The Census Bureau will launch new interactive Google Maps showing initial mail participation rates from the 120 million household that last week received the 2010 Census questionnaires.
The collaborative partnership with Google allows communities the ability to track how their area is responding to the once-a-decade count. The Census Bureau will provide daily updates of the percentage of returned census forms using Google Maps and Google Earth.
The bureau encourages everyone to “Take 10”: take 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions on the census form. The mail participation rate for the nation in 2000 was 72 percent. For every 1-percent increase in the national participation rate by mail, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85 million by not having to send census takers door to door to households that failed to return the census form. If all households mailed back their 2010 Census forms, the cost of taking the census would be cut by $1.5 billion.
The “Take 10” map, which includes the 2000 Census mail participation rates as a benchmark for which communities are encouraged to exceed, will also feature an easy-to-embed local rate widget that local community officials, businesses and media can add to their websites to encourage residents to participate in the census.