Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Census


Ding-dong: It could be the Census taker at your door

If you didn’t mail back your 2010 U.S. Census form, you might soon hear the ringing of your doorbell or a knocking at your door.

An army of Census footsoldiers will be deployed beginning Saturday to count the so-far-uncounted in the decennial Census.

About 11,000 Census takers will work in Washington as part of a nationwide force 635,000.

About 72 percent of the 144 million U.S. households returned their Census forms by mail or in person. The return rate is 74 percent in Washington.

Here’s the return rate for several South Sound counties:

• King: 74 percent

• Kitsap:

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Puget Sound Census officials celebrate, but more counting to be done

You took 10 minutes. Or less. You filled out your U.S. Census questionnaire and mailed it back.

Or many of you did, anyway.

Census Bureau officials in Washington are heralding calculations showing 72 percent of forms in the state have been returned – a figure equaling the 2000 mail-in total.

That’s cause for celebration, Puget Sound-area Census spokeswoman Cecilia Sorci says, because it means fewer Census takers must visit homes and apartments to collect the information in person as the nation takes its every-10-years count of noses across the country.

Not everyone agrees. Many readers have called and written The News Tribune, complaining they didn’t get their form, and when they attempted to seek one using toll-free Census telephone numbers, they found themselves trapped in voice-prompt purgatory. Many said they never did get a live body. Several called the newspaper asking if it could supply the forms so they could complete their civic duty.

Wanna know how your area is doing? Here are some local participation rates released by the Census Bureau Tuesday.

Auburn: 70 percent
Federal Way: 68 percent
Kent: 68 percent
Olympia: 74 percent
Sea-Tac: 64 percent
Tacoma: 70 percent

And, by county:

King: 73 percent
Kitsap: 75 percent
Mason: 64 percent
Pierce: 72 peercent
Thurston: 74 percent

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A catchy way to count Census noses

It’s a 21st-century young adult twist on an old “Sesame Street” lesson.

A group of rappers and dancers makes counting American noses fun.

Using a catchy beat, lyrics infused with meaning and actors imbued with color, the “Count me in” music video aims to persuade young adults, ethnic minorities and the poor to answer the call of the 2010 census.

The song and video was written and performed by a group of Puget Sound-area young people. It was produced by Musica Entertainment of Seattle

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Yes, you may fill out your Census form before April 1 – in fact, Uncle Sam wants you to

That 10-question Census form is very clear. Right there at the top, it asks how many people are living in your household on April 1.

So why, when April 1 is still three days away, are those folks at the Census pushing people to fill out their questionnaires and mail them back before Thursday?

A sharp-eyed News Tribune reader wants to know.

And while we’re on the subject, where are the Census forms for people in Eatonville – or other places – who have only P.O. boxes and no home mail delivery?

The short answers, according to local Census Bureau spokeswoman Cecilia Sorci, are:

• Yes, it’s OK to fill out your Census form and send it in now, even though the questionnaire uses an April 1 count date.

• Census forms are coming to rural residents who don’t get mail on their porch or at the street, but they’ll be hand-delivered and it may take some time. If you haven’t received your form, expect it within a few days.

Both questions were posed to The News Tribune reader representative by subscribers. Each asked that her name not be published.

“The form says the count is to be taken as of April 1,” one reader said. “What if you fill it out before then and there’s a change?”

The reader said she knew of some people would could die before April 1, and that would change the count.

April 1 is officially designated Census Day, the official reference point for the every-10-year snapshot of the U.S. Population, officials say.

But it’s not a hard-and-fast fill-out-the-form date, Sorci said.

“The reality is that most people’s households are quite stable and they know who will be in their homes come April 1,” she explained.

“But if you do anticipate that your household numbers will change by April 1, if someone’s gravely ill or if someone’s expecting a child or if you’re planning to move, then by all means, wait until April 1 to fill it out and send it back.”

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