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Sent in your census form yet?

U.S. Census forms showed up in the mail this week in Evanston homes, and city officials are hoping more folks will take the time to return them this year than did during the last census in 2000.

Mail-in participation rates by census tract in the 2000 census.

U.S. Census forms showed up in the mail this week in Evanston homes, and city officials are hoping more folks will take the time to return them this year than did during the last census in 2000.

Mail-in participation rates by census tract in the 2000 census.

The proportion of people finally counted by the census in 2000 who took the time to return the mail-in forms ranged from 56 percent in census tract 9092 on the Evanston’s west side to to 89 percent in tract 8089 in the far northwest corner of town.

Seven census tracts in Evanston had participation rates in 2000 lower than the statewide average of 73 percent.

Low participation in the mail-in census process means more work for census enumerators in tracking down households that didn’t respond, and it raises the chances that some residents will be missed by the census.

City officials say that every extra resident counted in the census means about an additional $1,000 in federal revenue-sharing funds for local public agencies each year.

An interactive map at the U.S. Census website is scheduled to start showing participation rates for the new census later this month. Census officials estimate that it takes less than 10 minutes to fill out this year’s census form. 

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