Census Workers Spread Out in Cities to
May 1, 2000
Census 2000 continues as more
than 500,000 census takers, hired from local communities, visit
neighborhoods to follow up with those who did not mail back their Census
2000 questionnaires. This second phase of the census, called non-response
follow-up, will send census workers to knock on each door of the estimated
40 million households nationwide that did not return their forms.
The national response to the first census phase has been positive with sixty-five percent of the households in America returning their census forms. “This is a serious achievement; it is news to celebrate,” said Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt. “In reaching 65 percent, the American public out-performed the expectations of the Census Bureau, of the U.S. Congress, and of the General Accounting Office. Congratulations are owed to thousands of mayors, county commissioners, teachers, community advocates, houses of worship, and other local government, civic and business leaders. They were determined to ensure the highest possible mail response rate. Now our job is cut out for us: we will make every effort, beginning April 27, to contact all of those who did not return their forms so that we can achieve a 100-percent count of our nation’s population.”
Forty-six cities of the top 100
cities by population exceeded their 1990 initial mail response rate. Eleven
of those cities either met or exceeded their 1990 rate by five percentage
points (see chart).
Visit www.HAKWAN.com for a complete list of the Census 2000 initial response rates of the top 100 cities (by population) or visit www.census.gov for Census 2000 initial response rates for all state, local and tribal governmental entities.
Cities and their elected officials can help ensure an accurate count by utilizing the materials for the non-response follow-up phase of Census 2000. The component of the Bureau’s promotional campaign to support non-response follow-up – Because You Count – provides materials to alert people to the enumerators’ presence in their neighborhoods and ask the public to cooperate with them. You can download these updated Because You Count materials (op-ed, speech, public service announcement, talking points, matte article, media announcement and fact sheets) from www.HAKWAN.com or call 1-888-281-2118 to obtain the materials by e-mail, fax or mail.
Most mayors understand that an accurate census count directly affects vital resources and services in their city. Billions of dollars of federal, state and local funds will be spent on new schools, hospitals, roads, etc. in cities and communities around the country. How and where that money is spent depends primarily on census data, derived from answers to long form questions. According to a 1999 United States Conference of Mayors’ survey, the total loss in federal and state funds for thirty-four major cities during the last decade, resulting from the 1990 undercount was $536 million. “The amount lost to the surveyed cities averaged $1,230 for each person not counted in the city…”
This is the time to become involved in census promotion or continue your current involvement. Census 2000 data collected in cities nationwide will impact the distribution of federal and state funds for services for the next ten years.
We must keep in mind that this is our future. We can’t leave it blank.