The Texas-Mexico Border II

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

One reason I wanted to see the Texas-Mexico border is that it has a relatively large number of addresses that we had difficulty assigning to a small geographical area (like a block). I wanted to see what the problem was, so we armed our little traveling crew with some examples to examine.

Some of the problems arose because of what the locals call “Winter Texans.” These are people from the Northern states and Canada, who have large recreational vehicles or trailers, who migrate down to Texas in the autumn, and return to their homes in the North in the spring.

When we visited a set of RV parks in the summer of 2009 (in an operation we called Address Canvassing), many of the parks were largely empty, with slabs of concrete awaiting the Winter Texans. The Postal Service often treats these parks as one delivery point (for the clusters of mailboxes in them), but we want to list all pads. It looks like in some cases we missed some of the hookups in such units. Not a large problem, but one we have to watch out for.

We know about these cases and have various ways to bring them into the 2010 Census with follow up operations. Over the coming months, we’ll describe how people who didn’t receive a form can get counted.

We also know that some of the residents of these RV parks will have departed for their Northern home before they receive a 2010 Census questionnaire in Texas. Some will get a form mailed to their Northern home and their RV location. Such folks are susceptible to getting counted twice. We’ve added a couple of questions to the questionnaire to report on having two places to live and we’ll follow up on these cases to avoid duplicates.

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6 Responses to The Texas-Mexico Border II

  1. Tania says:

    I have a question.. Why does the 2010 Census use the word “Negro” as an option to identify a person’s race?
    Historically, I know the word “Negro” has been considered an acceptable term used to identify a black person; however, I think it’s very derogatory to continue to use this term in this day and age. It has an uncomfortable undertone that rings that some things have not changed.

  2. Deborah Browning says:

    If they spend equal time in each location, which location counts?

  3. J.R. says:

    Called your help line regarding what to do when owning a second home…and therefore a second census form. Not helpful really.
    I decided to make a note on the forms which one is our “primary residence” and which is “secondary residence”, and noted secondary residence as “00” people living there and “already counted on primary residence form”.
    This is a common situation and should have been more clearly designated on the 2010 census form (and we do NOT consider ourselves “snowbirds”!) Please do better in 2020 so we don’t count people twice.

  4. KT says:

    It is my understanding that some individuals use the term “Negro” to describe themselves rather than Black or African-American. The term is used so that all individuals will be counted in the way they feel comfortable. We all get to pick the term that is meaningful to ourselves.

  5. Diane says:

    We are full-time RVers and have a “permanent address” in Livingston, Texas. However, we WERE NOT COUNTED IN LIVINGSTON, TEXAS in this year’s census, since the census forms WERE NOT ALLOWED TO BE FORWARDED with our regular mail to the location where we happened to be in April of 2010. What is the Census Bureau going to do to ensure we are counted?

  6. The Census Bureau does several things to make sure people in your situation still get counted. For one, it’s helpful to know that the census follows a rule that people should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. If for you that’s Livingston, then Livingston is where you should be counted. We likely still mailed a form to your Livingston address, and if you did not fill it out and mail it back, we sent a census taker to your door. If you weren’t home, after a few tries to reach you, the census taker would have tried consulting with one of your neighbors.
    If there is no residence where you live and sleep most of the time, you should be counted where you live and sleep more than anywhere else.  If your time is equally divided, or if your usual residence cannot be determined, you are counted at the place where you are staying on Thursday, April 1, 2010 (Census Day). The Census Bureau sent census takers to count people who do not have a usual home elsewhere who inhabit transitory locations such as Recreational Vehicle (RV) parks, campgrounds, hotels, motels (including those on military sites), marinas, racetracks, circuses, and carnivals.

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