Jackson Behind on Census | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackson Behind on Census


The city of Jackson is behind the curve in returning 2010 census forms to the Census Bureau. Nationally, 46 percent of households have returned the forms, while Jackson is trailing with only 31 percent returned, one of the lowest rates in the country, according to the bureau.

"We're concerned about the relatively low response from Jackson," Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said in a statement. "Every household that fails to send back their census form by mail must be visited by a census taker starting in May—at a significant taxpayer cost. The easiest and best way to be counted in the census is to fill out and return your form by mail."

For every percentage point increase in mail response, taxpayers will save an estimated $85 million in federal funds. Those funds would otherwise be required to send census takers to collect census responses in person from households that don't mail back the form. After the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau was able to return $305 million in savings to the federal Treasury because mail rates exceeded expectations—a move the Census Bureau would like to repeat in 2010.

With only 10 questions, the 2010 census form is easy to fill out, the statement continues, and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Among the uses for the data collected, census figures determine the number of congressional representatives in a state and amounts of federal funding available.

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