In the June 2010 issue of Governing, writer Josh Goodman congratulates the City of Livonia (located in Wayne County, just west of Detroit) as the highest rate of return of U.S. Census applications of any city with at least 50,000 people. To what does the U.S. Census attribute it too. According to Detroit-area demographer Kurt Metzger, "it isn't what it did, but rather what it is. Livonia has a lower unemployment rate than its municipal neighbors. Foreclosures and abandoned buildings are not necessarily a problem, and 90 percent of its residents live in homes they own. Its' populations is constant, not dwindling, with a median age of 43, six years older than the national average. Livonia's mail in rate was 87%, with Detroit at 62% and the national average at 72% -- the form was just five questions. We have something to learn from Livonia and once again, Michigan sets the benchmark for the rest of the country. For more on the story, see www.governing.com.

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