Dollars and Census!

How much do you know about the 2010 Census? According to several recent surveys, most American citizens know very little about the 10-question document that recently arrived in their mail.

The U.S. Census is a process which counts every resident in the United States and is required by the Constitution to take place every 10 years.

The 2010 Census will help communities receive more than $400 billion in federal funds each year for things like:

  • Hospitals
  • Job training centers
  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
  • Emergency services

The data collected by the census will also help determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The above information is relatively common knowledge and somewhat easy to find. However, the following information isn’t exactly being promoted by government officials. However, since it’s YOUR tax dollars being spent, you might want to know where that money is going. Then let your senators and representatives know how you feel about it—good or bad. If you don’t know how to contact your governmental representatives, simply use this link to find out.

Now, lets see if these figures make “census” to you!

To ask us 10 simple questions this year via the 2010 Census, it’s going to cost an estimated $14.5 BILLION dollars! Yes, BILLION!

The Census Bureau must reach 134 million households, and the results are critical as it determines how $400 billion in federal funds are allocated every year and how seats in the House of Representatives are decided.

And since we’re talking about your money … keep in mind that every unreturned form will cost about $56 in follow-up action to get those questions answered. Therefore, if you haven’t returned your form, expect a knock on your door by someone asking the questions in person.


The Census Bureau is expected to hire an estimated 870,000 people this year to fill 1.2 million field positions (some will work more than one job). Each person will be paid between $10 and $25 per hour. It will cost:

  • $1.5 billion for regional and local offices and staff.
  • $654.2 million for other field operations.
  • $341.1 million for vacancy confirmation.
  • $257.2 million for postage.
  • $2.74 billion for non-response follow-up.
  • $116.5 million for printing.
  • $338 million for advertising and communications.
  • $2.05 billion for IT systems for data collection and assessment.
  • $499.9 million for master address file and mapping.
  • $1.70 billion for American Community survey.
  • $4.33 billion for other expenses which include headquarters costs, planning, research, and tests.


Good thing we only do this every 10 years.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

2 thoughts on “Dollars and Census!

  1. This is ridiculous!I would bet that 99% of U.S. Tax-payers are unaware of what this census is costing us! There must be a simplier and cheaper way of determining tax dollar alottments and representation. All of this added to the sky-rocketing decific is going to kill us. Why doesn’t anyone in Washington see this? Thank you for enlightening me although there is little I can do about it. Ron

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