Census to soon begin door-knocking campaign

People in Stanly County who haven’t completed the 2020 census still have a few weeks to respond before census takers, also known as enumerators, begin visiting non-responding households in mid-August.

“We would like to see everyone respond without the enumerator having to track residents down at their address,” said Bob Remsburg, who has been helping to coordinate the response effort in Stanly.

The U.S. Census Bureau sent out reminder postcards last week to an estimated 34.3 million households who hadn’t yet responded, according to a news release.

The Census Bureau encourages people to respond online at 2020census.gov. Households can respond online or by phone in English or 12 languages, including Spanish, French, Chinese and Arabic.

Due to the pandemic, the deadline for responding and providing information has been extended from the end of July to the end of October. 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.

As of July 27, according to census tracking data, 60.4 percent of people in Stanly have provided information — either online, by phone or by mail — which is higher than the state average of 58.6 percent but lower than the national average of 62.4 percent. Stanly’s self-response rate is similar to the response rate of nearby several counties, including Cabarrus (59.8) and Rowan (61.1). Of the total number of county respondents, 45.4 percent responded to the census online.

Union County has the highest response rate in the state at 70 percent.

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

The response rate of Stanly’s municipalities, as of July 27, is as follows:

  • Red Cross is 73.9 percent
  • Stanfield is 69.7 percent
  • Locust is 69.0 percent
  • New London is 62.4 percent
  • Oakboro is 62.3 percent
  • Albemarle is 58.7 percent
  • Richfield is 58.5 percent
  • Norwood is 44.0 percent
  • Badin is 42.9 percent
  • Misenheimer is 31.8 percent

In a meeting with the county commissioners last year, Peter Sabo, a North Carolina specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, explained the goal was to have 82 percent of people in the county respond to the census.

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).

The results gathered during the census 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.