The U.S. Census Bureau's Sept. 30 counting deadline is approaching fast, and the agency is concerned about low response rates in communities along our region's coast.
The cities with the lowest self-response rates, according to a local Census Bureau representative, are Del Mar (56.7%), Coronado (61.6%), and Imperial Beach (64.7%). San Diego County's rate is 72%.
Community response is, of course, directly related to the allocation of federal resources.
One reason for the low rates along the coast is that many of the residences are second homes or vacation rentals, “So it doesn’t really help with the self-response rate if no one is there to actually respond,” said Diana Crofts-Pelayo, a spokesperson with California Complete Count - Census 2020 Office.
Some of the communities are also military communities. While members of the military and their families living on base are counted by the military, for the first time the census is asking families living off base to be counted.
“We are trying to count where you were April 1, 2020. Where you are physically located,” said David Bennett, media specialist with the Census Bureau.
Another area with low response rates is the far East County.
Census workers tell us some residents are concerned their information will be shared with other federal agencies, including Immigration and Custom Enforcement. But Bennet said that’s not the case.
“We don’t share that information. We’re just a data collection agency, so you are protected," Bennet said.
There is a significant amount of federal funding on the line; some $675 billion. The money that is dispersed based on census counts will help determine what services and government support will be available to communities across the U.S.
For more information on the 2020 Census click here.