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Puerto Rican Response In Census Rises To 44 Percent; Still Trails U.S.

April 12, 2000
Copyright © 2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- (AP) -- The number of Puerto Rican households that have sent in their census questionnaires has risen to 44 percent, but the island still trails all of the U.S. states.

Nationwide, about 61 percent of U.S. households have returned the forms, said Hector Feliciano, area manager for Puerto Rico, on Tuesday.

He blamed the low response rate on the switch from door-to-door polling to do-it-yourself, mail-in questionnaires. The mail-in forms have been used for decades in the United States, but this year's census is the first time they have been used in Puerto Rico.

Feliciano said census officials have begun training the first of 7,000 census takers who will track down residents who do not send in their questionnaires.

The effort will cost $23 million to $25 million and could take up to eight weeks, Feliciano said.

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