Census workers are wrapping up their quest to count everyone in the United States.
"There's a lot at stake here," said Jenna Steormann Arnold, of the U.S. Census Bureau in Dallas. "It's your voice in Congress, and it's how much money is used locally for schools for roads, for school lunch programs."
Census workers knocked on doors for the past two months to follow up with people who didn't return the census forms. Now they are double-checking their numbers and even visiting vacant homes to make sure no one is living there.
"We're following up with our households -- and that's going to end actually this week -- and we're moving into our quality assurance phase," Steormann Arnold said. "We're checking and rechecking the data that we've collected over the past couple months from the community. Essentially, the census is about two things -- it's about money and power. And over $400 billion a year is annually allocated back to communities based on census data, and we just want to make sure that our communities are getting their fair share."
Not everyone in Texas returned their census questionnaires. The national average was 72 percent, but Texas had just 69 percent.
However, Dallas County matched the statewide participation rate at 69 percent. And some other North Texas counties at least matched the national average: Tarrant County had a 72 percent rate, Denton had 74 percent and Collin County was at a 76 percent return rate.
The Census Bureau has an interactive map on its website showing the participation rate in your neighborhood.
The final census count is due in December.