I was late for work this morning. It happens relatively frequently, and I'm certain less concerned on weeks like this - when my boss is out of town.
For once, I definitely had a good reason.
Saturday, I received my US Census Bureau a form. Much like receiving my first voter card, I definitely felt some excitement. And much like being able to vote, this is just another way to be counted. This isn't part of the decennial census, but it will eventually take the place of the decennial census. The survey I received is part of the American Community Survey (ACS), also a project of the US Census Bureau. The decennial census isn't scheduled to take place until 2010, but by then, the test data of the ACS will have been collected and the ACS will be fully implemented. Because the US Census is so long and burdensome, the ACS is mean to be more palatable and catch a snapshot of what's going on in each home, rather than a novel about it.
In addition to helping with congressional redistricting, the census data is used to help determine where schools, hospitals and roads need to go.
It's interesting how our country works. And I do have to say that Thomas Jefferson was a smart man for implementing the census, despite it's decreasing popularity since the 90s...seems like 200 years is a pretty good run for the long, cumbersome census.