As the 2020 Census heads into its final stretch with the count scheduled to end Wednesday, Sept. 30, the city of Litchfield Park continues to lead West Valley cities in self-response rates.
As of Friday, Sept. 3, Litchfield Park’s self-response rate was 72.5%, significantly higher than i’s 2010 self-response rate of 65.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s website, 2020census.gov.
Of the residents who self-responded, 66% answered their census questionnaires online.
This is the first time in the biennial count’s 230-year history that an online option has been offered. The first census was held in 1790, when 650 U.S. Marshals carried out the first count on a mandate from Congress, and it’s been held every 10 years since.
Here’s how other West Valley cities’ self-response rates stack up:
Peoria: 70.9% self-response, 62.0% online. Self-response in 2010 was 69.6%.
Surprise: 69.4% self-response, 60.8% online. Self-response in 2010 was 65.8%.
Goodyear: 67.2 % self-response, 62.1% online. Self-response in 2010 was 68.1%.
Buckeye: 63.3% self-response, 56.2% online. Self-response 2010 was 62.2%.
Glendale: 62.8% self-response, 53.0% online. Self-response in 2010 was 63.0%.
Avondale: 59.4% self-response, 50.7% online. Self-response in 2010 was 60.4.
Tolleson: 58.6% self-response, 31.2% online. Self-response in 2010 was 66.5%.
El Mirage: 58.4% self-response, 51.0% online. Self-response in 2010 was 57.2%.
Nationwide through Sept. 6, 96.5 million households, or 87.5%, have been counted. Of those, 65.3% responded online and 20.4% were counted by census-takers, who will continue visiting neighborhoods and knocking on doors through the end of the month. Residents who haven’t responded online, by telephone or in person can do so through Sept. 30.
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Arizona’s self-response rate of 61.8% is lagging behind the national average, but is slightly ahead of 2010’s self-response rate of 61.3%. A total of 50.6 Arizona households filled out their questionnaires online.
Maricopa County’s self-response rate of 65.8% is ahead of the national average and the state’s 2010 self-response rate of 63.8%. A total of 56.2 households in the county filled out their questionnaires online.
An accurate count ensures Arizona cities get their fair share of population-based state-shared revenues from sales, income, vehicle license and gas taxes. Those revenues compose about a quarter of both Litchfield Park’s general fund budget, allowing the city to provide recreation programming, parks maintenance and development, police and fire coverage, and street repairs and maintenance, among other services.
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Based on 2010 Census results, Litchfield Park receives $344 per person in state shared revenues, which equaled $1.878 million in FY2020.
Results of the 2020 Census could change the city’s annual per-person allocation, so an accurate count is critical.
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. During a March interview at City Hall, 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.
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-963-1697.