Census count begins in Flathead

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The U.S. Census Bureau began hand-delivering census forms to rural residences in Flathead County last week.

Many Flathead residents, generally those in urban areas, will receive their census forms in the mail during the week of March 22, according to Bill Knowles, census office manager for Western Montana.

The government has hired more than 50 workers to count people in Flathead County. Knowles said each census worker will have an identification badge and a black bag marked with Census Bureau.

Residents are asked to answer the 10 questions on the form and then mail it back in the postage-paid envelope provided.

Those who donít return the form may receive a visit from a census taker, who will ask the questions from the form.

ďStarting in May we chase down the people who donít turn them in,Ē Knowles said.

Nationwide, about 36 percent donít return the forms. Knowles said the percentage in Montana is expected to exceed the national average.

National Census Day is April 1, a date residents can use as a point of reference for sending back the completed forms.

Itís not possible to complete the census form online, but additional information about Census 2010 is available at the Web site, http://2010.census.gov.

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