Stanly ranks in the top 30 in state in responding to Census

Published 11:53 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Stanly County residents have still taken the time to provide key demographic information for the U.S. Census — so much so that the county ranks in the top 30 in the state in self-response rate.

As of March 13, according to Census tracking data, 56.9 percent of people in Stanly have provided information — either online, by phone or by mail — which was tied with Cabarrus County for 30th in the state. Of the total, 43.8 percent responded to the Census online. More specifically, Albemarle has had 55.6 percent of people respond.

The county’s response rate has been higher than the state’s rate, which is 55.1 percent, but lower than the national rate of 59 percent. Union County has the highest response rate in the state so far, at 66.8 percent.

During the 2010 U.S. Census, Stanly had a 63.6 of residents respond.

Due to the pandemic, the deadline for responding and providing information has been extended from the end of July to the end of October. Also the non-response follow-up, where Census takers interview households that haven’t yet responded, will begin Aug. 11 and run through the end of October.

“I know our towns have been actively working with our planning department to spread the word to the residents,” said County Manager Andy Lucas. “Our partners have done a really good job of spreading the word in their municipalities and encouraging their citizens to fill it out.”

The information is important because the results gathered determine the numbers of representatives each state will have in Congress and are used by states to draw state legislative and school district lines. The results are also used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds annually are spent across the country. Those funds are used for services like emergency response and fire departments, medical assistance and highways and roads.

The population count is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a nonpartisan government agency, according to the Census website. The census has been taken every 10 years since 1790.

The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

“Please complete your 2020 Census,” Locust City Administrator Cesar Correa said during the city council meeting Thursday evening. He wants Locust to have a higher self-response rate so it would have bragging rights over the other municipalities in the county.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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