Forget to return census form? You still have a chance

It's not too late to mail back your Census 2010 form.

As of Monday afternoon, only 61 percent of Stanislaus County households had sent in their census questionnaires.

Those 10-question forms must be returned within the next two weeks. Those who don't respond will be repeatedly visited by census takers until all the questions are answered.

The once-a-decade counting of America's population is required by law.

Beginning May 1, census workers will go door-to-door to households that failed to mail back their forms. That effort costs taxpayers an average of $57 per household, compared with the 42 cents it costs to collect questionnaires by mail.

Residents of some communities have been better than others about mailing back their census forms. Oakdale, Escalon and Ripon have the highest return rates in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

Patterson, Livingston and Stockton have the region's lowest return rates.

Even within cities, return rates dramatically vary. Example: In the portion of southeast Modesto known as the airport neighborhood, only 44 percent of the forms had been returned by Monday. In parts of north Modesto, 77 percent of households had mailed back their questionnaires.

Related stories from Merced Sun-Star