The government defines the mail participation rate as percentage of census forms mailed back by households that received them. The mail participation rate for the nation is 72 percent.
The five states with the highest mail participation rate are Wisconsin (81%), Minnesota (80%), Indiana (78%), Iowa (78%) and Michigan (77%). Minnesota has 11 cities in the list of the top 50 places with a population over 50,000. Maple Grove held the #3 spot with a participation rate of 86 percent (behind Livonia, Mich. and Green, Ohio). Other Minnesota cities in the top 50 included Lakeville, Minnetonka and Plymouth, all with participation rates of 85 percent; Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Eagan, and Eden Prairie with participation rates of 84 percent; and Coon Rapids with a participation rate of 82 percent.
On May 1, census workers began visiting the roughly 48 million households that did not respond by mail. The number of temporary census workers employed by the Kansas City Regional Census Center (which covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Oklahoma) from May 2-May 9 was 39,897. Census workers will continue visits through mid-July.
Census questions should be answered for each member of the household. You must be at least 15 years old to answer questions.
The U.S. Census Bureau urges households who receive a visit from a census taker to be “cooperative, but exercise caution.” To this end, the Bureau has given a list of ways to identify a legitimate census taker. A census taker:
* Will have a badge with a Department of Commerce watermark
* May be carrying a bag with a Census Bureau logo
* Will provide supervisor contact information and/or the Local Census Office phone number for verification, if asked
* Will provide an information sheet that explains rights and the confidentiality laws that protect the information given
* Will ONLY ask the questions that appear on the census form
* Will never ask to enter your home
* Will not ask for citizenship status
* Will not ask for Social Security numbers
* Will not ask for credit card or banking information
* Will never solicit for donations and will never contact you by e-mail
If you are uncertain about the identity of a census taker, you can call the Kansas City Regional Census Center: (816)-994-2000 (which covers Minnesota) to obtain confirmation that they are employed by the Census Bureau.
Help for non-English speaking respondents
Census takers will have a flashcard containing a sentence about the 2010 Census written in approximately 50 languages. If a resident doesn't speak English, the census taker shows the flashcard to the resident, and the resident points to the language he/she speaks. A census crew Leader will then reassign the case to a person who speaks that language.
The Census Bureau also has help lines in other languages. Chinese speakers may call: 866-881-2010. The 2010 Census Web site is also available in Chinese (both simplified and traditional) and it contains video messages in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
Visit http://2010.census.gov for more information about the 2010 Census and why it is important to participate.