Census participation numbers increase


First Posted: 6/19/2010

LUMBERTON Participation in the U.S. Census in Lumberton and Robeson County has surpassed what it was a decade ago and statewide the count is ahead of schedule but some people could still get a knock on the door from census takers.
Currently Lumbertons participation is at 67 percent, a 2 percent increase from all of 2000, and the countys participation rate is 66 percent, an 11 percent increase from all of 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the 2000 Census, the statewide participation rate was 66 percent and has increased to 74 percent this year. Nationally, the rate has remained the same at 72 percent in 2000 and 2010.
In the weeks ahead, some homes will be visited by census takers because forms are incomplete, have conflicting answers or failed to be returned by the April 16 due date. This has led to the follow-up phase of the 2010 Census which has already started in North Carolina and is about 94 percent complete.
In some parts of North Carolina, the workload was completed weeks ahead of the July 10 deadline for the non-response follow-up phase, said William W. Hatcher, regional director for the Census Bureau in Charlotte.
Although the follow-ups have been successful, additional quality control checks are in place to ensure accuracy and could lead some homes to be visited more than once, according to Hatcher.
If you are one of the small percent of North Carolina homes that are visited, please take a few minutes to speak with the census taker, Hatcher said. Our mission is to count everyone once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right.
Census takers nationwide began doing door-to-door work on May 1 to collect census forms from more than 47 million homes that failed to send them in on time.
U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announced that 44 million of those missing census forms were completed and returned as of Sunday leaving only 3 million forms left to be collected and processed.
We are somewhat ahead of schedule and certainly under budget, Groves said.
The official count from the 2010 census of everyone living in the U.S. is required by the Constitution. It is used to allocate congressional seats to the states and to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds every year to tribal, state and local governments. Each states results must be reported to the president by Dec. 31.
Census takers can be identified by their I.D. badges and black bags that are marked with the words U.S. Census Bureau. The workers will never ask to enter homes, and will not ask for bank/credit cards or Social Security numbers.

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