Census response brisk in area

Published 9:48 am Saturday, March 27, 2010

FRANKLIN—Western Tidewater residents are participating in the 2010 Census at a higher rate than the state and nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau, in collaboration with the Internet search engine Google, has developed a mapping tool to track mail response rates for Census forms mailed earlier this month. Maps are updated daily.

As of Friday, Isle of Wight County’s mail participation rate was 42 percent, Southampton County’s was 34 percent and Franklin’s was 37 percent. All three were higher than the national rate of 29 percent.

Virginia’s rate was 34 percent.

It is estimated that every percentage point increase in the mail participation rate saves taxpayers about $85 million because Census takers will not be required to visit those households in person.

“I’d like nothing more than to return money to the taxpayers following this Census because they mailed back the Census forms at a record rate,” said Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau.

“In the end, the American public’s willingness to participate in the 2010 Census will determine its success and how much money we’re able to return to Congress.”

The mail participation rate map is accessible at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.