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Some in county did not receive census questionnaire

Some residents who live in homes built after the 2000 census did not receive questionnaires for this year’s count because officials said the federal government used outdated information to compile its list of addresses.

The oversight upset some San Luis Obispo County residents when they realized they did not receive questionnaires in time to mail them back by Friday’s deadline.

Their information will still be sought, Census Bureau spokeswoman Earlene Dowell said, because it’s important to the agency that the count include everyone.

Data collected in the 2010 census help to determine how more than $400 billion will be allocated to communities across the country, according to www.census.gov.

Officials didn’t have an estimate of how many people were affected by the situation or where they live, but said most new development in the last decade was included.

Census takers will also canvass all neighborhoods from May 1 to July 10, including new ones. They will skip the homes that already mailed in a questionnaire by Friday.

There is no notice issued before a census taker first comes to the door, Dowell said, but if no one is home, a notice will be left indicating where to call so residents can set up a time for a return visit. Or the census taker will return to the home in the next day or two, she added.

The census taker will ask residents the questions on the form, record their answers, according to the census Web site, and then submit the form for each household.

Census forms can’t be filled out online.

Those who didn’t receive questionnaire forms in the mail, or who prefer to answer the questions by phone, have until April 21 to call the census assistance line at 1-866-872-6868.

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