2010 census participation 8 pct. above 2000 rate

Published 5:30 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

About eight percent more Polk County residents mailed back forms for the 2010 Census compared to the 2000 Census, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The bureau reports that the mail participation rate for the 2010 Census in Polk County was 73 percent, up from 65 percent in 2000.
The participation rate was up by the same margin statewide. rising from 66 percent in 2000 to 74 percent in 2010. North Carolina was slightly above the national average this year of 72 percent.
The biggest increase in North Carolina was seen in Dare County, which rose from 35 in 2000 to 76 percent in 2010. Participation in Rutherford County increased from 64 to 78 percent, giving it one of the highest participation rates in the state. Chowan and Alexander counties were tied for the highest at 80 percent.
The higher participation rates will save the federal government money because fewer Census workers will have to follow up with visits to homes that did not respond.
The Census Bureau estimates that every percentage point increase in the national participation rate by mail saves about $85 million.
Non-response follow-up is set to begin this Saturday and will continue through July 10.
Nearly 19,000 census takers will fan out across North Carolina going door-to-door to collect information from households that have not answered the Census.
Census officials note that some residents may not have received a form this year. For instance, people might live in an area where the forms werent deliverable to a geographical address, the address might be incomplete, households might be part of a special census operation, or the residence might be a new construction.
“If you did not get a census form, you will be visited in our follow-up operation. You will be counted,” says William W. Hatcher, regional director for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Hatcher says the Census takers will wear identification badges with the words “U.S. Department of Commerce,” the Census takers name and the words “U.S. Bureau of the Census. The employee should have a black workbag with “U.S. Census Bureau” on it and an official seal.
Census takers will not ask for social security numbers or financial information. If a respondent is asked this from someone who claims to be a Census taker, they should report the activity to the local Census office nearest to their home or law enforcement.
For more information visit www.census2010.gov.

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