Census is Far from Done
Friday, September 18, 2020 6:30 AM

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The good news? Minnesota leads the nation in voluntary response rate for the 2020 U.S. Census: 74.6 percent of state households have filled out their form.

The glass half-empty view: That means more than 1 in 4 households have not done the census.

The good news? There's still time to complete the census online or by phone. Forms are available in 13 languages.

The glass half-empty view: You've got only until Wednesday Sept. 30 to do so.

Census-takers hit the doors
In the meantime, census-takers are going door-to-door in Como to count people who have not filled out their 2020 census form. Several things to know:

  • If you fill out the form yourself, a census-taker will not bother you.
  • Census-takers are knocking on doors seven days a week, as early as 9 a.m. and as late as 9 p.m.
  • Census takers have an ID badge with their name, photo, expiration date, and a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark.
  • If they can’t get a hold of a neighbor of yours, census-takers may ask you to help them get information.
  • Census-takers are wearing masks, and will interview you from a socially safe distance outdoors.
  • The census has to be finished by Sept. 30.

Why take the time?
The U.S. Constitution requires a nationwide count of all residents every 10 years. Beyond the legalisms, the census provides the raw data that influences how billions of dollars in federal and private-sector funds get spent every year. It impacts where governments and businesses make investments in jobs, personal services, housing, roads, schools, medical facilities, and more. It also determines redistricting -- who gets what representation in Congress, the state legislature, city council, and more.

Locally, we've got a lot of room for improvement. Ramsey County overall self-response rate is at 78.4 percent, but Saint Paul is at only 74.1 percent. Here in Como, voluntary participation ranges from exceptional to weak:

  • Census Tract 303 (which is east of Lexington and north of the railroad tracks): 90.4 percent, which is the highest response rate of any census tract in the city
  • Census Tract 302.01 (which is north and west of the park): 84.9 percent
  • Census Tract 312 (which is South Como -- between Lexington, Dale, and the two railroad tracks): 77.9 percent
  • Census Tract 302.02 (which is Energy Park, the apartments between Wynne and Jessamine, and much of Como Regional Park): 66.9 percent

Updated Sept. 18, 2020

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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