Suburbs see state’s highest response rates as census follow-up begins

As workers fan out across parts of Missouri to collect responses to the 2020 census, about six in 10 households in the state have self-responded to survey.

As of Wednesday, 62.3% of Missouri households had submitted responses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was identical to the national self-response rate.

Taken every 10 years, the census is critical to determining how Congressional seats and federal dollars are distributed, and businesses use its findings for strategic planning.

Minnesota had the highest self-response rate nationally as of Wednesday, at 71.8%. The upper Midwest had a cluster of high-responding states, with Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin all above 68%. Alaska had the lowest self-response rate, at 48.7%.

This year’s census has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, starting last week, a half-dozen census offices nationally began sending out census takers for “Nonresponse Followup.” Kansas City was among those offices.

Most offices will start nonresponse work by Aug. 11, according to the Census Bureau, and all will conclude it by Oct. 31.

In Missouri, the highest self-response rates as of Wednesday were in counties that are home to suburbs of the state’s largest cities.

St. Charles County, part of the St. Louis metro area, led the state with a 78.2% response rate. Christian County, just south of Springfield, was next at 75.6%. Cass County, in the Kansas City area, ranked third with a self-response rate of 72.3%.

Hickory County, located in the central part of the state, had the lowest self-response rate, 23%.


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