April 1st, 2010
05:30 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Vast majority gives census thumbs up

Americans overwhelmingly say that the census is useful and not an invasion of their privacy, according to a new national poll.
Americans overwhelmingly say that the census is useful and not an invasion of their privacy, according to a new national poll.

Washington (CNN) - Americans overwhelmingly say that the census is useful and not an invasion of their privacy, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 80 percent of the public says that the census is useful, with just one in four saying the census is a waste of money. And 83 percent of people questioned in the poll say they don't consider the census an invasion of their privacy.

Full results (pdf)

"These numbers are virtually unchanged from a decade ago," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2000, only 18 percent said the census was an invasion of privacy and only 14 percent thought it was a waste of money."

The survey's Thursday morning release comes on National Census Day. Census forms ask all Americans to describe everyone who is living in their household as of April 1, and some cities will host rallies on April 1 in an attempt to get as many Americans as possible to mail in their completed census questionnaires.

The poll indicates that two-thirds say this year's census will be very or somewhat accurate, with one in three saying the census will be somewhat or very inaccurate.

The United States, as mandated by the Constitution, conducts a census every ten years, to count every resident in the nation. The results are used in order to determine each state's number of members to the House of Representatives. Census figures are also used in order determine how much federal funding each state receives.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 19-21, with 1,030 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Census • CNN poll
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Capt. Snarky

    All the information the Census needs is:

    The number of people in your house. That's it. Any "socio-economic" data collected is an un-necessary invasion of your privacy.

    April 1, 2010 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  2. Jobe

    If the Democrats are smart, they'll probably make use of the fact that there were a lot of Republicans in Congress who were claiming that the census was part of a UN plot to claim that the Republicans are crazy. Probably going to bind the GOP still tighter to the Tea Party, thereby scaring independents back into the Dem fold. And the Tea Partiers are going to help this along, still chanting about the birth certificate, still claiming that global warming was a hoax, still screaming racial epithets at every random non-white they see. And of course the districts where hardly anyone turns in a census form will be white rural districts that always vote for Republicans anyway, districts that could easily get gerrymandered out of existence if Michelle Bachmann's voters follow the teachings of Michelle Bachmann. Circular firing squads are nothing new for today's GOP.

    April 1, 2010 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  3. j russ

    I don't understand why, if we're supposed to be such a post racial country, that this government continues to encourage racism. One question on the census – how many people in the house, the remaining questions – what race are you. Seems to me it's nobody's business.

    April 1, 2010 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  4. southern cousin

    The census is actually called for in the Constitutiono and this is one of the few instances where the administration is actually following it. The problem is with this slimy, corrupt administration, we don't know what they will do with the information. The fact they objected to a Republican running the Commerce Department that is in charge of it is very troubling. One has to "healh care reform" effort to realize how capable Obozo and the libertards are at lying and distorting facts and figures to make their justifications for stealing more money from hard working Americans.

    April 1, 2010 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  5. diridi

    it is useful...we can find out as to who is here withour proper visas, and illegal, without immigration...

    April 1, 2010 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  6. Gil Oberdas

    I hope that that would indicate one less thing that the republicans would say NO to? They seem to have said No to everything else and try to undermine everything this administration has seemed to undertake. We need to rid ourselves of all these right wingers that do nothing and say No for their pay!

    April 1, 2010 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. FM

    Those who are saying census is waste of money, I am afraid to say they are a little bit behind of how the nation's population is growing up. If you can count how many states, how many congressmen/women, how many senators: why not know how many people are in the entire nation , and which race is growing faster!

    April 1, 2010 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  8. Jack

    Oh yeah! Thumbs up to the billions in wasted taxpayer money! What a joke!

    April 1, 2010 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  9. Jack

    Why the question of Race?? Are we not all supposed to be equal?? I plan on answering the question as other: HUMAN.

    April 1, 2010 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  10. Jack

    A more fitting question then race should have been Are you here Legally?

    April 1, 2010 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  11. Shawn

    I hope the right-wing loons refuse to fill out their census forms (since Nazi dictator Barack Obama is gonna get 'em!). That way they will lose representation in Congress and funding for their kids' schools which will further weaken them as a former force in American politics. Nice backfire, Geniuses!

    April 1, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. TCM

    I'm just waiting to see the fall out; about how ACORN members have changed their name to some other organization and hijacked the Census in order to funnel more benefit dollars to the lazy leeches already on the government teet. Never in the history of this country has an administration and it's governing body been so mistrusted by true Americans....that's change all right...watch and see; each census will become more intrusive if the liberals have their way...all to fund their socialist agenda.

    April 1, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |