Tales from the Trail

Counting population: Census road tour begins

Road trip!

The Census Bureau on Monday launched the “2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour” to reach out and convince everyone living in the United States to be counted in its once-a-decade population survey, which can alter political districts and affect where billions of dollars in federal funds are spent. USA/

The tour set off from New York City and will include 13 vehicles visiting about 800 events around the country over four months, including the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.

Vehicle updates can be followed on Twitter @2010Portrait and on Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube.

The 10-question survey will be mailed to every home in America in March with a return deadline of April 1, regardless of the resident’s citizenship.  If the questionnaire is not mailed back by late April, then Census Bureau surveyors start knocking on doors to try to get the information face-to-face.

“That’s a very expensive thing for us to do,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The Day After: a numbers game

It’s all about the numbers on the day after President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress on his vision for healthcare reform.

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMAFirst of all there’s the number of uninsured. Obama used 30 million in Wednesday night’s televised address, considerably lower than the 46-47 million he used just one month ago.

An administration official says the 30 million does not include illegal immigrants — Obama says his plan won’t cover them.