If your household’s census form is still laying on a table with other mail, it is time to fill it out.

If your household’s census form is still laying on a table with other mail, it is time to fill it out.

Some Chillicotheans even received reminder postcards recently to return the necessary paperwork, which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Census began in 1790. The count at that time was at 3.9 million, which could fit inside the city of Los Angeles, according to the Census 2010 Web site.

Fast forward the last census in 2000. The count was at 281 million.

The head count determines how areas of the country are represented in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The census also assists in doling out funds on local, state and federal levels.

For example, the city of Chillicothe receives about $100 per month per person. 

Motor fuel tax fund allocation also is distributed to governing bodies based on population. That is money that assists in repairing streets.

With declining sales tax and income tax revenue currently, government bodies do not need any more declining figures.

With that said, Chillicothe’s population may stay status quo, decrease or increase, but at least the number of residents on April 1, the actual census day, will be accurate.

Some residents may be concerned about privacy, but with 10 short questions for the head of the household and seven for each additional resident, the questions are limited in scope.

In fact, this year’s census is one of the shortest in history, and only takes a couple minutes to fill out.

All answers are confidential and cannot be shared with anyone, including federal agencies.

If residents Google their names, most likely more information can be found on the Internet than what you will give for the census.

To avoid a census worker at your door sometime during May through July, fill out the form.

Additionally, if residents fill out question No. 4, which asks for a home phone number, then a census worker can call about missing or incomplete information.

In a day and age when all governing bodies need to make the most of the money they spend, Chillicotheans can do their part. 

About $85 million can be saved for every 1 percent of the nation’s households that return their forms.

By returning the form, census workers need not come to your house and count your family or occupants.

And, if everyone filled out their forms, taxpayers would save $1.5 billion, according to the census Web site.

The national return rate is at 34 percent, with the state of Illinois at 38 percent.

Just how is Chillicothe doing on returning its forms?

As of Monday, the city is at a return rate of 54 percent; Chillicothe and Hallock townships, both at 55 percent; and Medina Township, 50 percent.

Do your part. Stand up and be counted.