US Census forms -- Do I have to do it?

Do you have to fill out the Census form?
United States citizens over 18 years old are required by law to fill out the Census form (see the end of this posting for specifics). This form is not available online. It must be completed by mail. If you haven't received the form or have lost it, you can call them 1-866-872-6868 (9am to 9pm, 7days/wk) to take your information or have them mail you the form. If the Census Bureau has not received your form by mail by April 2010, they will start sending Census takers to your household to nag you. Their schedule is here.


Why should you do it?
According to the Census Bureau website, information obtained through the Census will determine how the federal government allocates funds for hospitals, job training centers, schools, public projects, etc. It will also help to determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives your state should have. From my viewpoint, the general benefit of the mandatory Census is that the American public will have a better idea of who are the American people and how should the government best serve them.

Legal Stuff
According to Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution:


The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct.
and Title 13, Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions:

(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.

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