Census response rate down in one Region 8 county

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) –    The federal government is urging everyone to fill out their 2010 census and mail them back.  The Blytheville participation rate in the U.S., census is down from 2000.  Right now they are at fifty-seven percent.  That is down six percent from 2000.

The census has the power to determine the amount of funding for individual counties.  "The government funding is dispersed based on population. If we're able to get more funding, then we're able to provide additional services or enhance the services that we already provide, says Mississippi County Judge Steve McGuire.

In the 2000 census, Mississippi County was a class 5 county, with a population between fifty thousand and eighty thousand.  McGuire says if you go lower than that, it becomes a class four, which means less funding and could, in turn, have negative effects on the community, "When you go from a class 5 to a class 4 your legislative bodies will go down from 13 justice of the peace to 11 justices of the peace."

So when it comes to the 2010 census, Blytheville does not want to get the short end of the stick, and McGuire says the city is taking steps to increase the participation rate, "There's multiple volunteers certainly of which many are churches who are will to work with those citizens to help them fill those forms out."  He also wants to encourage every individual citizen in Mississippi count to take part in the census, "It is of great value to participate in the census because it's going to be a win-win thing.  It will certainly be a win for all the citizens and the individual citizen as well."

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