Hitting the streets, census style

The census, that constitutionally mandated national head count that takes place every ten years, doesn’t kick off until this time next year. But beginning April 6 of this year, a prep team will hit the streets of Western North Carolina to make sure all addresses are accounted for when it comes time to mail questionnaires and knock on doors.

“They will be going out and identifying each and every living quarters,” says Andrea M. Robel, an Asheville-based Partnership Specialist for the U.S. Census. “So that when the census questionnaire is mailed in 2010, it will be mailed to everyone.”

Armed with post office information and GPS systems, the group of about 50 people will be cruising neighborhoods, taking note of every home in WNC’s 26 counties and double checking mailing addresses and physical residents.

At this point, the team won’t be asking any questions, but Robel wants the community to be aware that they will be out on the streets collecting data. Certain to catch the attention of residents, the census employees will be wearing identification badges around their necks and carrying canvas bags and handheld computers, and their cars will have census cards on the dashboards, Robel says.

As the team finished up training at the beginning of April, Robel said the census will be conducting another round of hiring and training in the late summer and early fall – preparation for the 2010 count.

The data from a census complete count is used in a wide variety of applications, including legislative decision making, district drawing, distribution of federal and state funds and determining the number of House representatives a state gets in Washington D.C.

For more information on what to expect during the census count, or to check on


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.