Minnesota, Wisconsin jockey for 2020 Census response lead
Eau Claire County and city lead area with self-response stats
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Wisconsin and Minnesota are jockeying for position in the 2020 Census race, even as the U.S. Census Bureau mails additional questionnaires to households that haven’t responded.
As of Wednesday, Minnesota held the national lead and a slight edge over Wisconsin in self-responses, with 74.1 percent of households, compared with Wisconsin’s 71.3 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s website.
However, 21.3 percent of Wisconsin households that door-to-door nose-counters tallied in follow-up visits, compared with Minnesota’s 16.2 percent, vaulted the Badger State over the Gopher State. The totals were Wisconsin at 92.6 percent and Minnesota, a mere 90.3 percent.
Both states lead the national total of 84.9 percent of households counted, including 65.2 percent self-responding online, by phone or mail. But they are nowhere near the leader, Idaho, which boasts a 97.5 percent total response rate.
But who’s counting? The Census Bureau, which hopes for droves to respond to the last-ditch-effort questionnaire sent to more than 16.2 million households in low-responding tracts.
The Census is more than a geeky exercise that takes place every 10 years. The responses help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money flow into communities every year for the next decade, affecting planning and funding for health clinics and highways, fire departments and disaster response, education programs such as Head Start and college tuition assistance — just to name a few.
The headcount also determines the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives
At the county level in Wisconsin as of Wednesday, Eau Claire leads the region in self-responses at 80.3 percent, followed by Chippewa at 76.8 percent and La Crosse at 72.6 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s county map.
Drilling down to city statistics puts Eau Claire’s self-response rate at 81 percent, Chippewa Falls at 79.4 percent and La Crosse, 67.4 percent. Onalaska weighs in at 79.6 percent, Holmen at 78.2 percent and West Salem, 77.7 percent.
County tallies in Minnesota put Houston’s self-response rate at 76.2 percent, Winona’s at 73.5 and Wabasha’s, at 71.2 percent.
Minnesota’s city self-reporting rates include La Crescent at 81.4 percent and Winona, 71.6 percent.
The final mail packages, which are expected to arrive by Sept. 15, are last in a series of reminders the Census Bureau has mailed to nonresponding households since mid-March, according to a news release.
Census officials hope that households that have not yet responded to the census to complete their questionnaire by Sept. 30 online at 2020census.gov or by phone at (844) 330-2020, the news release says.
Households do not need their mailed materials to respond. Households that receive the mailing and want to respond via the paper questionnaire must return it as soon as possible.
The Census Bureau will process all paper questionnaires postmarked by Sept. 30 and received at the Paper Data Capture facilities no later than Oct. 7, according to the news release.
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