The following report comes from West Virginia (yet we have also received unsubstantiated reports that this same problem has occurred in areas of Missouri and Mississippi). H/t to newsandsentinel.com:
By Natalee Seely
VIENNA – Vienna residents who have received materials for the 2010 Census in the mail may notice an incorrect city name on the return form, but census officials said forms that include the wrong city but the correct street address will still be counted accurately.
The census materials sent to Vienna residents incorrectly state Parkersburg as the city name instead of Vienna on the return form, said Vienna Mayor David Nohe.
City officials contacted the census bureau about the error Tuesday and were told to have residents cross out “Parkersburg” and write “Vienna” on the return form before sending it back, said Nohe.
“We would encourage people to cross out Parkersburg and write in Vienna on the form,” he said. “I just don’t want this to lead to an inaccurate count. City officials will continue to talk with the census bureau to guarantee these will be accurately counted.”
A press release from the U.S. Census Bureau stated an incorrect city name will not affect the count as long as the street address is correct, but residents may change the name if they like.
The city is not important because all census forms will be counted using a geocode that assigns each housing unit to the correct geographic location, said Michael Gregorio, a public information officer with the U.S. Census Bureau.
“I can guarantee, if it has the right street address but the wrong city name, it won’t make a difference,” he said. “But the residents can change the city name if they want to.”
According to a press release from the census bureau, the incorrect city names on some forms is a result of a cost-saving measure that streamlines how forms are sorted and delivered to residents by the U.S. Postal Service.
A geocode printed on the form will guarantee the correct geographic location, regardless of the city name indicated.
If residents have received forms with the wrong house number or street name, census workers will follow up with them at a later date, according to the press release.