Providence Census Participation: 51% (!!)

NPR recently did a story that, as a former proud and loyal Brooklynite, I found rather hysterical. Titled “New York’s Hipsters Too Cool for the Census,” the piece leads with this gem:

Many New York City residents aren’t returning their census forms. The return rate is only around 50 percent, but the lowest rate of return (around 30 percent) is the hipster enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These young, recent graduates with ironic mustaches and plaid shirts are apparently too busy tweeting to fill out a simple census form.

Intrigued, I wasted a couple hours at the Census website’s badass Google Map thingy where you can overlay city neighborhoods with mail return rates. According to the Census, a mediocre 51% of Providence residents have mailed back their census forms. Not so hot. And, when you dig a little deeper and look at neighborhood by neighborhood, the numbers get uglier. Federal Hill’s got a 37% return rate, the West End’s at 43%, Olneyville is at 44%, and South Providence is at 46%.

The map lets you compare locations, so I randomly plugged in five similarly sized, geographically disparate cities, all of which have higher participation rates than us: Tallahassee, Florida (58%), Salt Lake City, Utah (64%), Brownsville, Texas (54%), Overland Park, Kansas (73%), Chattanooga, Tennessee (63%).

So what’s the deal? Are we in a secret hipster competition with Williamsburg? Come on, PVD, mail them forms in!

5 thoughts on “Providence Census Participation: 51% (!!)”

  1. Toby Shepherd

    two points of clarification:

    1) based on IP addresses, the three folks above are separate individuals.

    2) the piece is NPR, not NYT. don’t know if either has an anti-hipster agenda. in fact, i’ve always sort of thought Ira Glass of This American Life sounds pretty hipster.

  2. Wow, the same jerk wrote all three of the above posts and thinks we are fooled.

  3. oh my god the nyt will jump on the hipster hate bandwagon for even the most tangentially related articles just to get people to read it


  4. I hope the hipsters understand that when they lose their solidly Democratic Congressional seat to an area of the country that will turn it into a solidly Republican Congressional seat that the blame is squarely on them.

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