• 64°

One week left in census counting, Alabama response rate still last in country

By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY. – The deadline for participating in the 2020 census is Wednesday and Alabama’s response rate remains the lowest in the nation.

With a congressional seat and federal funding in jeopardy, Gov. Kay Ivey and other state officials urge Alabamians to respond to the census as soon as possible.

“We still have census workers knocking on doors, so, I am anticipating our numbers to go up from that,” Ivey told ADN in an emailed statement. “Bottom line is that Alabama has too much at stake, so, fill out your census today. Time is of the essence.”

Alabama is ranked last in the nation for the amount of households counted at 89.8% as of Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Alabama’s self-response rate — surveys conducted online, by mail or by telephone — is at 62.8%, lower than the national rate at 66.2%.

Coosa, Perry and Wilcox Counties have the lowest self-response rate in the state as of Wednesday at around 37%.

The census is constitutionally required to count all U.S. residents every 10 years.

The low response rate could affect the many federally funded programs in the state like free and reduced lunches in schools, Head Start programs, housing assistance, heating and cooling assistance through a low-income home energy assistance program, infrastructure projects and education.

Current projections also show Alabama losing one of its seven congressional house seats if responses are too low.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs has been leading the census counting effort in Alabama. In the final days of the campaign, the agency plans on advertising during Auburn and Alabama football games this weekend, radio advertisements, social media advertisements, a peer-to-peer campaign and continued engagement of businesses, local governments and faith-based groups.

The Alabama Census Bowl has also improved certain counties’ self-response rate as well, ADECA communications director Mike Presley told ADN.

Choctaw, Sumter, Macon and Tallapoosa counties are the final four in the March Madness-style competition for a grand prize of $65,000 for local schools.

Presley said ADECA will continue to push for the maximum amount of responses until Sept. 30.

“The window for every Alabamian to make a positive impact on our state for the next 10 years is scheduled to close on Sept. 30,” Presley told ADN. “If you haven’t already, participate today. If you have, please encourage your family and friends to participate.”

Census counting was originally meant to be finished by the end of July, but because of the challenges faced from the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline was pushed to Oct. 31.

A deadline change to Sept. 30 was announced last month after the bureau said it was concerned about meeting the federal deadline to get final numbers to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.

There are currently multiple cases in federal courts asking that the deadline be extended back to Oct. 31.

The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which houses the bureau, released a report last week stating the accelerated census schedule increases the risks to the accuracy and completeness of the count.

Alabamians can fill out their census form on my2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by returning the paper form by mail.


Alex Cole earns Eagle Scout rank with school beautification project


‘Into the Woods Jr.’ to unfold on Madison Academy campus


What’s the significance of red poppies? American Legion has answers.

James Clemens High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology selects Yewon Lee for institute


Elementary students excel in play at State Scholastic Chess Championship


Groups can apply for Master Gardeners grant for horticulture projects

James Clemens High School

Madison teens’ yearlong practice culminates in 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship


Alabama State Games Offer Academic Scholarships

Bob Jones High School

Exploravision regional win goes to James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Alabama State Games To Offer Academic Scholarships During Opening Ceremony

James Clemens High School

James Clemens shows its tech savvy in Science Olympiad

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Jets Press rates first at All American High School Film Festival

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – April 7, 2021

Bob Jones High School

Sam Uchitel at Bob Jones founds business for Madison CEO


City Chess Blitz Championship to decide victor on April 24

Bob Jones High School

Senior boys can apply for Alabama Boys State


VBC says scams targeting ticket seekers increasing, explains how to avoid them


State open records bill clears Senate committee


‘Essential business’ bill goes to governor


EDITORIAL: Fighting COVID-19 will require personal responsibility when mask mandate expires


Huntsville Ballet Company is back with Peter and the Wolf – April 16-18


Hubert Family Farms finding success with area’s first “pick your own tulip” experience


Community tips lead police to Harvest man accused of sexual abuse of a child


State Senate bill could send over $3.2 million to Madison City Schools