Census participation meets 2000

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Freeborn County residents are on track to exceed their 2000 Census participation rates.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s website on Tuesday, 83 percent of Freeborn County households have returned the 2010 Census questionnaire. This is the same participation level reached at the conclusion of the 2000 Census.

Thus far, Glenville has the highest participation rate in the county at 86 percent. This is 6 percent higher than that city’s participation rate in 2000.

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Also with high levels are Alden at 84 percent and Albert Lea at 83 percent, both 2 percent shy of their 2000 numbers.

The lowest participation rate in Freeborn County is Myrtle at 66 percent, followed by Manchester at 69 percent. Myrtle had a 70 percent return rate in 2000, while Manchester had an 82 percent rate.

Most others in the county range from the mid-70s to lower 80s percentage rate.

Required by the U.S. Constitution to be conducted every 10 years, the census was first mailed to households in the middle of March. Since, the Census Bureau has continued to collect data from residents.

The form asks four general questions about every household, such as whether they rent or own their home, and then six questions about each person within the household, including name, sex, age, date of birth and race.

City 2010 2000

Albert Lea 83 85

Alden 84 86

Austin 80 84

Blooming Prairie 80 80

Clarks Grove 75 75

Conger 74 84

Ellendale 78 79

Emmons 78 84

Freeborn 76 68

Geneva 82 88

Glenville 86 80

Hartland 75 87

Hayward 80 81

Hollandale 77 79

Manchester 69 82

Myrtle 66 70

New Richland 76 84

Twin Lakes 82 68

Wells 85 87

U.S. Census participation rates of area counties:

County 2010 2000

Blue Earth County 79 79

Faribault County 80 82

Freeborn County 83 83

Mower County 80 83

Steele County 85 81

Waseca County 82 82

Winnebago County 76 82

Worth County 80 82

— Information from the U.S. Census Bureau website

According to a news release, census enumerators are starting door-to-door visits to contact those who haven’t returned their questionnaires. Enumerators will carry a badge from the U.S. Census Bureau and a black shoulder bag with the Census logo. Residents who are concerned about the validity of the enumerator can request a phone number to call the Kansas City Regional Census office.

Door-to-door enumerators will never ask to enter a residence, nor will they ask for Social Security, driver’s license or bank account numbers, the release stated. They also will not ask questions about immigration status or income. Residents suspecting someone of impersonating an enumerator should notify local police.

According to the Census website, the current national mail participation rate is 72 percent — the same rate achieved with the 2000 Census.

Some of the lowest rates are in New Mexico, Louisiana, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Maine.

Minnesota currently ranks second of all the states in the country for participation in the census.

As of Tuesday morning, Wisconsin was the highest at 81 percent, followed by Minnesota at 80 percent, Iowa at 78 percent and Michigan at 77 percent.

This is an increase of 3 percent for Minnesota compared to the 2000 Census response rates.

Alden has best census participation rate

According to the release, nine Minnesota communities rank in the top 20 nationally among cities with populations greater than 50,000.

As of May 1, Maple Grove is third with an 86 percent participation rate, followed by Lakeville, ninth; Minnetonka, 11th; Plymouth, 13th; Woodbury, 16th; Apple Valley, 17th; Blaine, 18th, Bloomington, 19th; and Eagan, 20th. A total of 21 Minnesota cities and townships have a 100 percent return rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which will release final participation rates in October.

On the county level, Hennepin County is tied with Oakland County in Michigan with the highest rate — 81 percent — for those with populations of at least 1 million people.

To look at the ratings go to http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.