Houston achieves 70 percent

Mayor Annise Parker announced today that Houston achieved a 70 percent response rate according to the final mail-in participation rates just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, up six percent from 10 years ago. Nationally, the participation rate was 74 percent. Both numbers are higher than were released earlier this year due to final calculations from late returns.

“This is a testament to the collective efforts of volunteers, staff and council members, as well as all Houstonians who know the importance of this process,” said Mayor Parker. “We beat many other cities that have as many or more residents, which shows Houston’s commitment and drive to succeed.”

More than 132,000 Houstonians were counted in the early stages of the census process. As each person counted represents access to $1,500 in federal funding, this translates to potentially an additional $2 Billion federal dollars coming to Houston over the next 10 years.

“This was a phenomenal effort. From October 2009 through May of 2010, Houston Counts representatives were everywhere: neighborhood festivals, city-wide events, parades. You name it, we were there,” said Margaret Wallace, manager, Houston Counts.
During that time, literally hundreds of volunteers spent thousands of hours in neighborhoods to encourage participation. Houston Counts coordinated with media outlets, civic organizations, social clubs, sports teams, businesses, faith-based institutions, educational institutions and many more. In addition, many of Houston’s district council members organized block walks in their districts, resulting in 150,000 door hangers placed in a matter of weeks. U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Robert M. Groves publicly replied, “That has to be a record for the nation.”

Other final response rates are 71 percent for Texas and 72 percent for Harris County.

The final population numbers are expected in early 2011.

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