Los Angeles city residents are still falling well behind the response rate for the 2020 U.S. Census compared to the rest of the state and nation, city officials said Wednesday.
As of Sept. 8, the self-response rate for the census in Los Angeles was 56.6%, but the state’s census initiative reported Wednesday that California has topped its 2010 response rate, which was 68.2%. This year’s response rate is at 68.4% households.
“Everybody counts, and we have just … weeks to complete a full and accurate tally of every person in our cities and nation,” Los Angels Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week during a census teleconference. “What’s at stake is nothing less than fair representation in Washington, D.C., and billions of dollars of investments in the health, welfare and safety of our communities.”
Federal funding for housing, health care, transportation, economic development and more is determined by the census at a rate of $1,000 per person, per year, for the next 10 years. It also determines political boundaries and congressional representation.
At Los Angeles City Planning, officials said census data helps planners understand the communities they serve and how those communities have changed over time.
Census data also inform policy efforts such as updates to community plans and the city’s Housing Element.
Sept. 30 is the deadline for residents to complete the census, which can be done online at my2020census.gov, by calling 844-330-2020, by mailing back the questionnaire that was sent to out or by completing it with a census taker when they visit.
Immigration status is not part of the census questions.
Representatives with the state’s census initiative — California Complete Count, Census 2020 — said investing resources into reaching hard-to-count residents has paid dividends across the state. They said California’s success with people who are traditionally harder to count was a result of a comprehensive multilingual and multicultural campaign that started at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve been on the ground in neighborhoods supporting community-based organizations to serve as trusted messengers,” said Ditas Katague, the director of the California Complete Count. “These steps set our state apart from other states, and that investment is paying dividends despite the challenges of the pandemic limiting our planned operations on the ground.”
The national self-response rate is currently 65.9% households, but the final national rate in 2010 was 66.5%.
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