UPDATE: The deadline to participate in the 2020 census is THURSDAY, OCT. 15, 2020. The deadline was hastily announced in a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday, Oct. 13, after a Supreme Court ruling cut short the previously planned deadline.
There is no way to sugarcoat it.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.
Tallahatchie County ranks third from the bottom among Mississippi counties in the percentage of residents who have self-responded to the 2020 census. That is pitiful, and extremely sad.
The self-response rate is the percentage of homes that responded to the census on their own, without having to be contacted by census takers.
According to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, a scant 34.1% of Tallahatchians had taken the time to self-respond to this year’s federal census, putting us at No. 80 among the state’s 82 counties in that category.
Only Issaquena, at 33.4%, and Wilkinson, at 31.8%, had a worse citizen participation in the census, based on figures as of Oct. 4.
The self-participation rates and rankings of some surrounding counties put us to shame:
» Sunflower, at 59.4%, ranks No. 24.
» Panola, at 57.6%, stands at No. 32.
» Leflore, at 56.6%, is ranked at No. 38.
» Yalobusha and Grenada counties tie for the No. 43 spot with an identical self-participation rate of 56.2%.
» Coahoma, at 53.1%, comes in at No. 57.
» Lafayette, at 52.1%, is ranked No. 62.
» Quitman, at 47.6% is No. 69.
The national self-response rate is 66.7%, while the statewide rate in Mississippi is 60.1%.
Admittedly, there are impediments, including the availability of reliable internet service for some rural residents who might want to take the census online. However, mail-in and telephone options have been available for about seven months. We also can’t blame the poor response on COVID-19, which hit everywhere.
The census is critical. For instance, population numbers harvested from the survey determine the number of congressmen each state should have, as well as how available federal dollars for schools, roads, Medicaid, food assistance and other programs should be divvied up among states, counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions for the next 10 years.
It takes about 10 minutes to complete the census. Think about it: 10 minutes of your time can have a positive impact over the next decade.
Make that investment today. It’s not too late.
Visit https://my2020census.gov if you would like to take the census online.
To complete the census by phone, English-speaking residents may call 844-330-2020, while Spanish-speaking citizens may dial 844-468-2020.
If a properly credentialed census taker comes to your home, please cooperate.
Better hurry, though. Time is running out.