Cen­sus moves into ver­i­fi­ca­tion phase

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Juan Castillo

The count­ing is over, the Cen­sus Bureau said Mon­day as it an­nounced it is mov­ing into a new and fi­nal stage of its de­cen­nial cen­sus — recheck­ing the ac­cu­racy of data be­fore re­leas­ing 2010 re­sults early next year.

But res­i­dents who be­lieve they were missed in the count can call the bureau’s toll-free hot­line at 866-872-6868 through the end of July to sub­mit their an­swers over the phone.

The Cen­sus Bureau said it com­pleted its fol­low-up phase over the week­end. In that ef­fort, about 565,000 work­ers vis­ited more than 46 mil­lion house­holds that did not mail in a 2010 cen­sus ques­tion­naire. Na­tion­ally, 72 per­cent of house­holds re­turned their ques­tion­naires, avoid­ing home vis­its by cen­sus tak­ers. The mail-in re­sponse rate on May 1 was 70 per­cent in Travis County and 69 per­cent in Austin.

“We’re mov­ing into our qual­ity-as­sur­ance stage. We’re check­ing and recheck­ing our work,” said Jenna Ste­or­mann, a cen­sus spokes­woman in Dal­las

hat work will in­clude calls or vis­its to re-in­ter­view 5 per­cent of ran­domly se­lected house­holds, Ste­or­mann said. It will also in­volve call­ing some house­holds to clar­ify an­swers, con­firm va­cant house­holds and con­firm ad­dresses that do not match the bureau’s files.

Ste­or­mann said the cen­sus bureau hired about 4,000 peo­ple to fill tem­po­rary jobs in Travis, Burnet, Bas­trop, Wil­liamson and Lee coun­ties. The ma­jor­ity of those jobs have ended.

The Cen­sus Bureau will de­liver fi­nal pop­u­la­tion data to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in late De­cem­ber and be­gin re­leas­ing re­dis­trict­ing data to the states start­ing in Fe­bru­ary.

The govern­ment uses cen­sus data to de­cide how to re­turn about $400 bil­lion a year for the next 10 years to states and cities. Cen­sus data is also used to ap­por­tion con­gres­sional seats and for po­lit­i­cal re­dis­trict­ing.

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