Come March, Camden County residents need not look in their mailboxes for the 2010 U.S. Census, the decennial survey of residents of the United States as required by the Constitution.


Come March, Camden County residents need not look in their mailboxes for the 2010 U.S. Census, the decennial survey of residents of the United States as required by the Constitution.

Because of the low mail-back response to the 2000 Census, Census officials have selected Camden County to be one of the areas in which they will hand deliver the forms.

Parts of Morgan and Miller counties will also be hand-delivered, but 100 percent of Camden County will be done door-to-door.

The mail-back rate in Camden County 10 years ago was just 39 percent — the lowest county in the state. At second lowest in Missouri was Morgan County with a mail-back rate of 44 percent. Miller County's was 59 percent.

This intensive effort will start March 8, according to Assistant Regional Census manager Rich Gerdes who made the announcement Jan. 28 at a meeting of the Camden County complete count committee, and it will take about one to two weeks.

While hiring has not yet started, recruiting for these jobs has begun. The Census is looking for people around the lake area to apply for these temporary positions.

Gerdes estimated in the Columbia Type of Enumeration Area — made up of 14 counties including Camden, Morgan and Miller — there will be about 1,000 jobs to be filled. The Springfield area encompassing southwest Missouri will also be hiring for approximately 1,000 jobs.

There are different types of jobs available. They will pay between $9-$15 per hour and includes mileage at the federal rate of 50 cents per mile.

The bureau wants to hire locals to deliver the surveys, and for when non-response counting begins. Some of these full or part time positions could last into September.

Call the Columbia Census office at 1-866-861-2010 for more information.

More on the Census
The Census Bureau usually mails out the survey starting March 15, then does a second mailing to households who do not respond starting April 15.

Whether people get the form in the mail, receive it from a local Census worker or find it slipped under their door, they need to fill it out and send it in on April 1.

The Census asks people to wait until April 1 because people a lot can happen in the time between receiving the survey and April 1. The Census strives to be as exact as possible to getting a snapshot of the nation on that date to be accurate, according to Gerdes.

If residents do not receive a Census survey or need help filling it out, there will also be assistance centers, called Be Counted sites, where they can get help on April 1. Those locations have not yet been released.

Snowbirds, people who live part of the year elsewhere but spend the majority of their time here, are being instructed to write zero on the questionnaires at the house where they spend less time and then fill out the survey later at their main residence.

Non-response counting will begin in May.