My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

2010 Census Body Count: 6

UPDATE: Census Bureau Communications Director (aka Public Relations/Media Spin Guru) Steve Jost has tried to censor this site by posting a comment in the comments section directing me to be more sensitive with the way I describe things. As you can read in the comments section below, I will not be sensitive, I will report the truth — before any other media outlet does –  as I have done since the inception of this project.

According to Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves, six employees involved in NRFU operations have been killed (presumably all in car accidents) since April 27. Is taking a 1-2 week job worth your life? Stay tuned for more details from today’s press conference…

The Associated Press reported the following:

The Census Bureau said Monday that six of its workers died in auto accidents in the past week. “When you have 600,000 people, all sorts of bad things happen,” Robert Groves, the bureau’s director, said. Two workers died Friday near Lubbock, Tex., when their vehicle was struck by a tanker truck after they apparently failed to yield at a stop sign. There was a third death in Texas, and others in California, Florida and South Carolina. In the 2000 census, 13 workers died in traffic accidents; another was fatally attacked by a dog.

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20 Responses to “2010 Census Body Count: 6”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    My sincerest condolences to their Family and Friends. They were only trying to earn a living.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you, Stephen, for relaying this info.

  3. Steve Jost Says:

    Stephen, we respectfully request that you change the heading on this item in your blog to show the proper respect for our colleagues who have perished working for their country.

  4. LCO-AM Says:

    People die every day. 6 out of how many thousand(s)?

    Godspeed to those lost and my regards to their families.

  5. JAG Says:

    A horribly insensitive write up……referring to these people as “bodies” is outrageous!!! You act like people dying in car accidents is something unique to the census.

    A new low for even you, SRM

  6. jim Says:

    presumably, people would have died in car accidents whether they took the job or not. in fact, some people might have died had they not taken a census job, so the census saved their life.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t care what the title of this article is. I’m glad this info is shared quickly. Again, condolences for the families, friends, and coworkers. May God Bless.

  8. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Steve and others: I don’t think reporting the truth in a fast manner is insensitive at all, particularly when I became the first and only national media organization — in fact the only other organization other than Lubbock, Texas’s local media outlets — to report on the deaths of two Census workers there. My title was a reference to this organization that keeps track of civilian deaths in Iraq:

    Do you have a problem with people keeping track of war deaths as well?

  9. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @jim – good point. but we’ll never know.

  10. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Steve, I find it funny that these days you don’t respond to my criticisms of your operations yet you find time to respond to this. You’re showing me that all you care about is your PR and image. If that’s not insensitive, dishonest, and corrupt, then what is?

    Additionally, many people use this site to obtain INFORMATION — and the Census Bureau never issued any warnings or press releases about these deaths, whereas I offered safety tips here:

    So, you have no right to pick and choose what I can and cannot say. Don’t try to control the media. It may work with your buddies who are Washington insiders, but it won’t work with me.

  11. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Census Bureau + Huffington Post = A partisan match made in heaven… Says:

    [...] Well, yesterday Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost criticized my headline and tried to…, so now I’m going to air out the dirty laundry. Just as he pretended to mourn the loss of census workers, Mr. Jost became the newest blogger for the Huffington Post. He urges me to be compassionate, yet he never mentions these deaths or the worker safety that is apparently on the minds of Census Bureau management at all times. (We’ll get a direct quote about this from Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves when the transcript to yesterday’s press conference becomes available.) [...]

  12. NorCal Enumerator Says:

    Over 100 people die each day in car crashes in the US. With over 600,000 census workers, it’s not surprising some of them are part of that statistic.

  13. WT Says:

    “Is taking a 1-2 week job worth your life?” What a moronic line. You’re not doing yourself any favors with writing like that.

  14. Census CL Says:

    My condolences to their families. Census takers are being threatened by the public they are trying to count every day. Many local enumerators have had to deal with screaming, threats, and vandalism to their property (had a person smash the headlight of one of our enumerators cars) and they have only been on the streets for 4 days. We have already had enumerators quit because they feel it is not worth risking their safety. My hope is that a few of the people who have these attitudes will see some of these articles and realize that these part-time, temporary employees should not be the focus of their anger and negative attitudes about the government or authority. People have died doing this work already, I hope it doesn’t go beyond accidents.

  15. OC_Enumerator Says:

    It is unfortunate that NRFU training did not adequately prepare enumerators for hostile and uncooperative respondents – not even a practice interview. Nor did they suggest not parking directly in front of NRFU HUs.

    My recommendation from past experiences with AddCan is to park some distance away and walk. If someone tries to follow and videotape you (I’ve had that happen) or threaten you, they don’t see what you drive and cannot possibly get your vehicle’s appearance and tags. If you have your phone on you, you can also quickly contact your CL or the appropriate authorities as you begin to walk away from the area.

  16. JAG Says:

    From the Iraq Body Count Website…..

    “We Don’t Do Body Counts” – General Tommy Franks.

  17. NRFUNewbie Says:


    Our NRFU training did cover exactly the tactics that you mention in your post- parking down the street, calling 911 first, etc… although not everything in our training was in the manual, and probably should be.

    I think this does highlight one of the biggest problems in the training- the glaring inconsistencies- both from CL to CL and I’m sure from LCO to LCO and beyond. Actually, there were instances in our training between the manual, our CL, and our FOS. I’m happy to follow the rules they set down as long as I feel safe, but it’s extremely difficult to follow three different sets of the same rules that conflict each other. My CL also told me, when in doubt, go with what the book says, although she frequently explains that the book was written for the entire United States, and since the US is mostly rural, many of these rules don’t apply to us because we’re in the city (this is when I made the shape of a handgun with my hand and mimed shooting myself in the mouth- she giggled, I didn’t).

  18. ummmm Says:

    I have to say as someone who not only works for the CB & is a HUGE fan of this site and all it does to help shed some lite on what we, the insiders, see & feel everyday, I’m a little outraged by this particular article. I personally feel that the title and content of this posting to be the exact opposite of what you claim it to be. You say you wrote this to inform the public. While I buy that for all other articles on this site (and bravo to you & your team) I find this piece to be nothing more than pure sensationalism. These people did not die because they took a job with the CB…these were car accidents. If I work for a law firm who sends me on a bagel run, & I am killed in a car accident, are you telling me that the law firm is to blame? What happened to these people is sad and tragic beyond belief. But not because they died while on government time, but rather because they DIED. If you want to report about their deaths purely to inform the public, then do it right. Do it respectfully. But don’t place needless blame on the government. As you have proven time and time again, you’ve got so much more on big brother to report about.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Ummmm, if we are fortunate enough to get a BINDER, we are told to complete the assignment quickly and accurately. We are told to plan the quickest most efficient route and to do our jobs quickly and efficiently. At times, we are called by our CL and asked to rush across town for a meeting, etc.

  20. Samantha Jackson Says:

    What I would like people to know is that there is extreme pressure to meet unattainable goals with insufficient staff and late delivery of AA binders. Meet the goals at all cost or face termination. Policy like this puts pressure on Census Bureau employees that, in my opinion, can result in unsafe driving practices. Sure, we’re trained to obey traffic laws. Then we’re told get those EQ’s in or else.