Contact: Decennial Media Relations
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Census Bureau Deputy Director William G. Barron, Jr., today announced that 30 percent of the roughly 42 million households which did not return a census form before mid-April have already cooperated and been counted by one of an army of 460,000 census takers during the second phase of Census 2000.
Speaking before the Committee on National Statistics meeting in Washington, D.C. today, Barron said the Bureau is "very pleased with the progress to date of the enumeration phase of the Census." The Bureau has scheduled an average of 10 weeks across the nation to complete the non-response workload. Today's report reflected enumeration results through Thursday, May 11, or the first week and one half of the 10-week process.
"There remain significant challenges ahead in the next eight weeks, but the census continues to be running very well and all operations are meeting or exceeding our expectations," Barron said.
Yesterday, the investigative arm of Congress, the General Accounting Office, reported that "...the decennial count is encouraging, with major operations reportedly proceeding on schedule and generally performing as planned. Particularly noteworthy is the 65 percent initial response rate, which, in matching the response rate to the 1990 Census, surpassed expectations."
In a separate statement, Bureau Director, Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, praised the work of the career census professionals and the temporary staff of almost 500,000 workers helping to make this census the most accurate possible in their own communities across the nation. "Everyday I am impressed with the dedication and achievements of census workers who deserve a great deal of credit for the continued good progress of Census 2000," Prewitt said.
Deputy Director Barron told the government and private sector statisticians assembled in Washington that "Census 2000 looks more and more like an operational success story of unprecedented dimensions."
The National Committee on Statistics is a private, professional group of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council which has been monitoring and advising on Census 2000 during most of the last decade.