2010 Census responses match 2000's
Though the totals are still being tallied, the 2010 Census response rate has matched returns for the 2000 headcount, the U.S. Census Bureau said Friday. Final numbers will be announced Wednesday.
More than one in five of the nation's counties have outperformed their 2000 rate by five percentage points or more, according to an analysis by the City University of New York. But large cities and small towns, mostly home to lower-income people and minorities, still have low response rates, the analysis said.
The Obama administration heralded Friday's news, thanking the thousands of churches, corporations and civic organizations that partnered with the agency to promote the census and noting the high returns will help save federal funds.
“Strong mail-back participation increases the likelihood of a successful census and saves taxpayer dollars," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement. "All United States residents should be proud of this achievement."
This year's response rates are most heartening because survey participation rates have been dropping for some time.
But Locke reminded Americans that census takers will soon hit the streets in an attempt to follow up with folks who failed to return a form. His statement essentially urged people to answer the door if census workers come knocking. They'll try up to six times to make contact with people at addresses that failed to mail back a form.
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| April 23, 2010; 3:01 PM ET
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