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2010 Census Mail Participation Rate Hits 71 Percent as Census Bureau Continues to Receive Forms

Eighteen States Have Now Met or Exceeded Their 2000 Rates

     As of Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 71 percent of the nation's households have mailed back their 2010 Census forms, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

     The Census Bureau will continue to post updates to the participation rate throughout the week as the last of the mailed-back forms are processed. After Friday, April 23, no rate updates will be posted until the final mail participation rate is calculated and announced at a news conference during the week of April 26.

    Also as of today, the following 18 states (as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico) have met or surpassed their 2000 Census mail participation rates:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

     In light of the new challenges facing the 2010 count, the U.S. Census Bureau has implemented a number of steps to increase the likelihood of participation:

  • The use of survey techniques that are proven to have a positive impact on mail response, such as a multiple contact strategy and new operations to mail replacement forms to low-response areas and English/Spanish bilingual forms to targeted areas.
  • Strategic and research-based advertising, outreach and partnerships aimed at encouraging participation.
  • Coordinated “March to the Mailbox” campaigns in thousands of communities nationwide before the April 16 deadline to encourage last-minute participation, as well as dedicated advertising to low-responding areas.


    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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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: May 19, 2016