One week after the U.S. Census Bureau mailed questionnaires to 120 million American households, 22 percent of El Paso County households have returned theirs, the bureau said Wednesday.

That’s a quicker response than has been seen across the nation as a whole during the first week the surveys have been in the field. So far, 20 percent of U.S. households have sent back their completed forms. Across Colorado, the first-week participation rate has been 23 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

Teller County has returned 34 percent of the census forms sent to households there. That’s a quick start, but in 2000 only 60 percent of Teller County households ended up returning their forms. By comparison, El Paso County ultimately returned 76 percent in 2000, a higher rate than the nation at large.

Across Colorado, the highest return rates so far during the 2010 Census are coming mostly from rural, eastern counties.

In El Paso County, households in and around Fountain have been quickest to send their forms. In the central and eastern portions of Fountain, 41 percent have been returned. In the neighborhoods of northwest Fountain, the return rate so far is 39 perecent.

Other parts of the county that have response rates higher than 30 percent include just about all of the eastern half of the county, plus neighborhoods in Widefield and Security in the south end of the county; Woodmoor on the north; and census tracts along Constitution Avenue stretching between Nevada Avenue and Academy Boulevard, in the heart of Colorado Springs. Most of the 111 tracts in the county are in the 20 percent to 30 percent range.

The area with the lowest return rate so far? The Air Force Academy, 8 percent.