Litchfield Park 2020 Census self-response rate near 70%

Census-takers will visit non-responding households

Posted 7/28/20

Litchfield Park continues leading West Valley households in self-responding to the 2020 Census, with a response rate of 69.9% as of Sunday, July 26, the latest statistics available.

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Litchfield Park 2020 Census self-response rate near 70%

Census-takers will visit non-responding households

Posted

Litchfield Park continues leading West Valley households in self-responding to the 2020 Census, with a response rate of 69.9% as of Sunday, July 26, the latest statistics available.

El Mirage remained at the bottom of the list on U.S. Census Bureau’s online tracker, 2020census.gov/en/response-rates, at 54.6%; Goodyear was fourth with 64.4%.

The national self-response rate was 62.6% and Arizona’s rate was 59.3%. Maricopa County’s response rate was 63.1%, above the national average.

The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and has been every conducted every 10 years since 1790, when 650 U.S. marshals carried out the first count. This year marks the first time people can fill out their census questionnaires online in addition to responding by phone or by mail.

As of July 26, more than 92.5 million households across the nation had filled out their questionnaires, according to the census website. Of those self-responses, 52% were online. Maricopa County’s online rate was 53.8%

Minnesota ranked first in self-responses at 71.9%. Arizona ranked 33rd at 59.3%.

Households that do not respond will receive a visit by a census-taker. Arizona’s schedule is still to be determined, but the Census Bureau reported on its website household visits in most states will begin in August.

For information on identifying census workers, click here.

Why the count is important

Completing the census questionnaire is not only required by the U.S. Constitution, it also ensures that communities across the country get their fair share of billions in federal tax dollars and population-based state-shared funds. An undercount could mean the loss of millions of dollars to Arizona, its counties and cities, resulting in fewer programs and services.

According to the Census Bureau, the census impacts nearly every aspect of life in America, including:

Congressional representation. A larger population may mean a larger voice in Congress. A fast-growing state like Arizona could pick up another seat in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives based on the 2020 count.

States’ share of $675 billion in federal tax revenue distribution. Based on the 2010 Census, Arizona receives $2,959 per person in federal dollars annually. That money funds everything from Medicare and other healthcare programs for children and adults, to Head Start and school lunches, to road, highway and other infrastructure projects. For every Arizonan not counted, the state stands to lose $887 in federal funding, according to azcensus2020.gov, the state’s informational website on the 2020 Census. If just 1% of the state’s population is undercounted, Arizona would lose $62 million annually, for a total loss of $620 million through 2030, the website states.

Commerce. Businesses use the data collected to determine where to open new stores, restaurants, factories and offices, where to expand operations, where to recruit employees, and which products and services to offer.

Real estate. Developers use census data to decide where and what type of housing to build based on population count and community demographics.

Grassroots. Residents use census data to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

The final day of the 2020 count is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31. It was originally scheduled for Friday, July 31, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Census Bureau to shut down operations in mid-March and revamp its count schedules. Congress approved the bureau’s request to push back the final day of the county, and extended the deadline for delivering apportionment counts to the president and Congress from Dec. 31, 2020, to April 30, 2021. The deadline for delivering redistricting data to the states will be July 31, 2021, according to the census website.

Litchfield Park impacts

Population-based allocations from four state shared revenues (sales, income, vehicle license and gas taxes) help the city provide services like recreation programming, parks maintenance and development, police and fire, and street repairs and maintenance, among others. An accurate census count ensures that each city receives its share of those revenues.

The 2010 Census recorded Litchfield Park’s population as 5,476. The 2015 mid-decade count recorded the city’s population as 6,152, and in 2019, the population was estimated at 6,809. In March, Management Assistant Sonny Culbreth predicted the population will top 7,000.

“At $344 per person, that would be an additional $500,000,” in the city’s general fund budget annually, Assistant City Manager Matthew Williams said.

What’s on the 2020 questionnaire

As required by the Census Act, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted a list of questions to Congress on March 29, 2018. Based on those questions, the 2020 Census will ask:

  • How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. “This will help us count the entire U.S. population and ensure that we count people according to where they live on Census Day,” according to the Census website.
  • Whether the home is owned or rented. “This will help us produce statistics about homeownership and renting. The rates of homeownership serve as one indicator of the nation’s economy. They also help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions,” the website states.
  • The sex of each person in your home. “This allows us to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations and policies against discrimination,” according to census.gov.
  • The age of each person in your home. “The U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older adults,” the website states.
  • The race of each person in your home. “This allows us to create statistics about race and to provide other statistics by racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act,” according to the Census website.
  • Whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. “These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This is needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act,” the website states.
  • The relationship of each person in your home. “This allows the Census Bureau to create estimates about families, households and other groups. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone,” according to the website.

Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at 760-963-1697 or kosullivan@newszap.com.

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