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Ohio Vaults into the Top 5 with Initial Census Return Rates

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s strong finish in the 2010 Census pushes the state toward the top in mail participation rates for the U.S. By reaching a 75% return rate, Ohio is four points better than the national average. Plus, four Ohio cities rank among the Top 50 in participation in the U.S.

“This is great news for the State of Ohio,” said Treasurer Kevin L. Boyce, Chair of the Ohio Complete Count Committee. “We were successful because leaders across the state worked hard to encourage every Ohioan to stand up and be counted.”

Ohio’s nationally ranked cities include Green Township (west of Cincinnati) with 85%, Washington Township (south of Dayton) with 82%, as well as Mentor (east of Cleveland) and Plain Township (south of Toledo) with 81% return rates. Right now, only four other states are ahead of the Buckeye State in participation.

In the meantime, four states are tied with Ohio in fifth place at 75%, including Michigan. Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland made a friendly wager with Michigan in an effort to encourage participation in returning 2010 Census forms. The state with the higher percentage of Census forms returned by April 22 will have its state tree planted in the state with the lower rate of return.

“Soon Census Takers will be visiting many Ohio neighborhoods to make sure that every Ohioan is counted in the 2010 Census,” said Treasurer Boyce. “This count controls how $400 billion dollars in federal funds are divided among the states. This money goes to fund services in your community such as hospitals, roads, schools, and much more.”

The effort to count every Ohioan will continue on May 1, with Census Takers visiting households that did not return a Census form in the mail. The Census takers will ask residents to complete the questionnaire face-to-face. All census workers carry official government badges marked with their name. Residents may ask for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity. In addition, some census workers might carry a bag with a ‘U. S. Census Worker’ logo. Residents may call the Regional Census Center if they still are not certain about the Census Takers identity. That phone number is (313) 396-5200.