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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Safety First: How To Identify Census Workers Now Combing Tennessee Streets 

The U.S. Census Bureau says safety is top priority for its employees and the public. That’s why the Census Bureau is reminding people that census address listers wear official identification badges and use handheld computers to record addresses. The 3,000 employees now combing Tennessee streets building an address list for the 2010 Census might also carry black workbags with the words “U.S. Census Bureau” on them.

          “Anyone who is worried by someone gazing at his house or knocking at her door should ask for identification,” said William W. Hatcher, regional director in the Charlotte Regional Census Center, which supports 2010 Census operations in Tennessee and four other states.  “You can ask for the address lister’s name and the phone number of the local census office to call and verify employment. We want residents to feel safe so that census workers can safely do their jobs.”
           Three local census offices opened in Tennessee in 2008 to supervise the current address canvassing operation.  They are located in Knoxville (865) 291-5400, Memphis (901) 251-4390 and Nashville (615) 234.5740. Later this year, seven more local census offices will open in the state to support 2010 Census operations.
Address listers are updating and completing a confidential address list that will be used to mail or deliver 2010 Census questionnaires next March. 

 The address canvassing operation began April 13 in the state and will continue through mid-summer. Address listers use handheld computers that capture GPS information as they verify an address and ask residents about additional living quarters on the premises.
Hatcher stressed that census workers never ask for a bank account number or social security information during 2010 Census operations. The 2010 Census will be America’s 23rd decennial census, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.   
“Our address listers record only address information during this operation,” Hatcher said.  “All of the information the Census Bureau gathers in the decennial census, as well as other surveys and censuses, is strictly confidential.”
Census employees take an oath of confidentiality and can face a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison for violating that oath. 
             Decennial Census results will be used to determine the number of congressional seats for each state, the shape of legislative and local government districts, and how $300 billion in federal funds is distributed annually to communities across America.
           April 1, 2010, is Census Day, the reference date for collecting census information.


For more information, fact sheets and multimedia go to the Census Bureau’s online newsroom at All information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential
by law (Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9).