Surprise census responses near 60%

City 3rd in West Valley in early numbers


Early 2020 Census response numbers are looking promising in Surprise.

The city has a self-response rate of 57.5%, which put it third in the West Valley behind only Litchfield Park (59.3%) and Peoria (58.5%).

“Our age-restricted communities continue to see the highest percentages of participation,” Deputy City Manager Diane Arthur said. “The Original Townsite, and the area south of Waddell, from roughly Bullard to Dysart, are trending lower.”

Through April 23, Surprise’s rate was higher than Maricopa County as a whole, which is sitting at 53.4%. Arizona statewide has seen a response rate of 49.1%, while about 51.6% of people nationally have responded so far.

El Mirage, with a good sized Latino population, is last among West Valley cities with a response rate of 43.5% so far.

Ms. Arthur said the city is continually promoting more response through social media, including NextDoor, which helps target neighborhoods

“We have also reached out to HOAs to help with neighborhood promotion,” Ms. Arthur said.

Final postcard reminders were sent out to Surprise homes last week.

The actual final census count will be delayed after the Census Bureau last week pushed back some key dates because of the virus.

Field data collection activities were first suspended in March with the goal of reactivating the field offices June 1 to resume field data collection operations as quickly as possible.

Originally, data collection was only planned through Friday, July 31 of this year.

The nonresponse followup is now scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 11 through Saturday, Oct. 31.

Originally, it was supposed to happen Wednesday, May 13 through July 31.

The plan calls for the Census Bureau to extend the window for apportionment counts to be delivered to President Trump by April 30, 2021. Originally, it was supposed to be delivered Thursday, Dec. 31.

This means the original schedule for redistricting data to be delivered to the states has been pushed back from March 30, 2021, to July 31, 2021.

State officials are hoping for Arizona’s response to top the last two counts in 2000 and 2010. Arizona self-response rate in 2010 was 61.3% In 2000, it was 63.0%.

The Urban Institute estimates as many as 102,000 Arizona residents may be undercounted in 2020.

To follow the response rates across the country, visit

The website has a map that shows where the highest and lowest rates are coming in across the city.