2010 Census & Los Altos

Posted on April 8, 2010 by  
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Let the counting being. The Twenty-third United States Census, better known as 2010 Census, is the current national census in the United States. “National Census Day” was April 1, and was the specific point of reference date that was to used in filling out the form everyone received in the mail.

As required by the U.S. Constitution, the census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790.  The last census was conducted in 2000, and the results showed that Los Altos had 27,693 people living in 10,462 households.  While the numbers are expected to change, they are not anticipated to increase significantly.

For background, the Census Bureau website states it will no longer use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information. The 2010 Census will use only a short form asking ten basic questions, including name, sex, age, date of birth, race, and homeownership status.

Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey. The survey provides data about communities in the United States on a yearly basis rather than once every 10 years. A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, and no household will receive it more than once every five years.

So, how are the response rates going for Los Altos?  As of today, almost 74% of the households in Los Altos have already submitted their forms to the census counters.  That is well ahead of the current national average of 63%.

As you may be aware, the 2010 census has featured a lot of razzle dazzle.  However, one of the most interesting technological innovations is an interactive map showing how the census collection is going.  If you are interested in looking at how the various neighborhoods in Los Altos are doing, or any neighborhood across the country, simply click here to use the interactive map.

In addition to being important as it relates to Federal funding, the results of the 2010 census will determine the number of seats each state receives in the United States House of Representatives starting with the 2012 elections. Consequently, this will also affect the number of votes that states receive in the Electoral College for the 2012 presidential election.

So, for those of you who have already turned in your forms, you will be happy to know that you get to skip the step of a census taker knocking on your door.  For the 2010 Census, Los Altos is on target to surpass our 2000 census response rate of 84%.  Of course, this should not surprise anyone, exceeding expectations is in our collective DNA.

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