Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: To date, the town of Thatcher has the best census self-response rate out of the municipalities in Graham County at 64.1 percent, which is slightly above the state average of 60 percent.
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – Time is running out to respond to the 2020 Census.
The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed census takers going home to home and to facilities that house large groups of people, however, workers will be out in force for the next few months
Field operations were suspended in mid-March due to COVID-19 but have now restarted. According to Census Bureau Director Steve Dillingham, the U.S. Census Bureau will end its field data collection by Sept. 30, 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau has until Dec. 31, 2020, to complete its data collection.
AS of Monday, Arizona’s self-response rate was at 60 percent, which is slightly lower than the national self-response rate of 63.3 percent.
Graham County is about middle of the pack of Arizona’s counties with a 53.3 percent self-response rate, and Greenlee County has just a 37.4 percent self-response rate.
As far as local municipalities, Thatcher has done the best so far in Graham County at 64.1 percent, followed by Safford at 62.1 percent, and Pima at 46.2 percent. For Greenlee County, Duncan leads with a 38.8 percent rate followed by Clifton with a 37.3 percent rate. Morenci is an unincorporated part of Greenlee County.
Why it matters
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation and will provide data that will be used to proportion government funds, determine where communities need new schools, roads, and critical services. The results also inform the federal government how much federal funding is needed for more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, block grants, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The results of the census will shape how your community is federally funded for the next decade.