Thursday, 18 April 2024

Census Bureau says it's not too late to mail back 2010 Census forms

LAKE COUNTY – Census Day – April 1 – has come and gone, but the US Census Bureau said it's not too late to send the forms in by mail.

An estimated 134 million households will receive the forms this year.

As of April 5, the national participation rate in the 2010 Census was 60 percent, the agency reported.

In California, the participation rate was 58 percent on April 5, while Lake County's rate was 48 percent, compared to neighboring counties Napa (62 percent), Yolo (61 percent) Glenn (60 percent), Sonoma (59 percent), Colusa (57 percent) and Mendocino (54 percent).

Inyo County has the highest rate in the state so far, 64 percent, while Alpine County had 18 percent.

The Census Bureau will continue to accept 2010 Census questionnaires by mail through mid-April.

Beginning May 1, census workers will begin going door to door to households that failed to mail back their forms – a massive operation that costs taxpayers an average of $57 per household versus the 42 cents it takes to get a response back by mail.

"The Census Bureau and I would like to thank everyone who has already taken 10 minutes to fill out and mail back the 2010 Census," Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. "For those who have not yet had a chance to send it back, I'd like to reiterate that it's not too late to participate and doing so will save a lot of taxpayer money."

Census Day serves as the point-in-time benchmark for the nation's population count for the next 10 years.

April 1 has been designated by law as Census Day since 1930. Before that, the decennial population count's reference date fell on different days, such as Aug. 7 in 1820, June 1 in 1880, and April 15 in 1910.

Severe weather conditions during the 1920 Census, which had a Census Day of Jan. 2, led to the April 1 date when weather would be temperate enough to allow census takers to travel within their assignment areas.

The Census Bureau is urging communities nationwide to take charge of their 2010 Census mail participation rates, which are posted at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time each day.

Anyone can visit the 2010 Census Web site at to track how well their state, county or neighborhood is doing in mailing in their forms.

From the same interactive rate map, anyone can also embed a Participation Rate Tracker "widget" on their Web site that will display an area's latest participation rates.

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide.

The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete.

Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.

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