2020 is a Census-collection year, per the institution’s decennial protocols and, as they say, the show must go on. Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Census outreach efforts are continuing.
Santa Clara County’s Census-specific website highlights four key areas where accurate Census counts play a major role. Affordable housing – demonstrating need and competing for funds; public safety – ensuring there are enough first responders in each area; schools – understanding where demand and programs are needed; health care – directing funds to communities in need, closer to where they live.
Nationwide, every household should have received numerous letters and postcards reminding them of their duty to fill out the Census.
With COVID-19, a greater push is being made to have residents fill out the Census online. That would prevent Census workers from having to physically canvass as many households.
SmartAsset reports that COVID-19 is impacting Census collections and timelines.
“The Census Bureau pushed back its deadline for completing the 2020 count from the end of July to the end of October,” the group said in a report.
California: a story of contrasts
In California, some cities are performing very well in their Census response rates. That includes San Jose, which has seen a 67.6% response rate as of Friday.
That is well above California’s average of 60.2%, and is tops among major California cities. San Diego and Sacramento are also above the state average. Meanwhile, Los Angeles ranks near the bottom of self-response rates, at just under 49%.
San Mateo County has the state’s highest response rate, at nearly 70%. That is about one percent above Santa Clara County. Several rural counties, including Mono, Alpine, Sierra, and Trinity Counties have response rates under 15%.
SmartAsset reports that two Bay Area cities – San Jose and San Francisco – are near the top in terms of online response rates. 91.6% of Census takers in San Jose have done so online.
State leaders are concerned that low response rates in California could lead to a population undercount. That could result in less federal funding than the state would otherwise receive, and would impact the number of seats the state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
To fill out the Census, as required by law, click here.