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March 26, 2010

Census results slowly showing up

Census forms are slowly trickling in.

As of Thursday, 15 percent of Stanislaus County households have mailed back their U.S. Census Bureau forms. The rate is a little lower than California's (16 percent) and the nation's (20 percent).

Last week, census officials mailed the 10-question forms to 120 million households.

Other census participation rates include:

Modesto: 17 percent

Merced County: 10 percent

Tuolumne County: 18 percent

San Joaquin County: 16 percent

Mandated by the Constitution, the census data determine boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts.

More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed annually based on census data to pay for local programs and services such as free lunches for low-income students, vocational training, road construction and emergency services.

Census officials have also made available more than 30,000 Questionnaire Assistance Centers and 40,000 "Be Counted" sites throughout the country. The centers provide language assistance and help filing out the census form.

Anyone who did not get a form delivered to his or her home can fill out and mail back a form picked up at one of the "Be Counted" sites. The forms will be cross-checked against the census database to make sure households are counted only once.

To find those locations and their hours, visit www.2010census.gov or call 866-872-6868. Also, check out the Web site to see participation rates of cities, counties and states that are updated daily.

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