Mayor's Office

Press Release




April 28, 2010 -- Mayor Annise Parker today announced that Houston’s mail-in participation rate for the 2010 Census is 67 percent. This exceeds the city’s 2000 Census response rate of 64 percent.


“I am thrilled that more than two-thirds of Houston’s households embraced the importance of a complete count and returned their questionnaires this spring, but there is still time for Houstonians to be counted”, said Parker. “Our focus is now on the door-to-door count of those who did not respond by mail. Ensuring all residents are counted is vital to obtaining our fair share of more than $400 Billion federal dollars allocated each year as a result of Census figures.”


In his visit to Houston last week, US Census Bureau Director Robert Groves was quoted as saying “there are heroes walking among you,” to a group of staff and volunteers gathered. He reinforced the respect the bureau has for the work Houstonians have done to ensure a complete count.


A high mail-in participation rate is important because it saves taxpayer money. It costs 42 cents per household to mail back a Census questionnaire, but an average $57 per household when Census workers must go door-to-door to collect the information in person from those that haven’t responded by mail.


Beginning May 1, US Census Bureau enumerators will visit households that have not yet responded. The message for the Houston community is now: “Open the door to a Census taker, and open doors to your community.”


These workers, hired from the neighborhood in which they will work are easily identifiable. They carry Census identification cards and bags, have Census questionnaires and confidentiality notices. You may ask them to show another form of identification.


“We ask that you take a few minutes to answer the questions and cooperate with a worker who has a lot of houses to visit,” said Gabriel Sanchez, director of the regional Census office in Dallas. “We don’t want to interrupt your evening any more than we have to.”


More information about this effort can be found at