2010 Census: It’s In Our Hands!

Cochise County’s decennial portrait was taken on Census Day ~ April 1, 2010.   Between March and June of 2010 the Bureau of the Census has been collecting census data from Cochise County residents by mail, by phone and in person.  Census forms were not mailed to P.O. Boxes and Census workers have been personally delivering forms to houses that do not have a mail-box address. 

This web page provides information about the census and provides both a summary and a final report about Census 2010 activities in Cochise County.  Final response rates will be reported in late October 2010.  Census 2010 population counts will be reported to the President on December 31, 2010 by the Bureau of the Census. 

For information, data and interesting facts about the 2010 Census link to the official Census site at: https://2010.census.gov 

Census 2010 Response/Participation Rates: 
Cochise County had a mail-back response/participation rate of 68% which was the highest rate in 2010 for a rural border county with Mexico in the nation.  Cochise County increased their response rate by 8% from 2000 to 2010 AND is the third highest southern border county in the nation, with only the more urban areas of San Diego County and Pima County coming in slightly higher.

Comparison of Mail Response/Participation Rates for 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census


State of Arizona



Cochise County









Huachuca City






Sierra Vista









Participation rates reflect the percentage of mail-out/mail-back forms that have been entered into the U. S. Census Bureau website as of April 27, 2010.  The rates displayed were achieved by Tuesday, April 27, 2010, prior to the cut-off for door-to-door non-response follow-up operations. Final rates will be posted in the fall and will include late mail returns.

Tombstone had a 30 percent increase from 2000 to 84% - the highest city count in the State and one of the top counts in the nation.  Huachuca City also had a very high increase of 19% from their 2000 count.   25 cities in AZ had a count of 70 percent or more and Cochise County had 4 of those cities. Douglas pulled up 9 percent from 2000 – and to put their count in perspective their nearest county in New Mexico managed a 54% percent. Willcox pulled up their response rate 5% in the final week of April and it is believed that Willcox likely has more completed forms turned in that are not yet reflected in these response rates (this area received census forms later in the mail-out phases than the other cities in the County).

• The Census Questionnaire
Many of Cochise County residents received a Census form in the mail.  This form has 6 questions for each family member in the household:  Name, Sex, Age, Relationship, Hispanic Origin, Race and a new census question that asks about permanence of residence. This question helps us know if you or the person in your household also spends time living somewhere else, e.g. in a college dorm, stationed with the military or in a second home elsewhere.

Everyone answers questions about Hispanic origin and race.  Many people were confused by these questions in the last census and the Census Bureau has tried to respond to their concerns.  The first question asks about ethnicity:  Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?  The second question asks: What is this person’s race? You may mark more than one category if you consider yourself or other members in your house to be more than one race.  Hispanic origin is actually an ethnicity NOT a race and many Hispanics in our area are considered to be white, although you can be of Hispanic descent and be of any race.

Preview the Census Form!  https://2010.census.gov/2010census/about/interactive-form.php 

What happened to the long form?  The Bureau of the Census has replaced the long form (that used to be delivered to about 1 in 6 houses each decade) with the American Community Survey.  The American Community Survey goes out nation-wide on an annual basis and surveys about 10 percent of the population. Sampling is used to take the information from the American Community Survey and project it for the entire nation.   There are a little over 30 questions on the long form: 21 are about population and 13 are about housing.  These include subjects like marital status, education enrollment, language spoken in the home, time to travel to work, vehicles available, number of rooms in house, year house was built and plumbing facilities.  Answers to these questions are critical for community planning and help determine where schools are sited, nutritional programs are needed, or housing rehabilitation programs started. You may be one of the lucky residents to be surveyed at the same time as the Census count is being taken.  If you do get both survey forms, please fill out BOTH forms and send them in. 

• Confidentiality of the Census

By law the Census Bureau cannot share the answers provided on census questionnaires with anybody and that includes the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal Revenue Service, welfare agencies, courts, police and the military.  This law has been backed up by the U.S. Supreme Court and it works.  Millions of questionnaires have been processed without a single breach of trust.  The most advanced security measures, which include electronic barriers, scrambling devices and dedicated lines, are used to ensure the continued dedication of the Census Bureau to their unbroken record of protecting the privacy of their records.

Protecting your privacy is also an important part of every Census worker sworn oath of office.  They face a $5,000 fine and a 5 year prison term if they give out any of the information they see on a form.   Even the staff that work on reviewing address lists for the Census Bureau swear an oath to promise that they will not share the address lists with anyone and to destroy all of the materials when they are done with their review.  Your individual answers are combined with many other household responses to produce statistical summaries.  No one can connect your answers with your name or address.

It is also important to know that Census workers will NEVER ask for money or bank account information.  Census workers will always have an official ID badge and frequently have an official U.S. Census Bureau bag making them easier to identify.  An advance letter is typically sent to any household that a Census worker plans to visit.  If you are ever unsure if someone at your door is an official Census worker you can contact the Census Bureau, Denver Region at 1-800-852-6159 before answering any questions.