to the
Census Bureau for servicemembers and military Families overseas, based
on home of record.
Families stateside who do not return the form within the indicated time
will receive repeated notifications from the Census Bureau. Then if the
forms still are not received, Families can expect a knock on the door
from a Census worker.
If someone is apprehensive about speaking with a stranger, they can ask
to see the identification card that all Census workers must and will
carry, Crockett said, or a phone number to their supervisor.
He said the military community might be surprised to learn that the
Census is the largest mobilization of resources that the nation
“There is nothing in the United States that compares with the Census
effort, this effort to count everyone, only once and in the right place.
We have to hire a temporary force of over a million people. That’s
roughly the equivalent to the entire population of Hawaii, and we are
setting out to count well over 130 million people,” he said.
While participation in the Census is required by law, Crockett points
out that all answers are protected.
“The census is not intrusive... it’s protected by law and none of this
information is shared with any other agency whatsoever,” he said.
Those who have filled out a Census form in years past may notice
differences. Based on findings that suggest the simpler the form, the
higher the participation, the 2010 Census form is limited to the
most-fundamental questions, Crockett said.
The more-detailed questions asked in the past now are asked on the
American Community Survey.
Sent to a random sample of addresses on a monthly basis, the American
Community Survey takes a more-detailed look at what America wants and
needs, Crockett said.
The American Census first was conducted in 1790, and was the first
Census in history used to empower the people. It is repeated every 10
For more information on the 2010 Census, visit
www.census.gov. Follow the link to
the 2010 page for frequently asked questions and a host of interactive
activities, including testimonials and trackers that allow you to follow
your community’s return rate.
(See related story.)