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.