A note from the Attorney General's office on the Census. If you haven't sent your's in yet, there's still time.
Though the informal April 1st deadline for the 2010 Census has passed, it's not too late to mail back your 2010 Census form. Today, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel encouraged Arkansans that there is still time to participate in the 2010 Census.
"Although no one will suffer a formal penalty for not filling out his Census form, our communities and the State will ultimately be hurt by those who do not participate," he said. "When you fill out the Census form, you're making a statement about what resources your community needs going forward. There's still an opportunity for Arkansans to stand up and be counted in the 2010 Census."
Rest of the release is on the jump.
The latest Census numbers for Arkansas shows that the state has a 61 percent participation rate. Nationwide, 64 percent of American households have mailed back their census forms, an 8 percent decrease from the 2000 Census. For the first time the Census Bureau has this year mailed replacement forms to areas with historically low mail response rates. Research shows that the replacement forms will help increase mail response in those areas.
Additionally, a second round of forms, due by the end of April, are being sent out to consumers who did not receive the original mailing. Census workers then will begin to visit the homes of those who still have not completed the forms only after the second deadline passes.
Participating in the census via mail has proven to save taxpayers money. According to their website, the Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage point increase in the nation's participation rate by mail. If every household completed and mailed back their census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census and save $1.5 billion. In 2000, the nation reversed a three-decade decline in mail response rates and saved $305 million.
Through the "Take 10" campaign, the Census Bureau has created tools to help communities track their participation. If you haven't received a form or have questions about filling it out, the Census Bureau or the Office of the Attorney General can help.
Visit www.arkansasag.gov to find the participation rate of your community or to locate a "Be Counted" site in your neighborhood where forms are available. Or, call the U.S. Census Bureau Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center at 1-866-872-6868 for help.