Online Census Filing Declared Success

WASHINGTON (04/25/2000) - U.S. Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt said online filing for census 2000 was a success even though only 70,000 people used the Internet to file their forms.

Prewitt acknowledged that the Census Bureau did not go out of its way to tell people they could file online, so any forms sent via the Internet were simply a good sign that people are computer-savvy.

The census forms did not tell people they could use the Internet to file, and the bureau didn't advertise the option. However, Prewitt promised that census 2010 will be more high-tech and will spread the word that people can file online.

The initial overall response rate for census 2000 was 65 percent, matching the 1990 rate. Next, the bureau will mobilize 500,000 temporary workers to count as many delinquent respondents as possible.

At a press briefing in Falls Church, Virginia, Prewitt gave a pep talk to two dozen of the enumerators. They were undergoing three days of training before hitting the streets on April 27 to go door-to-door to question people who did not return their census forms.

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