Census... 1 in 3 Americans Did NOT Return Forms

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 1:27pm.

Nearly one in three Americans failed to return their census questionnaires by Friday's official deadline, the Census Bureau said... More forms were expected to be received over the weekend. (Hmmm... I take it that 1 in 3 Americans just want to be left alone! Besides, doesn't the government claim to already know how many people live in the US... causing all that global warming? ~ S.I.A.) 

Census workers will not begin going door to door until May 1 to count people who did not return their questionnaires by mail.

As of early Friday, the mail participation rate was 68 percent. The mail participation rate, which the bureau is using this year for the first time, is the percentage of forms mailed back by households that received them.

Unlike the mail response rate, which the census used in earlier counts, it excludes forms returned by the postal service as undeliverable, often because a house or apartment was vacant. The mail response rate was 67 percent in 2000. If the undeliverable forms had been excluded then, the mail participation rate would have been 72 percent.

Final rates for this year's count will not be posted until early May, so it was unclear whether this year's unprecedented publicity and marketing campaigns had reversed a decades-long decline.

Wisconsin logged the highest participation rate of any state, 78 percent, followed by Minnesota (76 percent) and Iowa (75 percent). The lowest rates were in New Mexico (59 percent) and Louisiana (60 percent). Livonia, Mich., recorded the highest rate, 85 percent, among places with 50,000 or more people.

An analysis by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York found that 10 percent of counties had exceeded their 2000 rates by five percentage points or more. Some of the urban neighborhoods typically considered hardest to count appear to have been among the highest-rated areas this time.

The research center said the gains might be a result of the Census Bureau's advertising campaign and community outreach as well as changing demographics.

In big cities, predominantly black areas tended to have lower participation rates than mostly white ones. Detroit was an exception. While Hispanic areas generally logged lower participation rates, that was not the case in Miami, Newark and New York.

Sam Roberts - April 16, 2010 - source NYTimes

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 1:27pm.