Thursday marked National Census Day, but just 43 percent of Gila County residents had returned the form as of Thursday afternoon.
More people returned the forms in Payson and Star Valley — 63 percent and 60 percent, respectively — than in Globe, where just 44 percent of people returned the forms.
Nationwide, just over half of the people had responded.
The Census Bureau says it will accept the forms through mid-April. Beginning May 1, Census workers will travel door-to-door to collect late forms.
According to the Bureau, the door-to-door endeavor costs $57 per household.
“For those who have not yet had a chance to send it back, I’d like to reiterate that it’s not too late to participate, and doing so will save a lot of taxpayer money,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves in a statement.
The Census affects how the federal government distributes $400 billion annually in aid, and the count also determines electoral boundaries.
Population demographics affect the sort of funding towns and counties receive. For instance, areas heavy with senior citizens might receive more funding for senior centers than an area replete with young families.
In December, the Census Bureau delivers population information to the president. By March 2011, the bureau will send redistricting data to the states.
Some people in Payson hope that the new population counts will allow the county to redraw boundaries to provide northern Gila County with more representation on the board of supervisors and the college board.