Census chief praises LA participation rate

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The official US Census form. The nearly completed 2010 census is ending the fiscal year 22 percent under budget.

The director of the U.S. Census praised Southern California for its participation rate.

Census Bureau director Robert Groves said that throughout the country, households exceeded his expectations when it came to mailing back their questionnaires and he singled out the Southland.

“Los Angeles was out there," says Groves, "as a real leader in jumping up the participating rate.”

For the most part, Groves says, his field workers will wrap up operations by the end of this month. The federal agency will begin to crunch the numbers next month. But a few interviewers will continue to canvass the country, block by block, for a different sample survey.

“It’s our way of checking whether we’ve counted everyone in the census,” said Groves.

Groves says your house has a 1-in-700 chance of inclusion in this sample group. The interviewers will look a little different than earlier census takers. They’ll carry laptops with a small U.S. Census logo. Groves says they’ll ask detailed questions in a survey that shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete.

The sample survey is set to start in the next few days and will likely continue through October.

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