Durham Trails in Census Challenge - Can It Be So?

10 Questions, 10 Minutes 

The Town Managers from Durham, Dover, and Newmarket have made a friendly wager that their respective communities will have the greatest percentage of residents who mail in responses to the 2010 Census by an April 16 deadline.  After the results are tallied, the winning community will receive a visit from the other two managers, who will grab a sponge and bucket and scrub one of the winning community's fire trucks.

As of Friday, April 2, 2010, Durham trails both Newmarket and Dover, not to mention Strafford County, the State of New Hampshire, and the entire U.S. average with participation rates as follows:

Newmarket – 56% Return

Rockingham County – 56%

Dover – 55% Return

Strafford County – 55%

State of New Hampshire – 55%

U.S. Participation Rate – 54%

Durham – 49% Return

About $85 million is saved for every one percent increase in mail participation.   

Data from the Census is used to reapportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, for redistricting of state and local governments, and to determine how more than $400 billion annually in Federal funding is distributed.