Utah ranks No. 7 for census response — and more reminders are coming by mail

(Paul Sancya | AP file photo) File)FAn envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident is shown in Detroit on April 5.

Utah ranks No. 7 in the nation for residents responding so far to the once-every-decade census — and those who have yet to do so are about to receive more by-mail reminders.

Census data released Monday shows that 58.7% of Utah households have responded so far, compared to a national average of 53.4%.

The highest response rate nationally is 64% in Minnesota, while the lowest is 35.6% in Alaska.

About 79 million households have responded nationally, including 700,000 in Utah, the Census Bureau said.

For the first time, households were asked this year to fill out questionnaires online using codes mailed to them, but also had an option to answer by phone. Homes that did not do that yet are scheduled to receive a paper copy of the census by Wednesday.

The Census Bureau said those houses will also receive a postcard by May 9 urging them again to complete the questionnaire. Houses that do not respond after that will receive an in-person visit by a census taker to collect their information later this summer.

Response rates in Utah vary widely among its counties.

Morgan County had the highest at 70.3%, followed by Davis County with 70.1% and Cache with 66.1%.

Counties with the lowest rates are Rich at 1.6%, Piute at 3.2% and Garfield at 4.2%. Many residents in rural counties who use post office boxes as their mail addresses have not been sent by-mail notices. The Census Bureau had planned to deliver them in person, but such visits were put on hold during the coronavirus outbreak.

The response rates for other Wasatch Front counties are 62.8% in Salt Lake, 64.5% in Utah and 61% in Weber.

Counts from the census are used to determine how many seats a state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and determines how the federal government divides $1.5 trillion a year among the states and communities.