May 4, 2010

Analysis of Low-Responding Census Tracts

A snapshot of the lowest-responding neighborhoods in the 2010 Census shows that more than two-thirds are in cities, and they tend to be more racially or ethnically diverse than higher-responding areas. The analysis, by the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is based on mail participation rate data for census tracts released by the Census Bureau last week. (A summary of the analysis also is available.)

The analysis includes a look at the 9,546 census tracts (14% of the total) that had a mail participation rate of less than 60%. Census-takers are in the field now to seek responses from households from which forms were not received.

The analysis also looks at the impact of replacement questionnaire mailing to low-responding areas, and concludes that the second questionnaires had a “strong impact” in boosting the mail participation rate top 72%, which equals the response in the 2000 Census.