Carson City, Fallon lead Nevada in census participation
Thus far, 52.4 percent of Nevada households have filled out their census questionnaire, nearly all of them choosing to do so online.
That percentage matches the nationwide turn out at this point in the decennial census.
Churchill County residents are leading the way with 59.6 percent of households filed. Driving that percentage is the 61.8 percent of Fallon households participating.
But Carson City is second with 57.2 percent having completed the questionnaire.
The capital is followed by Lyon County where 56.5 percent have participated so far, then Washoe County at 56.3 percent.
Douglas and Clark counties were also over 50 percent, Douglas just barely at 50.9 percent.
After that, participation drops off fairly dramatically in the rural parts of the state. Humboldt is at 43.4 percent, still higher than Storey, Elko, Nye, White Pine, Pershing and the rest of rural Nevada. Lincoln County is at just 10.8 percent while Eureka and Esmeralda are in single digits: 9.7 and just 2.9 percent respectively.
Among Nevada’s cities, three — Boulder City, Henderson and Fallon — are all over 60 percent led by Boulder with 62.6 percent having filled out the brief questionnaire. As with the counties, rurals are lowest on the list with three towns in single digits: Wells at 9.8, Carlin at 9.1 and Caliente at 7.6 percent.
One surprise among the rurals is Yerington where 53.9 percent of households have participated.
Nevada’s major urban areas are in the middle with 55.2 percent of Las Vegas households, 54.6 percent of Renoites and 56.4 percent of Sparks residents responding.
The census count began in January with the population count in remote parts of Alaska. It wraps up at the end of July with visits to homes that failed to respond. Households that fail to respond will receive up to five mailings until, finally, a census taker will knock on the door.
Participation is mandatory although no one has been fined for refusing since 1970.
Census officials say participating is important for both citizens and non-citizens in the U.S., because those population numbers decide each state’s representation in Congress. States use the census numbers to draw district boundaries for its members in the House of Representatives. It also sets funding for programs including Medicaid, food stamps and other federal revenues including how much federal highway funding each state receives for the next decade.
The U.S. Constitution directs the government to conduct a census every 10 years. The government has done so every decade since 1790.
Census officials point out that all the personally identifiable information in the questionnaire is confidential— even to other parts of the government.