New tool tracks Census participation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/29/10

New tool tracks Census participation

Posted:
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - 120-million 2010 Census Forms have already gone out. Now, many are mailing them back.  To track participation, the U.S. Census Bureau partnered with Google to create an interactive map.

It allows anyone to see how their state and community is taking part in the 2010 Census.  Monday morning, Texas had a 27% participation rate, while Lubbock County had a slightly higher participation rate at 28%.

Participation in the Census is mandated by the constitution, but during the last Census in 2000, only 72% of people in the U.S. returned their form. The Census Bureau does send out workers to count those who don't mail back the form, but that cost money.

They say for every 1% increase in the national participation rate, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85-million.  "If you don't fill it out and mail it back, since under law we have to count everyone, we have to hire someone to go out and visit you in person and do an interview. If you mail it back, it costs about 42-cents of taxpayer money. If you don't mail it back, it's going to cost us about $60 to visit your household," U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. 

Last week, the Texas Secretary of State visited Lubbock to talk about the Lonestar's participation rate. She says in 2000, we were below the national rate of 72%, with Texas at 67%, and that costs the state money.

"If Texans go unaccounted, Texas will be short changed. In fact, according to the Texas State Demographer, each person that's not counted in Texas could result in a loss of $13,500 per person in federal funds the next ten years to Texas state and local governments," Secretary Hope Andrade said. 

Andrade reminds everyone that information on the census is protected, and cannot be shared with anyone else.

(Click Here) to see participation rates in your neighborhood. 

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