April 17th, 2010
12:28 PM ET
4 years ago

3 in 10 fail to return Census form on time

The deadline to return the Census form was Friday, April 16. 3 in 10 Americans have yet to respond.
The deadline to return the Census form was Friday, April 16. 3 in 10 Americans have yet to respond.

Washington (CNN) - One day after the official deadline to return the Census form, nearly 3 in 10 Americans have failed to do so, according to data made public by the Census Bureau.

As of Saturday, the official national participation rate stands at 69 percent. That rate reflects the percentage of forms mailed back by households that received them, but does not include forms returned by the U.S. Postal Service marked "undeliverable." The measure has never before been used by the Census Bureau, and was developed due to economic conditions and higher rates of vacant housing.

According to the Census Bureau, the national mail response rate was 67 percent in 2000 and the comparable national mail participation rate was 72 percent.

Americans who have failed to return the form by mail can still expect a home visit from a Census worker, with visits set to being in early May.

As of Saturday morning, the state of Wisconsin has the highest response rate, with 78 percent of households reporting. Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Pennsylvania round out the top 5, with each state reporting between 74 and 77 percent participation.


Filed under: Census
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. cspurgeon

    It is pure ignorance not to complete a census. It is how you get representation fools. What is wrong with this country.

    April 17, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Edwin

    I think it is amazing that so many conservatives vow not to allow this, when it is explicitly written into the constitution!

    April 17, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnestoa

    I wonder how many Minnesotans who have yet to send their Census in are from Bachmann's 6th District?

    Go Tarryl Clark!

    April 17, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    Of the seven not returning the forms five are illegal.

    April 17, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Mike

    I can't return what was never mailed to me.

    April 17, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I would have sent in my form if the government had bothered to send one. I did get 3 postcards telling me it was coming. Don't bother to send any one out, though, I don't answer the door for strangers or let them in my home.

    April 17, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Randall in Torrance, CA: Look Maw, no teeth!

    Becasue of non-participation there are 1000's of Census workers hired including my wife who now have to go door-to-door at nearly $20.00 an hour and $.00.50 per mile to get people to fill out the form. So, thank you all for creating jobs in California. The forms are used to improve emergency response by Firemen and Police, build schools, build hospitals, etc., by showing the difference in the number of residents and the capacity to meet community needs in districts throughout the U.S. So, don't be afraid to fill out the forms.

    April 17, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. Harry

    I receieved the Census form in early April, filled it out and returned it, then I receieved another one, so i filled it out and returned it as well. I actually worked for the Census bureau for a few weeks in South Florida a year ago and it the most ineffecient and slipshod organization I have ever been involved with.

    April 17, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Ken in Gainesville

    Please, Republicans, tea-baggers, and the rest of you malcontents. Don't return the census form! Please.

    April 17, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Ricky

    If they know how many people are suppose to return the census, why did they have to take a census in the first place?

    April 17, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Jon

    I still have not received one.

    April 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. califoniadreamin'

    Wait until the Census Bureau sees how many people (including me)refused to answer the questions regarding race. The not so hidden agenda behind racial questions is quite obvious.
    I guess they just can't count the population as the Constitution requires and let it go at that. Race has to be brought into everything it seems.

    April 17, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. martraco

    Fox News reported that Matt Drudge said that Sara Palin claimed that she heard someone say that they're planning to put everyone who doesn't fill out the census form in an internment camp. Just another example of the government trying to take over.

    April 17, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Don

    Is it really any wonder? Americans are disillusioned with what has happened to our Country. New government encroachments into our everyday lives are happening at a breakneck pace. This is another way for us to revolt and say don't tread on me.

    April 17, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. America Shrugged

    I want to personally thank Congresswoman Bachman for telling her supporters to encourage everyone they know to boycott the census.. Guess they don't know how important it is to be counted so that they can be appropriately represented in DC from their perspective districts. That being said, I am concerned about census workers going to these homes to collect the info.

    April 17, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. TXGigi

    They better not show up at my door. I mailed my completed form back and a week later got another form (same form) stating that it was against the law not to return it! Waste of money as far as I'm concerned. Wonder how much was spent all together on this fiasco. I'm 52 years old and this is the FIRST time I've ever been sent a census form.

    April 17, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. artraveler

    Way to go. Complain about the size of government and then through your actions require, under the Constitution, that the government hire more people to go to your home to find out that you are too whatever (tired, lazy, mad, important?) to take 3 minutes to return your card. Wow!

    April 17, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. IndiePA

    This whole process is nothing but a sham. Do you realize that "illegal" immigrants are free to complete a census form since there is no spot to indicate that you are, indeed, an American citizen? This will mean, since La Reza and other groups are encouraging "illegals" to complete the form, that some states will lose representation in the House and states, like California, will add representation.....all based on the count which includes these people who are openly breaking the law, taking jobs away from American workers and getting free educational and health benefits. Why doesn't anyone care???

    April 17, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. normajean

    I cannot speak for others, but I would like it known that I recieved three, not 1 but 3 Census forms, at three different times, I wasn't sure what to do, so made several phone calls adding up to nothing, so over period of weeks sent all three in. At least i"ll be counted, maybe three times?

    April 17, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. HarryB

    The ten questions are probably too difficult for theTea Partiers, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and their ilk to understand.
    WHAT IS YOUR NAME?.....let's see now.

    April 17, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Brett

    They should have had more commercials reminding people to send it back! There weren't enough! /sarcasm off

    April 17, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. David Newport, OR

    never got a form. Kinda hard to return it if they can't get it to me.

    April 17, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Charlie in Maine

    30% Are afraid to turn in the census, 30% think George W was a good President. 30% think the world is flat, that dinosaurs are a liberal conspiracy and we never landed on the moon.

    Do ya think there might be some overlap there? Just wondrin.

    April 17, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |