Dear Friend,

As a member of the Census Task Force, I would like to remind you that today is Census day. The decennial Census affects many aspects of our daily lives as Mississippians and Americans. The population totals gathered will determine each state’s Congressional representation and also affect how federal funds are distributed.

By now you should have received your 2010 Census form. You may have noticed that this year’s form is slightly different than in the past. Instead of some households receiving the traditional long form, every household will receive a short form that contains only 10 questions. This form should take approximately 10 minutes to complete and only asks for name, age, sex, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure. From now on, the more detailed socioeconomic information will be collected through the American Community Survey which will be distributed to a small percentage of the population annually.

As defined by the Constitution, the Census is a count of every person that is present in the United States on a certain day. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and non-citizens. It will also include federal employees (military and civilian) and their dependents living overseas with them that can be assigned to a home state.

The best thing that you can do to ensure that the 2010 Census is a success is to immediately complete your form and return it. For every percentage point of people that return their Census form in the mail, it saves taxpayers $85 million. Also, you can encourage other members of your community to complete and return their census forms. Households that do not respond by mail will be called or visited by a trained employee who has taken an oath to uphold the integrity of the Census. It is imperative that we get an actual head count of everyone present in Mississippi.

For more information on the Census, please visit my website.

God bless,

Gregg Harper
Member of Congress