While the COVID-19 pandemic rightly consumes so much of our attention, it is important—and perhaps comforting—to remember that other important aspects of public life continue. One of these is the 2020 Census.
Census information began to arrive in the mail last week, and already, people are participating. An accurate Census count is now more important than ever as state and local governments will be coping with a very different post-pandemic reality.
The map below, provided by the Census Bureau, reports self-response rates by state, congressional district, county, city, and census tract. The self-response rate, sometimes called the initial response rate, is the percentage of households that respond to the initial request to participate. Households that do not respond to this initial request receive additional requests and, ultimately, a visit from a Census worker.
Tracking the self-participation rate is a good measure of the effectiveness of Census promotion efforts and helps the Census Bureau adjust strategies. The self-response rate does NOT indicate the total percentage of households counted.
For more on the 2020 Census, see The 2020 Census: What’s at Stake for the State of Alabama published by PARCA last fall.
Are Alabamians participating?
As of March 25, Alabama’s self-participation rate is slightly ahead of the nation at 27.7% compared to 26.2%. For comparison, the state’s final self-response rate in 2010 was 62.5%. Within Alabama, Autauga County leads all counties at 33.4%.
You can complete the Census here.
The map below allows you to explore response rates at all geographic levels and is updated every day at 2 PM CST.