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Soon every household across Big Sky Country will receive a 2010 Census form. It’s only 10 questions and it will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The data will be used for the next 10 years to determine much of the federal funding Montana receives – money for things like hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, roads and bridges and other-public works projects.

Each question helps to determine how more than $400 billion will be allocated to communities across the country. That’s about $400 per year per Montanan over the next 10 years.

Across the USA, the Census Bureau estimates for each percentage point of the population that does not return a form during the 2010 Census, it will cost approximately $80 million to $90 million to have census workers make personal visits to obtain the missing information. So by quickly returning your form in the mail, you are saving taxpayer money and ensuring Montana gets the best count ever in the 2010 Census.

As a long-time resident of Montana, and as a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, my assistants and I have traveled to every county in our great state in the last year to talk to people about the importance of the 2010 Census. We’ve partnered with the state of Montana to ensure the word is spread that the 2010 Census is safe, it’s easy, and it’s important to Montana.

So please complete and return your 2010 Census form and help make a brighter tomorrow for all Montanans.

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Jackie M. (Mike) Brown,

Partnership specialist,

United States Census Bureau,

Great Falls

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