Wednesday November 25th, 2020 5:47PM

Census official: Gainesville lags behind state, nation in response

By AccessWDUN Staff
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
Getting an accurate Census count for 2020 continues to be a struggle, according to Census officials, and a good bit of the blame can go to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
 
Marilyn Stephens, Assistant Regional Census Manager for the 2020 Census for the Atlanta Region, was a recent guest on WDUN's Morning Talk with Martha Zoller, and she said the Gainesville response rate to the Census lags behind both the state and national response rate.
 
"The national response rate is a little more than 64%," Stephens said. "In Gainesville, 56.4% have responded and the state of Georgia overall is 59.9." [Editor's note: Numbers accurate as of Aug. 26, 2020.] 
 
The goal is to count 100% of American households.
 
Stephens said Census workers are now going door-to-door to collect information, but people are naturally distrustful of strangers - especially during the pandemic. She said residents should be reassured that workers are wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of illness, plus they are easily identifiable as legitimate employees of the U.S. Census Bureau. 
 
"They will have a photo ID," Stephens said. "They will have a very noticeable Census bag on their shoulders that's black with a white patch with United States Census Bureau in blue. The device they use to conduct the interview will have the Census Bureau insignia as well as the Department of Commerce [insignia]."
 
If the workers don't get an answer when they knock on the door, then they will leave a card for residents, a card that gives instructions on how to complete the Census interview online or by phone. 
 
Despite ongoing educational campaigns about the Census, Stephens said many citizens still don't understand why there's a need to be counted. 
 
"The number one reason people are reluctant to participate in the Census is mistrust of government, fear that the information they provide to us will be used against them or their family members in some way " Stephens said. 
 
Add the fear of contracting coronavirus to the mix, and getting Americans to participate has been tricky, according to Stephens.
 
Census data is used to determine the number of government representatives each state elects; plus, population determined by the Census helps the government with distribution of federal funds. 
 
The new deadline for collecting Census data is Sept. 30. 
 
For more information on the 2020 Census, follow this link
 
The Atlanta Region is responsible for census operations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. 
  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: 2020 Census , Census takers , Marilyn Stephens , Atlanta Regional Office for 2020 Census
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Census official: Gainesville lags behind state, nation in response
Getting an accurate Census count for 2020 continues to be a struggle, according to Census officials, and a good bit of the blame can go to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
5:00AM ( 38 seconds ago )
Police: Man charged after decomposing body is found in SUV
Atlanta police have charged a suspect after the decomposing body of a Florida man who was fatally shot was found in an SUV outside a southwest Atlanta apartment complex
7:37PM ( 9 hours ago )
FBI: 1-year-old back with mom after kidnapping in Georgia
A 1-year-old boy is back with his mom after the FBI says he was kidnapped at gunpoint while his mother was walking him in a stroller in an Atlanta area neighborhood
6:31PM ( 10 hours ago )
Local/State News
Hall County looks to 2020 Census and funding changes it might bring
Next Census looks to reclassify area as ‘Large Urban” and that could mean loss of funding dollars
6:00AM ( 2 years ago )
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper holds 10th annual Sweep the Hooch event
Volunteers descended on various parts of the Chattahoochee River this morning with gloves and trash bags on hand for the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s 10th annual Sweep the Hooch event.
5:34PM ( 11 hours ago )
Annual Gainesville stream cleanup to be held virtually
The City of Gainesville Department of Water Resources will hold its annual stream cleanup in September, however, this year’s event is going virtual due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
2:00PM ( 15 hours ago )
Franklin County residents arrested after shooting in Lavonia
An incident that began as an armed robbery attempt in Lavonia early Wednesday left one man shot and in serious condition and three people in jail.
12:45PM ( 16 hours ago )
Community input wanted for a proposed overlook at Sawnee Mountain Preserve
Forsyth county is seeking community input for amenities that might be featured at an overlook at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve.
10:00AM ( 19 hours ago )