More households needed to complete 2020 census
Have you filled out your census yet? We’re asking because it matters, and the more Arkansans who respond, the better off Arkansas will be for the next decade.
It’s a pretty basic concept. If the government does not know who lives in your community, you can’t be factored into decisions about federal resources. The federal government distributes $675 billion to local communities each year, and the census data, collected once per decade, helps leaders understand where funds and resources are most needed. The data also influences the next decade’s decisions about health policy, education, political districting, economic development, emergency preparedness and countless other things that directly affect your family. The more people in your community share their basic household information with the census, the more your community benefits. When you’re counted, your needs are more likely to count into the big decisions.
Typically, the census would have field representatives visiting households that had not responded, but the pandemic has put those on hold. Our nation is in danger of having a highly incomplete census because of the coronavirus disruption; we need to be extra vigilant about getting Arkansas households counted.
The national self-response rate is 59.1%. At Arkansas Living’s press time in mid-May, Arkansas’ rate was five points lower at 54%. In 20 counties, at least 60% of households had not yet responded to the census. Newton County had the state’s lowest response rate with only 10.1% of households responding so far. Benton and Faulkner counties were tied for the highest percentage of responding households. Every household was mailed a unique census number, but you can still respond even if you do not know your unique number. To respond online (it only takes a few minutes of giving basic information), visit 2020census.gov. If you need to speak with someone or complete the census by phone, please call 844-330-2020. Share this information with your friends and family, and we’ll all be better off!