In biblical times, if the king told you to drop everything ride a donkey back to your hometown to be counted, you did it. But this year's 10-question survey received a more lukewarm response from New Mexican citizens. The Associated Press reports that New Mexico had the second lowest return rate for this year's census forms. Only 63 percent of New Mexicans mailed back their forms, narrowly beating out Alaska's 62 percent return rate to avoid worst-in-show honors.
New Mexico was one of 11 states that failed to at least come within one percentage point of meeting the return rate for the 2000 Census, and overall the return rate for this year's mail-in Census forms was 72 percent—the same as the response rate 10 years ago. This marks an apparent failure for the Census Bureau's advertising blitz leading up to the arrival of Census forms in mailboxes across America—or not, as the Census Bureau stated that it actually reversed a trend of declining survey participation among American citizens.
All this means that Census Bureau employees are gearing up to travel the nation for door-to-door visits with households that failed to return their Census Forms. According to the Associated Press, 4,200 people have been hired to traverse New Mexico from now until July 10, and in all, the Census Bureau will deploy 635,000 people across the nation to round up some accurate data—each paid between $10 and $25 an hour.