People! Please do not do this to your Census form!
I found this half of an envelope in the curb today while I was walking the dog, and it is distressing! The Census counts people. The numbers of people, the ages of people, the needs of people -- these things are decided based on the forms that are returned. Obviously someone in our neighborhood couldn't be bothered, so they simply ripped the envelope in half without even opening it up.
From today's Baltimore Sun:
State and census officials say they want to improve on [the overall state] percentage by focusing on Baltimore, which struggled to get its residents to return the forms. About 53 percent of city residents mailed back the questionnaire, the second-worst rate among similar-size cities in the country. Newark, N.J., had the worst participation rate, at 46 percent.
"We want everyone in Maryland to mail back the questionnaire," said Sylvia T. Ballinger, an officer with the Philadelphia Regional Census Center, which oversees Maryland. "For every 1 percent increase, we save about $85 million."
We can't really complain about lack of city services if we can't get an accurate picture of the city, can we? Data from the Census is used in planning for:
- Job training centers
- Senior centers
- Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
- Emergency services