What did you fill out on your 2010 Census form?

Just a general question here, what information did you deem worthy of handing over the almighty federal government? Did you stop at the number of people in your household or did you offer up every last tidbit of your private life to Uncle Sam?

Personally, I stopped at the number in my household since that is where the US Constitution stops with regard to the reason for a census.

Here is the constitutional text of what is defined as the census in Article I, Section II:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

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 ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pensylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

The original reason for the census is perfectly valid, we need to know how many Representatives to send to congress. As populations grow and shrink in certain areas, we need to have a reasonably precise measurement of how many Representatives each state deserves and from what areas.

Questions from the 2010 census which do not pass constitutional muster, in my opinion, are the following:

Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?

Why does that matter? Whether a home is rented or owned with or without a mortgage does not change the amount of representatives in congress.

What is your telephone number?

We have an unlisted number, that goes for the government as well.

Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?

What is Person 1’s sex?

What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?

Once again, my personal stats have nothing to do with determining how many people currently live in my residence.

The next questions dealing with race truly anger me.

Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?

What is Person 1’s race?

Again, race has nothing to do with the amount of representation we receive. No race counts for 2 congressman so why must we divide the country into racial segments?

Personally, I checked the “Other race” box and wrote in American just to mess with their heads.

So to recap, we put down the number of people in our house and checked the box for “Other” race and wrote in American. I know this has guaranteed we get some government census worker at the door asking us to divulge the rest of the information which isn’t going to happen. Yes, the “fines” exist for not filling out information but they are rarely enforced, apparently only 5 or 6 times in the past 50 years.

Another aspect of the census which annoys me to no end are the commercials I keep seeing on television. They act as if the census is a lottery and we must get “our fair share” of taxpayer funds and they can’t be properly divvied out if you don’t fill out the form. They are playing on the emotional desires of people to get them to fill out the form with the promise of more taxpayer money.

So how about you, what did y’all fill out?

  • JD

    I filled out most everything except the Telephone number. I figure banks ask for more of my personal information when I ask for a home loan and they are more likely to ruin my day then Uncle Sam.

    Anyway, I have nothing to hide but I understand if others don’t fill out everything.

  • I don’t think it’s about “having nothing to hide,” I think it just about an expected level of personal privacy.

    Yes, you give more info to a bank for a home loan which is understandable, you’re asking the bank to allow you to become a liability on them in owing them money.

    Think of it this way, if an FBI agent shows up at your door to arrest you, you have the right to remain silent. Do I not have the same right when I am not even accused of a crime?

    For the census, 90% of the information asked is not necessary to determine the number of representatives in a given area.

  • Bill Hedges

    Filling out form did not bother me, these things did. Last link not obama‘s fault or scheme:

    “Why Obama Wants Control of the Census”
    “Counting citizens is a powerful political tool.”


    “ ACORN to Play Role in 2010 Census”

    “No Handheld Devices For 2010 Census”

    “The Commerce Department halts its upgrade after scheduling and performance problems, as well as cost overruns, derail the plan. “


  • JD

    I hear ya, nate. Again, I understand your point but for me it doesnt’ really matter. If a private institution can gather bank account #s, SSN#, sex, Race, history, residence history, so on and so forth then (for me) what difference does it make if I tell the census some of that information.

    As far as banks claiming that I “become a liability on them in owing them money”, I don’t buy their sad story and I am shocked you do considering you are a Dave Ramsey student. Just so no one thinks that is an insult, I follow Dave Ramsey too. The truth is if I defualt on my loan they get a house, or can write off the loss, or thier insurance on the loan pays them back.

    i am no more a liability on a bank then I am a liability to AT&T. No, I am a cash cow to them not a liability.

    Again, we are getting side tracked here. Like I said, I completely understand your reasoning. I just don’t feel the same way.

    I am not sure what universally bad thing can come from the government knowing I am white, or black, or asian, or that I take care of my parents, or how old I am, or my wife is.

    Who knows… years from now you may be laughing at me and claiming that I should have never given the info or nothing will come of it all. Historically nothing has come of it so I feel fairly safe giving them most of the requested information but time will tell.

  • I understand wanting to withhold the information but I am with JD, I don’t mind divulging the information.

    I actually enjoy statistics so I am all for the multitude of questions. I haven’t completed my form at all yet though. I will on sunday.

    The commercials could be complete lies but I do recall it saying something about the Census information helps them to allocate funds for various things in the region which sounds important to me, if not, oh well, no sweat off my back.

  • Bob Russell

    I was also not happy with the questions, because they were aiming at more than a count. Like questions about race and whether or not we owed money on a mortgage. Come on, that’s sort of offensive to be slipping that into what is supposed to be a pure count. I suppose that some of the other questions could be justified in the sense that identifying information might be needed to count accurately. Not sure if that’s their justification or not, but seems plausible even if not palatable.

    But we should all be Americans, not political pawns based on politics of special favors for special interest groups. It creates political power for government, but it also ends up causing people to look to government for handouts and attempts at all sorts of “social and economic justice” instead of for creating a level playing field for everyone.

    I also didn’t like the online ad that says you should fill out the census, otherwise they wouldn’t know how big a hospital should be built in your community. If hospital size is determined by government politicians based on census numbers, then we really have a problem.

    Or the ad that basically says you need to fill out your census because it determines how many handouts your local community gets. I suppose that it’s just about fully ingrained in the average person’s head that we are and ought to be a welfare state. No one seems to understand that everyone loses by burdening society and markets with government interference, reallocation of wealth, high taxes and social-based regulations. It may sound romantic like like Robin Hood and good for everyone when government takes from the wealthy (and corporations) and gives to the poor, but history proves again and again that it’s bad for everyone. The socialist world is contemplating how to get back to fiscal responsibility and competitive markets. We’re trying to figure out how to be better socialists. Go figure.

    But in the end, filling out the form came down to not wanting a phone call or visit from the census, nor did I want to increase our deficit by another $50 in extra admin costs. So I just filled it out and mailed it in.

  • Hillary

    After I got the flyer that I would soon get the census, then got the census, then got he postcard saying I should have gotten the census, I wrote 2 people as living at my residence, and we are native americans. We are both native (belong to a place by birth) to America. Ask a stupid question. . .
    Oh, and then I got another census, and only wrote that 2 people live at my residence, and sent that one in too. They sent me 2, only seemed fair to return 2.

  • Hillary,