Google and the United States Census have teamed up to create an interactive Google Map of 2010 Census participation. You can check it out right here. From what I can tell, it’s intended to inspire some sort of competitive state spirit in the hopes that we’ll fill out our census forms quickly so we can seem more on the ball than freaking Oklahoma.
As a slogan, “Beat your Census 2000 mail-back rate!” lacks a certain zing. The other problem, of course, is people have obviously bought into the paranoia that the population census is some evil government plot. Fill it out and the information will be sent directly to Satan and Darth Vader, who will show up at your house and kill your pets. Right now, for example, 18 percent of New Mexicans have filled out their census forms. By this point in 2000, 65 percent of us had filled them out. Montana, by the way, is the current mail-back leader at 33 percent. At this rate, we should have the U.S. population counted by ... the 2020 Census, at least.