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More than half of households in 19 Northwest Arkansas cities have responded to Census 2020, and that will bring millions of dollars over the next decade to the region’s communities.

A webpage maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that Bella Vista remains the state’s No. 1 city with 68.5% of its households self-responding to the census as of April 21.

One person in each of those households responded to the census by telephone, by mail or by answering questions online. Later this year, census takers will visit the homes of people who fail to respond as required by federal law, and there’s a big push to get more people to respond without those visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among states, Arkansas ranks No. 37 with 47.2% of households having already responded. Its percentage has climbed steadily since April 1 when 39.3% of households had participated. Still, the state is below today’s 51% national average.

Northwest Arkansas, meanwhile, is starting to make solid progress with more and more cities’ households passing 50%. No. 8 Farmington, No. 12 Elkins, No. 14 Lowell and Cave Springs (tied) and No. 22 Prairie Grove all rank among the state’s 25 best-responding cities among more than 500 in the state.

Most of Northwest Arkansas’ largest cities now exceed a 50% response rate. In addition to Bella Vista’s top ranking statewide, Rogers (No. 30), Bentonville (No. 49), Springdale (No. 52), Fayetteville (No. 72), Siloam Springs (No. 79) and Centerton (No. 93) are among the state’s top performers.

The census data shows 12 Arkansas counties, including all of those with large populations, have had more than half of their households respond. No. 1 Faulkner, No. 2 Benton, No. 6 Washington and No. 10 Pulaski are among counties above 50%.

While census responses are going well in many Arkansas cities and counties, no place in the state can touch what’s happening in North River, a North Dakota town with one small housing development. With a 95.7% response rate, it’s leading the nation. It’s believed just one household needs to respond to reach census participation perfection.

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