Hornbeak leads county in return of census forms
Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 9:01 pm
The citizens of Hornbeak lead the way in mailing back their census forms.
According to www.2010.census.gov, Hornbeak had an 86 percent return rate for returning census forms by mail. That better than during the 2000 census when only 69 percent of its population returned their forms by mail.
Citizens in Woodland Mills did the next best in the county with 85 percent returning their census forms. This was a drop, though, from 2000 when 89 percent returned their forms.
Other cities in Obion County, which saw an increased return rate from 69 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010, included:
• Rives — 82 percent in 2010, 54 percent in 2000
• South Fulton — 80 percent in 2010, 64 percent in 2000
• Samburg — 79 percent in 2010, 40 percent in 2000
• Troy — 76 percent in 2010, 66 percent in 2000
• Union City — 74 percent in 2010, 71 percent in 2000
• Kenton — 72 percent in 2010, 66 percent in 2000
• Obion — 61 percent in 2010, 68 percent in 2000
Tennessee saw a better return rate at 74 percent, up from 69 percent. The national mail participation rate was 72 percent — the same as it was in 2000.
Residents who haven’t mailed back their 2010 Census questionnaires or who did not receive one, can expect a knock at the door sometime between Saturday and mid-July, when nearly 13,000 census takers fan out across Tennessee going door-to-door to collect information from households that have not answered the census.
“I congratulate Tennessee because, happily, 74 percent of households have mailed back the census questionnaire,” said William W. Hatcher, regional director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “Now we must knock on doors where our records indicate we have not received a completed census form for whatever reason. We hope people will cooperate with census takers in this nonresponse follow-up because the census is so important to the state. We are constitutionally mandated to count everyone, and that’s what we plan to do.”
Tennessee was among the first four states in the nation to exceed its mail participation rate from Census 2000 (69 percent). All five states in the Charlotte census region surpassed their Census 2000 mail participation rates by the April 16 mail-return deadline. The Charlotte Regional Census Center supports 2010 Census operations in Kentucky, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia.
Hatcher noted that some households might not have received a census form for a variety of reasons. For instance, people might live in an area where the forms weren’t deliverable to a geographical address, the address might be incomplete, households might be part of a special census operation or the residence might be a new construction.
“Every phase of the census has the potential for problems, but we have subsequent operations designed to correct the problem and get the best count possible,” Hatcher said. “If you did not get a census form, you will be visited in our follow-up operation. You will be counted.”
Census takers are hired to work in their own neighborhoods. They are sworn to secrecy for life and face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or five years imprisonment for violating the oath. Title 13 of the U.S. Code prohibits sharing of personal data and requires census participation.
Hatcher said the 12,673 census takers who will comb Tennessee streets will wear official identification badges with the words “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,” the census taker’s name and the words “U.S. BUREAU OF THE CENSUS.” An employee should have a black workbag with “U.S. Census Bureau” on it and an official seal.
“Anyone who is worried should ask the census taker for identification,” Hatcher said. “You can ask for the local census office phone number and call to verify employment. We want people to feel safe so that census workers can safely do their jobs.”
For more information about how to identify an official census taker, go to www.census2010.gov.
Published in The Messenger 4.30.10