With most 2010 Census questionnaires having arrived last week by mail for 120 million households, the U.S. Census Bureau will launch new interactive Google Maps showing initial mail participation rates. The collaborative partnership with Google allows communities the ability to track how their area is responding to the once-a-decade count. The Census Bureau will provide daily updates of the percentage of returned census forms using Google Maps and Google Earth.
The Census Bureau encourages everyone to “Take 10” — that is to take 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions on the census form. The mail participation rate for the nation in 2000 was 72 percent.
For every 1 percent increase in the national participation rate by mail, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85 million by not having to send census takers door to door to households that failed to return the census form. If every household mailed back its 2010 Census form, the cost of taking the census would be reduced by $1.5 billion.
The “Take 10” map, which includes the 2000 Census mail participation rates as a benchmark for which communities are encouraged to exceed, will also feature an easy-to-embed local rate tracker (widget) that local community officials, businesses and media can add to their Web sites to encourage residents to participate in the census.
Download the “Take 10” Rate Tracker to embed on your Web site and the toolkit with templates and suggestions for implementing the “Take 10” challenge locally. Check out your community’s 2010 Census mail
participation rate and compare it to 2000 at
This article was printed in the March 28, 2010 - April 10, 2010 edition.