Department of Good News

Seattle Has the Top Census Response Rate of Any Major American City

Take that, coronavirus.

By Benjamin Cassidy April 20, 2020

About 94% of Washingtonians have filled out their census forms digitally.

Some good news (hat tip, John Krasinski) on this Monday morning: Once the American epicenter of the novel coronavirus, Seattle is now the nation’s model for civic engagement amid this pandemic. As of Saturday, the Emerald City carried the top census participation rate among the country’s 50 largest cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

About 60.7 percent of households in Seattle had filled out their questionnaires; San Jose was next at 58.7 percent. Among all Washington cities and towns, Brier had the best response as of this weekend, at 73.5 percent. Mattawa (2.9 percent), Skykomish (3.0), and Albion (3.2) were bringing up the rear. The state itself was tied with Utah for sixth for return rate. The census’s new online option appears to have boosted numbers. In Washington, 94 percent of forms came via

Increased participation would be vital for a slew of reasons, including government representation and spending. But don't pat yourself on the back just yet, Seattle. The city hasn’t yet matched its final 72.6 percent mark in 2010. With forms being gathered through the end of the year, however, there’s still ample time to crush that number as we crush the coronavirus curve.

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