Census Update: We Still Need You To Participate!
As of August 27, 2020, the State of Wisconsin had a response rate of 88.3%. Lincoln County’s response rate continues to lag the State, with 61.5% of households responding to the Census. The northern portion of the County remains slow to respond to the Census, with 41% of households responding.
No-Response Follow Up
On August 9th, the U.S. Census Bureau began the No Response Follow Up process, this includes enumerators visiting each residence in Lincoln County that has not yet responded to the Census. The enumerators will visit each address up to six times, leaving a card if there is no one home.
Final Paper Surveys Mailed
A final paper survey will be mailed the first week in September. This is the Census’s last mailing to encourage response to the Census.
September is the last month individuals can participate in the 2020 Census. After September 30, the Census Bureau will focus on data process, with apportionment counts delivered by December 31, 2020. This is Lincoln County’s final opportunity to be accurately counted in the 2020 Census to ensure proper political representation and fair allocation of State and Federal funds. Please respond today: https://my2020census.gov/
How the U.S. Census Bureau is Reaching Rural and Remote America in the 2020 Census
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau counts everyone who lives in the United States and five of its territories. However, reaching people who live in rural and remote areas is a challenge for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Census Bureau employees take extraordinary measures to reach homes that can be difficult to access in rural and remote areas, whether they are located at the top of a mountain or at the end of a mile-long gravel driveway. And in the final weeks before census takers begin knocking on doors nationwide to count people that have not yet responded on their own, the agency is continuing to conduct a massive national and regional advertising, media, and partnership campaign to encourage response.
“I encourage all residents of Lincoln County to respond to the 2020 Census. It is important that Lincoln County receives its fair share of Federal funds that are distributed based on Census data,” stated Kevin Koth, Lincoln County Board Chair.
Reaching out to remote places
Often, rural households do not have typical mailing addresses but use post office boxes in nearby towns. The Census Bureau typically does not mail to P.O. boxes. However, in light of COVID-19’s overall impact on the communications landscape, the Census Bureau sent postcards between June 24 and July 3 to an estimated 1.3 million post office boxes in communities where P.O. boxes are the only mailing address available. The postcards alerted households that a census taker may drop off invitations and a questionnaire, or that they would visit later in the summer to count people in person. The postcards also provide information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online or by phone.
The 2020 Census marks the first time everyone has been invited to respond online. While millions of people around the country are responding to the census, the lack of internet connectivity poses challenges for much of rural America.
Only 65% of counties where 100% of the population is in a rural area have a subscription to broadband internet, according to Census Bureau statistics. Areas less likely to respond online, approximately 21.8% of households, received a paper questionnaire when they received their initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census.
Why the 2020 Census is important for rural America
Many federal programs and resources support rural communities, and funding for those programs is often determined by census statistics.
There are several programs specifically geared toward rural growth, according to the Census Bureau working paper, “Uses of Census Bureau Data in Federal Funds.” There are also many general programs that focus on rural communities, like Rural Education and the Department of Justice’s Rural Domestic Violence Assistance programs.
Other important programs informed by census statistics include Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, Rural Business Development Grants, and Rural Housing Preservation Grants.
When people aren’t counted, communities can lose out on federal funding for critical public services like schools and education programs, hospitals and health insurance, transportation funding for public transportation and roads and bridges, and emergency response. Responses to the 2020 Census also determine how many seats a state may gain or lose in the U.S. House of Representatives
Responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and never shared with law enforcement or immigration agencies.
It’s not too late to respond to the census online at 2020census.gov, by phone, or by mail. When people respond on their own, it’s less likely that a census taker will need to visit to help ensure they are counted.
Learn more and respond today at 2020census.gov.