Just sorting through my mail (mostly junk mail, of course). I had to fill out my census form and send it in. Time to stand up and be counted! Ten simple questions and they do require name, age and birthday. One would think one’s age can be determined by one’s birthday, but anyway. And Question 10 made me pause : ‘Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?‘. Hmm. I said ‘no’ because I am in fact never away for more than 3 or 4 weeks at a time.
The census, mandated by the Constitution, helps determine how more than $400 billion in federal funds for things like public housing, highways and schools are distributed to state and local governments. States have a big incentive to get the count right: Each uncounted person means a loss of about $1,400. The recession and joblessness will make the counting harder. One out of eight housing units is vacant nationwide. The rate in Washington state is about one in 20.