Mesa County leads state, U.S. in census response

Mesa County and two of its three major population centers are well ahead of the state and national pace in returning census forms for the national head count.

With a response rate of 63 percent as of Monday, Mesa County is a step ahead of the state and national rates, both pegged at 60 percent.

The response rate in Grand Junction and Fruita is even higher — 64 percent, according to the census.

Palisade is the slowest of the three major Mesa County municipalities, with a 58 percent response rate.

The census is used to determine states’ representation in the House of Representatives, as well as how federal money and programs are allocated.

Mesa County’s response rate also exceeds the rates of two other large counties in the 3rd Congressional District.

Pueblo County matched Mesa County’s response rate with 60 percent, but the city of Pueblo lagged behind, at 59 percent. In La Plata County, the response rate was 50 percent and in Durango, 54 percent.

“We are chugging along and really pleased with the progress,” census spokeswoman Deborah A. Cameron said.

The Grand Junction census office, which has been hampered by leadership changes and odors from a medical-marijuana growing operation in the same building, now is headed by a permanent manager, Kathleen Duhamel, Cameron said.

Statewide, the census has completed its update-leave effort, in which census workers leave census forms at rural residences.

The response rates reflect returns of mailed forms and forms left at residences in the update-leave phase of the census.

A second mailing of forms is going out now, Cameron said, so people who haven’t been reached still could receive a form.

Other response rates from western Colorado communities:

Delta County, 58 percent

City of Delta, 59 percent

Garfield County, 52 percent

Glenwood Springs, 54 percent

Rifle, 52 percent

Montrose County, 60 percent

City of Montrose, 64 percent

Rio Blanco County, 50 percent

Meeker, 57 percent

Rangely, 49 percent

Aspen, 30 percent

Denver, 60 percent

Utah, 61 percent

Green River, 53 percent

Moab, 60 percent


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