Census participation lags behind 2010 numbers

  • The Hartwell Sun
    The Hartwell Sun

A little more than half of the residents of Hart County have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census and census takers are encouraging everyone to do so. 

The U.S. Census website, 2020census.gov, shows that 55.4 percent of the households in Hart County have provided self-responses to the population count completed nationally every 10 years. This year, 37 percent of those responses have come online. Hart lags slightly behind the rest of the state’s self-response rate of 58.2 percent. 

In the city of Hartwell, 57.8 percent of households have responded,   30.3 percent of which did so over the internet. 

Hart County had a 61.6 percent response rate in 2010 and Hartwell had 66.9 percent response rate. 

Franklin County has seen a 52 percent response rate so far this year. Elbert County has seen a 54.8 percent response rate. Madison County has seen a 59.1 percent rate and Stephens a 53.8 percent response rate. 

The census is required every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution to count everyone who resides in America, including all children and newborns as well as non-citizens. The purpose is to get an accurate count of the U.S. population, which is important, officials say, in determining things like representation and funding at national and state levels. 

“The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade,” the Census website says. “That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.” 

The site lists programs like school lunches, plans for highways and support for firefighters and families in need as examples of the kind of funding decisions the Census informs. The Census is also used when redrawing Congressional districts. 

Completing the Census, according to officials, is simple and can be done in several ways. 

Participants can respond online in English or in 12 additional languages. There is also video in American Sign Language. 

People can also respond by phone by calling 1-844-467-2020.

A paper questionnaire was mailed to every household that had not already responded.

Beginning in mid-May, Census takers began in-person visits at households where no one had responded. 

Officials offer assurances that all information provided is kept private, protected by law and cannot be used against respondents. 

To respond to the 2020 Census, go online to 2020census.gov.