Controller Says Census Participation Lagging in Philly

Here's the release:

City’s Census Participation Trails Large Cities, Majority of State
Controller’s economic report includes census participation rates
& a review of March’s low sales tax collections

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released his monthly economic report for March that found Philadelphia’s current census participation rate of 63 percent ranks eighth among the top 10 populated cities.

Even with the City’s census participation rate two percent higher than it was in 2000, it still trails other large cities such as San Jose and San Diego that top the list with 74 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Phoenix, which is comparable in population size to Philadelphia, has a participation rate of 67 percent.

When compared to Pennsylvania’s larger cities and municipalities, Philadelphia’s 63 percent stands at the bottom of the list along with the City of Harrisburg. Altoona and Bethlehem top the list with 79 percent and 77 percent, respectively. Pittsburgh ranks in the upper half with 71 percent.

UPDATE: Tricia Enright, director of the city's census effort, took issue with Butkovitz's report, noting that the city's primary goal was to increase participation compared with the last census. Already the city is beating the 2000 census participation, which was 60 percent, according to Enright.

"Our goal wasn't to beat San Jose, our goal was to do better than we did in 2000," Enright said in an email.