Bureau to start door-knocking campaign
With a 2010 Census mail back participation rate of 75 percent, Idaho has matched its 2000 rate and secured a spot among the top ten best states nationwide. Idaho exceeded the national 2010 Census mail participation rate by three points according to the final numbers that were just released. Households who did not mail back their ten-question Census form can expect a knock on their front doors as early as this week, from local census takers who are fanning out to complete the task of counting everyone.
Idaho County had a 62% mail-back rate this year compared to 71% in 2000. By city, Ferdinand had a 69% mail-back rate and Cottonwood had a 76% mail-back rate.
The U.S. Census Bureau will launch the Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU) operation on Saturday - where census takers will collect information in-person, from households that did not return their census forms. Thousands of local residents have been hired as census takers to complete this important task. In the 18-county Boise Local Census Office region, 1,700 were hired to count nearly 150,000 households. Approximately 1,400 people were hired in the 26 counties that comprise the Idaho Falls Local Census Office area to count more than 91,000 households.
“The Non-Response Follow-Up operation plays a vital role in helping achieve an accurate 2010 Census count and determine the allocation of federal funds for community services,” said Ralph Lee, Regional Director. “We ask that you cooperate with census takers should they contact you. It’s easy, important and safe. Information collected by census takers cannot be shared with any other government agency; they’ve taken a lifetime oath to not reveal any data.”
In most cases, census workers will make initial visits during afternoons, early evenings, and weekends. Workers will identify themselves with a census ID badge that contains a Department of Commerce watermark. The census taker may also be carrying a bag with a Census Bureau logo. If asked, he or she will provide supervisor contact information and/or the Local Census Office phone number for verification. If census workers are unable to reach a household member in-person, they will also attempt contact by phone to conduct the interview with the household member.
The Census Bureau has tracked mail responses since March 17 to estimate the local NRFU workload. Recruitment and training for NRFU operations began in November 2009, approximately 3,100 Idaho residents have been hired as census takers for the follow-up. The NRFU operations are scheduled to be completed by July 10, 2010. For information on NRFU operations, visit 2010census.gov. For anyone who fears they were missed, the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance line will enable people to respond to the Census through July 30 by calling 866-872-6868.