Many community organizations, businesses, municipalities, civic leaders, educational organizations, and individuals throughout Alamance County committed to the task of impacting the 2020 Census count. During the first few months of 2020, workgroups were formed, strategies were discussed, events were scheduled, and public speaking engagements were confirmed. Major efforts were underway to inform all Alamance County residents about the Census, answer any questions they might have, and to encourage them to respond.
About as quickly as all events had been scheduled, all were cancelled due to COVID-19. Plans had been made to address the anticipated reasons why community members might not respond to the Census and interventions were being developed, however, no one could have prepared to address how to increase the response rate during a pandemic. Now all communities struggle to encourage their residents to respond when opportunities to interface with their residents are almost non-existent. Attempts are now being made to refocus efforts on the use of social media, traditional advertising and virtual outreach to encourage a complete count.
As of June 14, 2020, Alamance County had a self-response rate of 61% which ranks 18th out of all 100 counties in North Carolina. While this is good news, it also calls to our attention that 39% of our friends, family members, and co-workers have not responded to the Census. On the state level, our limited response is even more concerning. Nationally, the self-response rate is 61.4%, while North Carolina lags at 57.7%, which ranks at 34th in the nation.
It is critical to the economic and political well being of Alamance County and North Carolina that all residents are counted in the 2020 Census. It is estimated that for each person counted our community will receive approximately $1600.00 in federal funding and $200.00 in state funding per year for the next 10 years. The data obtained from this Census will determine how many services, such as our hospitals and educational opportunities, will be funded for the next ten years. Remember, money follows the numbers, not the need. And do not forget, if we are all counted, North Carolina could obtain an additional seat in the U. S. House of Representatives, which would increase our collective voice on the national level.
It is critical that each of us do all we can to increase the Census response rate. We need your help to reach everyone. Please encourage your employees, co-workers, friends and family members to respond to the Census today. Share the video link included, post a Census challenge on your social media, and ask others if they have responded. Your individual efforts could positively impact the economic and political wellbeing of Alamance County and North Carolina for the next ten years!
- Census 2020 Video: Why Does it Matter?
- Times News Article: Lagging Census Response Could Cost North Carolina
- US Census Bureau Website – www.2020census.gov
- State of NC – www.nccensus.org
- Alamance County – www.alamance-nc.com/census
Alamance County Census