Nearly all Americans say they will participate in the 2010 census. In a March survey, 87% said they definitely or probably will fill out and return their forms, or have already done so. Americans with reservations about participating (5% say they might participate, 4% probably will not and 3% definitely will not) are not so much driven by politics as by other demographic factors. Age is the characteristic most strongly associated with participation, and younger Americans are by far the most likely not to participate. Among the 12% who say they might or will not participate in the census, 44% are younger than age 30. By comparison, among the 87% who say they will participate, only 17% are ages 18-29. Education also is a factor in predicted census participation, even controlling for age and other demographic characteristics, with Americans with a high school education or less more likely to say they will not participate. Gender, party, race and ethnicity are not significantly related to whether someone might not participate. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.