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As of Thursday, April 15, Illinois is just two percentage points away from matching the mail participation rate it achieved in the 2000 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. New rates released today show that 71 percent of Illinoisans have mailed back their forms so far, compared with 73 percent in 2000. The nation as a whole — at 68 percent — is still four percentage points away from matching the mail response rate achieved in 2000 (72 percent).
“We're asking all Illinoisans who've received a census form to fill it out and mail it back today,” said U.S. Census Bureau director Robert Groves. “Your actions can save taxpayers a significant sum of money because mailing the form back is much easier and less expensive than having a census worker come to your door to complete the form with you.”
The U.S. Census Bureau is emphasizing the Friday, April 16, mail deadline because forms put in the mail by tomorrow will likely be received and processed in time to delete those households from the list of addresses it will visit starting May 1. Households that normally pick up their mail from a post office box are already slated for follow-up in May from census workers.
If successful, Illinois can join North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee on the list of states that have met or surpassed their 2000 mail-back participation rate.
The rates for all states, counties, places, towns and townships are updated each afternoon through April 23 at 4:00 p.m. on the Take 10 Challenge Map (http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/). A final rate will be announced May 3.
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.