Calif., N.C. to host Census dress rehearsal

U.S. Census Bureau

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The Census Bureau has selected regions in California and North Carolina as dress rehearsal sites for the 2010 Census.

Census officials will use San Joaquin County, Calif., and a nine-county region around Fayetteville, N.C., as test areas in 2008 before doing the decennial count two years later.

The dress rehearsal is a way to tweak or fine-tune various operations, such as the use of Global Positioning System-equipped handheld computers and mailing replacement questionnaires, to ensure a more accurate count of people and housing units, officials said.

“While we have tested certain parts of the plan, the dress rehearsal is our first opportunity to see how well all of the pieces fit together,” Louis Kincannon, the bureau’s director, said in a press release.

The bureau chose San Joaquin County, located south of Sacramento, for its urban setting and multilingual population, among other factors. The Fayetteville region has a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas with military bases.

The dress rehearsal will provide more than 4,000 temporary jobs in those areas.

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