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Return rate on census bests state

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Newton County's return rate on census forms was 75 percent, 3 percent better than the state average, according to Lynn Parham, chair of the local Complete Count Committee.

The response rate is calculated based on the total number of forms mailed to households. Covington, Newborn and Oxford all had a 76 percent return rate, while Mansfield's rate was 74 percent and Porterdale's was 69 percent.

The statewide participation rate was 72 percent, 2 percent less than the national average.

"I think we did really well. It did help to get different people involved. We had the hospital involved, the Board of Education reaching out to students, individuals getting information out, especially in the cities where mail comes by P.O. box, like Mansfield, Newborn and Porterdale. There was a big concern about that," Parham said. "There was definitely more participation in that respect."

Parham said Newton County's population is expected to be reported at well past the 100,000 mark.

The Census Bureau will report the numbers from the 2010 census to the president this month, and the data will be officially published and used by the Census Bureau beginning in early 2011, Parham said.

The U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every 10 years to count the population. Census data determines boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts. Also, each year the federal government allocates more than $400 billion to states and local governments based in part on census data.