The Un￼ited States Census has concluded and the nation’s self-response rate ending at 67%.
Idaho ended the Census with a self-response rate beating that of the national average, at 69.3%. Jefferson County also landed above average from the U.S. rate, ending with 68.5% of residents completing the Census.
“We probably could’ve done better,” Commissioner Roger Clark said. “We weren’t able to do everything we wanted to get public participation from the west side of the county.”
Jefferson County’s response rate from 2010 was 70%, showing a decrease in respondents for 2020.
“I think [the drop] the response is reflective of how we were impacted with COVID-19 because we got wrapped up in responding to that as opposed to spending time on the Census.”
The Census determines not only the population of the U.S., but also representation in Congress, and federal funding. The results can impact communities for the next decade until another Census takes place.
Before the Census went into full swing, commissioners discussed options for reaching out to underserved populations so that each resident was included.
“As they said, every person that they county can be up to $1400 in additional income to the county, through grants and other programs that they provide money through,” Commissioner Scott Hancock said previously. “So I think it’s kind of important.”
Clark stated that the commissioners had reached out to several of the largest employers in the county, such as Idahoan Foods, to see if they would allow employee access to a computer in order to complete the Census.
Another option was sending out a mobile response unit to low-reporting areas.
Clark stated that several of the largest employers in the county were able to make a computer available to employees for response and that they worked to distribute information and resources through the schools as well.
They were unable to send out a mobile response unit, but Clark said the Census takers were able to experience some success with visiting residents.