Census Cost: Stamp v. $60

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Apr 1, 2010  |  Updated 1:16 PM PDT
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Census Cost: Stamp v. $60

Expect delays in background checks by month's end.

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If you’ve still got the 2010 Census form on your kitchen counter waiting to be mailed, you’re not alone and most important you’re not in any kind of trouble.

With Census Day on April 1, parts of California still have some of the lowest rates of mail participation. Nationally, 52 percent of households have mailed back their forms.

As of March 31, 50% of San Diego had returned forms according to the U.S. Census online Take 10 Map. Participation varied in other cities – 49% in Lemon Grove, 52% in La Mesa, 48% in Chula Vista with 57% in Santee and Poway.

So who gets brownie points? Mission Hills can brag that they’re almost there with 60% of its residents returning their forms, the UTC community has a 69% participation rate while an outstanding performance award goes to Rancho Bernardo where 76% of residents have filed their documents.

It costs just $.42 cents to mail back the form but it costs on average $60 for census takers to stop by your home to collect the same information. Every one percentage point increase in the national participation by mail saves the government about $85 million in operational costs.

“Basically, you’ll have until mid-April,” said U.S. Census spokesperson Bernard Pendergrass. Households that didn’t mail back the form in mid-March will be mailed a replacement form after April 1. That form needs to be filled out and returned by April 20.

"Mail back your census before April 20 because if you don’t, beginning July 1, a Census taker will be knocking on your door," Pendergrass said.

For more information, check out the 2010.census.gov site.

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