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.

Posts Tagged ‘Address’

1940 Census results released by the Census Bureau after 72 years: Genealogists and history buffs rejoice

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Census Bureau swears to protect its data for 72 years. As such, today, the Census Bureau is releasing the 1940 Census results for the first time. The Census Bureau has provided a fairly simple mechanism for sorting through the basic information, with some pretty cool data visualization. And sites like MyTwoCensus.com advertising partner Ancestry.com (with over 1 billion 1940 Census records available) will surely be able to provide more in-depth results for users. (CBS News has provided some suggestions on how search for specific 1940 Census records.)

However, this data release is not without controversy. As The Washington Post writes:

The American Civil Liberties Union, for instance, has for more than 30 years opposed any unrestricted release of census records.

Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the ACLU, said harm could come from combining the rich 1940 Census data with other information.

“Computer technology today allows you to take information from different sources and combine it into a very high-resolution image of somebody’s life,” he said. “Each particular piece of information might just be one pixel, but when brought together, they become very intrusive.”

A document obtained from the National Archives by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that, in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau raised privacy concerns about the disclosure of the 1940 Census by the nation’s record-keeper.

Census Bureau spokesman Robert Bernstein said in an e-mail that any fears the data could be used to harm anyone living today “such as through identity theft” were alleviated when the National Archives said that no birthdates or Social Security numbers would be in the records. One 1940 Census question asked a sample group of more than 6 million people whether they had a Social Security number but did not ask for the number itself.

We’d love to hear any comments from amateur or professional genealogists or family tree-makers about how you feel the Census Bureau’s data has assisted you (or, on the contrary, any problems that you may have had while trying to access information).

City name incorrect on some 2010 Census forms

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

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.

Question for Census Bureau employees…

Monday, June 15th, 2009

During address canvassing operations, did you have to drive more than 50 miles to get to work? If so, how far did you have to drive? Were people brought in from other regions/states for the final stages of address canvassing operations? If so, how did this work?

Thanks,
Stephen