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United States Census
The Bureau of the Census of the United States (a government agency) is accountable for the United States Census to enumerate the population every 10 years. The result of the count is used to allocate Congressional seats, government program funding, and electoral votes. In the United States Constitution, the United States Census is mandated to be decennial.
Since the first census in 1790, after the American Revolution and under Secretary Thomas Jefferson, there have been 22 censuses conducted. In 2010, the latest national census was done and the next scheduled national census is 2020. These censuses are very important to identify how we as a human population grow. It will also tell us the average children a family has and the different statuses of the American people. Through these decennial censuses, there appears surveys and statistical models. It can also improve the particular place’s economy.
It must be noted that the information gathered by Bureau of the Census are confidential; hence, it must not be easily revealed unless there is a probable cause. This is based on the Title 13 of the United States code which tells anyone about handling and conducting of data.
The United States provides the following fines:
- $100 – for neglecting or refusing to respond to the census
- $500 – property or business agent’s failure to show exact names of the census
- $10,000 – for any business agent who provide false responses for the census
The punishment must be observed. They are just because any data provided by the result of the census must be exact to have a factual result. Any information given is gathered and recorded for development and thus it must be true. The United States is strict to this because it is pro-development.
It must be known that through the census, the country may be able to identify their weakness and to where should they improve as a country. The good thing about responding to the census correctly is that we ourselves can benefit for it. The country will not only be able to protect the Americans but the immigrants as well. Through the census, the national security may be preserved.
Decennial U.S. Census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and illegal immigrants. The Census Bureau bases its decision about whom to count on the concept of usual residence. Usual residence, a principle established by the Census Act of 1790, is defined as the place a person lives and sleeps most of the time. The Census Bureau uses special procedures to ensure that those without conventional housing are counted; however, data from these operations are not considered as accurate as data obtained from traditional procedures.
The practice of including non-citizens in the official census figures is controversial because the census is used for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, and derived from that, of electors to the Electoral College. Groups like the Prison Policy Initiative assert that the census practice of counting prisoners as residents of prisons, not their pre-incarceration addresses, leads to misleading information about racial demographics and population numbers. Certain American citizens living overseas are specifically excluded from being counted in the census even though they may vote. Only Americans living abroad who are “Federal employees (military and civilian) and their dependents living overseas with them” are counted. “Private U.S. citizens living abroad who are not affiliated with the Federal government (either as employees or their dependents) will not be included in the overseas counts. These overseas counts are used solely for reapportioning seats in the U. S. House of Representatives.”