logo for 2010 census

It’s time to stand up and be counted.

Census 2010 forms are on their way to every apartment and house in the nation. The results will have far-reaching consequences for Westchester (and beyond) for years.   

The federal count of every living person in the U.S. -- done every ten years -- will be used as the basis for many important political, economic and social decisions that affect our daily lives. Census data are used to determine how federal funding and congressional seats are distributed, as well as what community services are needed.

“We are going to be living with this data for years to come and people need to know how important it is to get an accurate count,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “The results will dictate our voice in Washington and be used by advocates, agencies and businesses all lobbying for their individual causes.”

The county’s Planning Department has been providing technical assistance such as address updates, mapping of census tracts and identification of “group quarters” such as colleges and nursing homes.

This year’s census form is one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions and taking only about 10 minutes to complete. The form should be completed and sent back to the Census Bureau free of charge. If you don’t mail your form back, you’ll be getting a visit from a census taker who will come and collect the information about your household.

Everyone is required to be counted in the census, regardless of age, racial background or citizenship status.

Filling out the census is important because the information helps determine how more than $400 billion a year in federal funding is distributed to state and local governments. Funding and planning for schools, hospitals, job training, infrastructure, emergency services and community programs all relies on census data.

The data collected by the census also helps determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and how many electoral votes each state receives for presidential elections.

The information is also used by agencies and other groups to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more. Businesses use the data to decide where to locate and create jobs. Non-profits use census information to apply for grants. And many individuals use census information to learn more about their communities.

All information individuals provide on the form is confidential and the Census Bureau, by law, cannot share your personal information with any police, tax, or other enforcement agencies.

For more information, visit www.westchestergov.com/census2010 or contact Brian Connolly in the Department of Planning at (914) 995-6252.