Illinois is ahead of the national average in terms of responding to the U.S. Census, according to federal officials.

In total, 66,700,000 residents have responded to the U.S. Census, the nation’s decennial headcount initiated by the Constitution. By March 30, just under 40 percent of Illinois households had responded to the U.S. Census. As of April 5, Illinois had surged to just under 50 percent, a lower rate than only seven other states.

“We are optimistic in Illinois that we will be getting an accurate count,” said Tim Olson, associate director for field operations for the U.S. Census.

The response rate is because of the availability of filling out the Census online.

“Every additional household that responds online or over the phone, or with a paper form is one less household that the Census Bureau needs to send someone to get the information,” he said.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia have the highest response rates at just over 50 percent.

Trout Valley, a small village of just over 500 in McHenry County, has the third-highest response rate in America, at 78.1 percent.

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

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