The U.S. census is a vital part of how billions of dollars of government funding is allocated. With the census occurring every 10 years, responses affect the next decade of public services.

According to census.gov, as of Aug. 30, self response rates are as follows:

• Nationally: 64.9%

• Washington State: 71.1%

• Grant County: 54.8%

• Quincy: 56.6%

These are not the total number of respondents to the census, only those who have self responded, and not those who have had census staff get their responses from a home visit.

In 2010, Grant County and Quincy had self response rates of 59.3% and 66.9% respectively. There is still time for residents to self report for the census before it closes. U.S. residents have until Sept. 30 to complete the census whether it be online, over the phone or through mail-in.

Aug. 11 was the start date of non-response follow-up by the census staff. Residents who have not responded will also receive final mail-in forms in the next two weeks.

This is the first year that responding to the census online has been offered and it appears to be a popular self reporting method. Of the self response rates for Washington State, Grant County and Quincy: 61.6%, 42.6% and 44.4% of the responses have been reported over the census.gov website respectively.

Toby Nelson, a Census Bureau Spokesperson, said that they initially estimated about 60% of self reporting would be online, but that they have seen much higher numbers. The online

Nelson said that national official numbers will be released around the beginning of the year and by February or March, county wide numbers will be released. The federal funding from census information goes toward transportation, healthcare, legislative boundaries and representation and many other public services, Nelson said.

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