Now that the Census is officially due, the government is sending out thousands of workers to find those whose forms they are missing. And that is a lot. Currently, the national participation rate is 52%, while New York State's participation rate is only 46%. In the city it's even lower.

Staten Island had the highest participation with 43%. Manhattan followed with 42%, the Bronx with 37%, Queens with 36% and Brooklyn with 32%. The New York Times reports one big problem is that many immigrants with limited language skills don't know how to participate. One worker explained, "People are afraid, but most of all, they are confused." Many illegal immigrants believe the Census is just for citizens, or are afraid they will be deported if they give the government any information. Others just don't see the point. "The lady at the library told me that the more people filled out the forms, the more money the community would get for transportation, but how come there are cuts to transportation?," one Flushing resident asked a Census worker. You just can't argue with logic like that.

Though there is distrust, it's nothing that can't be smoothed over with free merchandise. Volunteer Steven Choi, who goes door-to-door for the Census, said, "One important thing to remember is to always offer them the freebies." This year they're giving out pens and can openers bearing the Census logo, so hold out on sending in your form for a few more days and you may just be lucky enough to score some collectible swag!