Preparations and testing have been an ongoing process. Many changes have been made for the upcoming count next year. Last year there were funding issues for the Census Department as the budget for the department nearly doubled getting ready for 2010.
There are new hand held computers and data capturing operations that needed a full test prior to the official counts. Some of the smaller tests, that normally would have been tested, weren't going to be tested this time if they worked well for prior censuses, in order to cut costs. The new system will supposedly enhance, help with efficiency, quality and costs of the census. I wonder how the testing has gone and how prepared the Bureau is coming along.
Last April started "Dress Rehearsals" for the official census. Some communities received questionnaires to fill out to make sure there will be a correct count in the official census. I understand San Joaquin County in California and Fayetteville, North Carolina were going to be given these questionnaires. Hopefully people in these areas did their duty and everyone filled out their forms!
Another challenge for the 2010 Census is the count for Latinos in the United States. Like other minorities, it is understandable that this group of people have been under counted over the years. The fears over immigration has a major affect on the count. Although the Latino population has doubled since 1990, will we get an accurate count next year? With the economic meltdown, laid off renters, and foreclosed homeowners many are moving around. Also, many immigrants aren't sure what a census is and are reluctant to reply.
Thousands of census takers are needed for the official census. Those who are bilingual would be a big plus for areas where people speak a language other than English. Census takers play a big role in making sure everyone is counted. Have you thought of being a census taker? I hear the pay is good and you can work in your local area. Although it is a temporary job, think of how important this job would be. Your name would go down in history!
With budget cuts, the complexity of our country and it's immigrants, the 2010 census will be a challenge!
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Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!