Tracking Census Results
Georgia is lagging behind the national average in 2020 Census responses. There are two websites that offer the ability to track census results. The Response Rate Website has mapping features that can be scaled down to view census tract, county, city or congressional district information and includes 2010 county and city response rates. The Rankings Website provides census response ranking information on a state and national level for counties and cities.
COVID 19 Guidance on the 2020 Census from the Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau operations for the 2020 Census have been modified due to COVID 19. The Census Bureau has provided the following amended schedules and information. As of August 3, the Census Bureau has announced that census collections will cease on September 30 instead of October 31 as had been previously announced. Additional information is provided here.
Due to COVID 19, the Census Bureau had to cease in-person operations in March and April and started re-opening offices to begin field operations in May. This has caused delays in counting certain populations and in door-to-door collections. As field offices have begun to re-open, new schedules have been announced. The Census Bureau has published a revised schedule with additional outreach information on their website.
Census Email Campaign: The Census Bureau began an email campaign at the end of July that will run through September to encourage participation in low response areas to take the census. Emails will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org and will give recipients the option to opt out of future messages. The Census Bureau is also considering sending text messages to areas that have low response. More information is provided here.
Homeless: A timeline to count the homeless was announced in June. Originally scheduled to be counted March 30-April 1, the homeless will now be counted from September 22-24. In addition to outdoor homeless counts, the Census Bureau will work with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.
Transitory Populations: People who live in campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels will be counted from September 3-28.
Rural: As of mid-June, 100% of Georgia’s Update Leave households had census packets delivered. Update Leave is a special operation to deliver 2020 Census invitation packets to households in areas where the majority of households may not receive mail at their home’s physical location, such as small towns where mail is only delivered to post office boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters. These packets were delayed (they were originally planned to be delivered between March 15-April 17) and have contributed to low response rates in South Georgia.
Group Quarters: Group quarters include nursing homes, military bases, prisons, college campuses, etc. Originally planned to be collected between April 2-June 5, the revised schedule will begin on July 1 and run through September 3.
Off-Campus College Students: In mid-June, the Census Bureau started reaching out to colleges to assist in the counting of off-campus college students to ensure they are counted in the correct place. The guidance provided by the Census Bureau requires that students living off campus be counted where they should have been living on April 1, 2020 despite having to leave campus or switch to digital learning due to COVID 19.
Door-to-Door Census Campaign Begins August 11: Census Bureau employee (enumerators) will be going door-to-door to all non-responsive addresses on August 11. The census may be submitted through October 31 by responding directly to the enumerators, online, by phone, or by mail.
Since 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has conducted a national census every ten years. The purpose of the census is to establish an accurate count of the nation’s population. States and local governments are currently in the process of preparing for the upcoming 2020 Census, which will begin on April 1, 2020. To ensure that counties are well informed and taking all the necessary steps, ACCG created this resource center.
The Role of Counties in the Census
Ensuring that each county has an accurate census count is very important. The George Washington Institute of Public Policy reported that Georgia received almost $24 billion ($2300 per person per year ) in federal funding from the 55 largest federal programs based on 2010 census data.. Failure to count just 10 households containing 2.5 people in your county could result in the loss of $575,000 over the 10-year census period. In addition to federal funding, census data is used for local planning purposes, LOST renegotiations, service delivery, redistricting, state and federal grant eligibility, tier designation, economic development, business expansion and location, and insurance premium tax distributions.
Failing to properly prepare for and promote the census in your county can lead to an undercount which will impact your county for a 10-year period following the census. Hear directly from county manager, Merv Waldrov, and county administrator, Bob Sprinkel, on the importance and impact of census data on county government.
Local Complete Count Committees
The State Complete Count Committee was created in 2018 to provide educational and marketing tools and coordinate statewide census efforts for local communities to use in promoting the 2020 Census. Local Complete Count Committees (LCCCs) are the grassroots committees that work directly with their communities to spread awareness and should formed at the county level. LCCCs are established to educate and inform the public about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how census data impacts their community. These committees should be made up of a wide variety of stakeholders including county and municipal leaders, local schools and colleges, regional commissions, extension services, media, faith based organizations, community organizations, ethnic/cultural organizations, employers, or any other groups in your county that can help maximize participation. Creating a LCCC in your county will strengthen the planning and execution of outreach efforts, especially in hard to count areas. There are numerous toolkits available to help LCCCs plan and market their outreach strategies.
Media and Marketing Resources
The SCCC and the US Census Bureau have created dozens of downloadable fact sheets, posters, videos, merchandise, and other materials that can be used to promote the 2020 Census. The SCCC has even created posters that can be customized with photos of local community leaders and issues that reflect the needs of your community. Additionally, Voices for Georgia’s Children and Georgia Family Connection have partnered to create a website with resources that include videos, fact sheets, and printed material that provide specific Georgia based information on the census impact to children, education, and healthcare. Further, the Valdosta State University Center for South Georgia Regional Impact has free Census posters and table tents available for their 41 county service area.
ACCG-GMA 2020 Census Workshops and Webinar Materials
ACCG and GMA held a series of census workshops in the spring of 2019 on creating local complete count committees. ACCG and GMA also hosted a webinar on January 9, 2020 on LCCC timelines, strategies, and available marketing materials. Workshop materials by location as well as the webinar video and PowerPoint are provided below.
ACCG-GMA Census Newsletter
ACCG and GMA have partnered to produce a monthly census newsletter which contains information on census outreach, guidelines, schedule modifications, and best practices.
Georgia and County Census Facts
Facts sheets, infographics, statistics, articles, and maps have been created from a variety of sources that show Georgia based county and state level information on the census.
After each census, the U. S. Census Bureau reviews response rates. Areas that have low response rates are considered to be hard-to-count. Reasons for low response rates may be language barriers, low trust in government, or poor communications with citizens in certain groups or communities. There are several resources that will help your county to identify previous areas that were previously noted as hard-to-count.
Georgia Hard to Count Maps
Using Census tools, DCA and OPB created maps that show the hard-to-count areas in Georgia by each DCA District, Congressional District, and county.
CUNY Mapping Service
The City University of New York (CUNY) Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research has developed a map of hard-to-count (HTC) communities to highlight areas of the country whose populations had low mail return rates for the 2010 Census. The map provides information to help stakeholders ensure these hard-to-count areas and populations are fully counted.
The Response Outreach Area Mapper
The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) is designed to show characteristics of hard-to-count areas. This map shows the Low Response Score (LRS) for an area. The higher the number, the more difficult the area may be to survey. If the LRS is low, the area has a high probability of returning their census form immediately.
Census Engagement Navigator
The Census Engagement Navigator was specifically created to prepare for the 2020 census. It allows users to understand what areas of the country had high or low return rates in the 2010 Census, and the current demographic makeup of these neighborhoods.
2010 Response Rates
Response Rates from the 2010 Census are available and can be broken down by state, county, city, and more. It also compares the participation rate from 2000 to 2010.