Be on the lookout for hoards of clipboard-wielding head counters who soon will flood neighborhoods across the country as the U.S. Census Bureau begins the 2010 Census.
The federal government will begin recruiting census takers this fall, and mailing out the new, streamlined census form to homes in February.
The simplified census questionnaire has 10 questions this time. A select percentage of households also will receive a long-form questionnaire to acquire more detailed information and vital statistics.
Census Day is April 1, followed by a period of door-to-door information gathering census takers will conduct to get statistics from people who did not fill out the questionnaire.
As prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, a census must be conducted once every 10 years.
For local governments, the census matters not only to get an accurate count of residents, but for formula-based distribution of shared revenue by state and federal governments. Each municipality gets $250 per resident from the state under the formula.
One challenge in Oro Valley is the number of winter residents who live in the community.
"We want them to understand that wherever they spend six months and a day is where they should turn in their census form," said Mary Davis, Oro Valley's communications administrator.
Davis said that as general rule, people should fill out their census forms wherever they happen to be on April 1.
During the Census of 2000, the town had one of the highest percent of completed questionnaires in southern Arizona at about 75 percent. The town's population stood at 32,000 people then, according to the census. Some estimates now put Oro Valley at 44,000.
Oro Valley population history
25,455 FY 1998-99
27,350 FY 1999-2000
29,700 FY 2000-01
34,050 FY 2001-02
37,260 FY 2002-03
37,700 FY 2003-04
39,310 FY 2004-05
41,072 FY 2005-06
42,304 FY 2006-07
44,180 FY 2007-08
44,843 FY 2008-09
Source: Oro Valley
Note: Local data differs from U.S. Census
Demographics in Oro Valley and Marana
Oro Valley Marana Pima County Arizona
Total population 39,308 26,116 1,012,018 6,500,180
Race and age make-up (by percent)
White 93.1 79.6 88.1 75.5
Black 1.1 2.9 3.7 3.1
Hispanic 7.5 23.9 33.1 25.3
Asian 1.9 3.1 2.6 1.8
American Indian 0.4 0.4 3.6 5
Percent under 5 years old 5 7.7 6.9 7.5
Percent under 18 years old 21.5 27.1 23.6 26.6
Percent 65 years old and over 22.7 12.9 15.2 13
Source: U.S. Census; based on 2000, 2008 data.
Note: Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in other race categories.