Arizona ranks near the bottom of 2020 census response rate
PHOENIX — With only a few weeks left before the 2020 census deadline, Arizona has the sixth-worst response rate in the nation.
About 83% of Arizona households have responded to the census so far, lower than the national average of 90%, according to data by the U.S. Census Bureau.
But there’s still time to catch up. The last day to respond to the census is Sept. 30.
There are three options to respond to the census: by phone, online or by mail. Those who haven’t responded can expect a U.S. Census Bureau worker to knock on their door soon.
“We started roughly in the middle of August knocking on doors, and we’re only going to those households where we haven’t gotten a response yet,” said Dennis Johnson, deputy regional director for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Additional census forms have also been mailed out to some households.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed back the start time for census workers to do in-person follow-ups with people who hadn’t yet responded. However, Johnson said it’s still unclear what impact the pandemic has had on this year’s census count.
“We’ll be doing a lot of studies after the census on the impact,” Johnson said. “But I think because people could go online, because they could make a phone call rather than see a census taker, I think that’s actually a positive.”
Johnson added this is the first time people were given the option to fill out the census online. He also reiterated the personal information people share is protected.
“If someone tries to even release the information, they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he said. “We guard that information very carefully.”
Idaho has the best response rate in the country, with about 99% of its population responding to the census. Alabama has the worst rate, followed by Georgia.
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