Thatcher holds on to top spot in Graham County Census response rate

David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — Thatcher and Safford continue to outpace the rest of Graham County — and the state — when it comes to responding to the U.S. Census.

Thatcher is tops in the county with a 64.1 percent response rate, good for 20th best city or town response in the state. Safford has a 62.4 percent response rate, good for 22nd place.

Pima is at 46.2 percent response rate, placing it 65th in the state. However, that ranking does not reflect the town residents’ improvement over 2010.

“Eighteen (percent) 10 years ago was their total last time,” said Ashley Smith, who is coordinating the Census for Graham County.”

Graham County sits right in the middle with the eighth-best response rate in the state at 53.3 percent.

County Supervisor Paul David said essential services provided by the county, cities and towns receive funding based on population totals, which makes Census response that much more important.

“We received a CARES grant from the federal government based on population, the state money is based on population — that was $2.4 million — we received funding for our Sheriff’s Office for equipment and that’s based on population, our schools. There are so many programs that are population base, that it really is important. You may have seen on billboards the $3,000 estimate per person (and) what most people don’t realize is that’s over 10 years,” David said during a recent appearance on Voice of the Valley.

Greenlee County is 12th of the state’s 15 counties at 37.4 percent, with Duncan at 38.8 percent and 74th in the state, while Clifton is at 37.3 percent and 77th in the state.

Oro Valley has the best response rate in the state at 75.9 percent, followed by Sahuarita and Gilbert both at 74 percent. The worst response rate is Tusayan at 10.5 percent, with Quartzsite’s 18.9 percent the second worst.

Arizona is at 60 percent response rate, placing the state 33rd in the nation. The top responding state is Minnesota at 72.5 percent, while the state with the lowest response rate is Alaska at 50 percent.