The Twenty-third United States Census, known as Census 2010, will be the next national census in the United States. National Census Day is April 1, 2010 and is the date used as a point of reference in filling out the form.
Census forms were delivered beginning March 15, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1 as the point of reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today."
The Census Bureau website states it will no longer use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information. The 2010 Census will use only a short form asking ten basic questions, including name, sex, age, date of birth, race, and homeownership status.
Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey. The survey provides data about communities in the United States on a yearly basis rather than once every 10 years. A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, and no household will receive it more than once every five years.
The Government Accountability Office estimated in 2004 that the cost of the 2010 Census would be over $11 billion. In a detailed report to Congress, it called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues.
Lockheed Martin won a six-year, $500 million contract to capture and standardize data for the census. The contract includes systems, facilities, and staffing. Information technology will be about a quarter of the projected $11.3 billion cost of the decennial census. This will be the first census to use hand-held computing devices with GPS capability. Unlike the 2000 census, an Internet response option will not be offered.
In June 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would count same-sex married couples. However, technical problems with current Census software may affect whether they are included in the census as "married" or whether they will be listed as "unmarried partners." As of January 1, 2010 , the District of Columbia and five states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire – allow marriages between partners of any sex combination to be performed by the state. In addition, 18,000 same-sex couples in California were married in 2008. Also, New York, Maryland and Virginia recognize marriages between partners of the same sex performed in other states to be legal. Same-sex couples who aren't legally able to marry will be counted as "married" if they self-identify that way.
In April 2009, the Census Bureau announced that it intended to work with community organizations in an effort to count all illegal immigrants in the United States for the census. In September 2009, after undercover exposé videos of questionable activities by staff of one of these community organizations were made public, the partnership of ACORN in the 2010 United States Census was terminated.
The results of the 2010 census will determine the number of seats each state receives in the United States House of Representatives starting with the 2012 elections. Consequently, this will also affect the number of votes that states receive in the Electoral College for the 2012 presidential election.
One projection for changes in representation in the House of Representatives based on 2000-2009 growth rate from the Census Bureau's population estimates is in the tables to the right.
Further analysis is in United_States_presidential_election,_2012
On September 12, 2009, census worker Bill Sparkman, 51, was found hanged in Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky with the word "fed" written on his chest. His death was later ruled a suicide made to look like a murder in order not to nullify his life insurance.
Organizations such as the Prison Policy Initiative argue that the Census counts of incarcerated men and women as residents of prisons, rather than of their pre-incarceration addresses, will skew political clout and result in misleading demographic and population data.
The term "Negro" is used in the questionnaire (Question 9. What is Person (number)'s race? ... Black, African Am., or Negro) as a choice to describe one's race. Some older African Americans still identify with the term, while others find it outdated and offensive. Census Bureau spokesman Jack Martin stated that, "Many older African-Americans identified themselves that way, and many still do. Those who identify themselves as Negroes need to be included". The word was also used in the 2000 Census, with over 56,000 people identifying themselves as "Negro."
Some Libertarians, such as Bob Barr feel that the census has become too intrusive, going beyond the scope intended by the authors of the U.S. Constitution. The text of the Constitution concerning the census, in Article I, Section 2 states: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct." Because the Constitution specifically authorizes an "Enumeration" (counting), some feel that the federal government has no authority to force citizens to answer questions beyond that which establishes the number of people living in the household. The 2010 census contains ten questions: about age, gender, ethnicity, home ownership, and household relationships. Six of the ten questions are intended to be answered by each individual in the household. Current federal law has provisions for fining those who refuse to complete the census form. Another controversy includes various objections to the counting of persons who are illegally in the United States.