Oh good, the American Community Survey

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I went through my mail today and discovered that I'm a proud recipient of the American Community Survey. What's that, you ask? Well, it turns out that for the 2010 census the census bureau has decided to switch things up a bit. Well, I'll let them tell it:
In the past, most households received a short-form questionnaire, while one household in six received a long form that contained additional questions and provided more detailed socioeconomic information about the population.

The 2010 Census will be a short-form only census and will count all residents living in the United States as well as ask for name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure - taking just minutes to complete.

The more detailed socioeconomic information is now collected through the American Community Survey. The survey provides current data about your community every year, rather than once every 10 years. It is sent to a small percentage of the population on a rotating basis throughout the decade. No household will receive the survey more often than once every five years.

More detailed is right. The ACS is 27 fricking pages and has something like 54 distinct questions for every single person in the household, plus a bunch of household generic questions, including such puzzlers as: "13. What is this person's ancestry or ethnic origin?" (Mrs. G suggests that we're all originally from Africa, so I should just write African); "45. What kind of work was this person doing?", which I can't distinguish from "46. What were this person's most important activities and duties." and "18. What is the annual payment for fire, hazard, and flood insurance on THIS property?" (had to look that one up).

Oh, did I mention that compliance with this puppy is required by law? The fine for failing to return it appears to only be $100, but the fine for false statements is $500. Seems like fun for the whole family.

2 Comments

For extra points, include your social security number and credit card info in the boxes where it requests same. If it does not request same, then please initiate scammer postal campaign pretending to be the annual "official government survey of everything in your household"...

I'd imagine the time spent on this will cost you well more than that the $100 fine.

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