Census results likely to take longer

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Updated Census population breakdowns will likely take longer to get to communities, as the timeline for releasing 2020 redistricting data has already been delayed past normal deadlines.

The first state results from the 2020 Census will be available by the end of April and redistricting statistics will be available by the end of September, a public information officer with the U.S. Census confirmed.

“COVID-19 delayed census operations significantly,” James Whitehorne, chief of the U.S. Census’ Redistricting and Voting Rights Data office, said in a press release. “Consistent with previous census, we are focusing first on our constitutional obligation to deliver the state population counts for apportionment to the President.”

Census officials normally deliver apportionment data, which is used for reapportioning districts in the U.S. House of Representatives, to the U.S. president by by Dec. 31. That will now be delivered by April 30.

Data that is used by states to redistrict legislative and congressional seats is normally due by April 1. This time around, the data will be delivered by Sept. 30. “We are acutely aware of the difficulties that this delayed delivery of the redistricting data will cause some states,” Whitehorne said. “Some states have statutory or even state constitutional deadlines and processes that they will have to address due to this delay.”

The data will be dispensed in a single national delivery, instead of the staggered method done in the past.

“The decision to have a single national delivery ensures that the Census Bureau can provide accurate, high quality, and fit-for-use data in the least total amount of time to all states,” Whitehorne said. “Following our thorough and complete process provides the best assurance to the states that these data meet the quality standards they expect and require to underpin their important decisions.”

Indiana officials have discussed the idea of going into a special legislative session to work on Indiana’s redistricting. The regular legislative session must end by April 30.

The official Census count, in which people fill out a Census form for their household and Census workers follow up for non-responsive households, usually ends at the end of July. The 2020 Census count was extended to Oct. 15 because of unexpected complications stemming from the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Census officials have stated that they have responses from 99% of households.

The percentage of U.S. households that self-responded — meaning they filled out the Census form and did not require a followup visit from a Census worker — was 67%. Indiana’s self-response rate ended up being 70.3%.

Dubois County had the highest self-response percentage rate in Indiana, at 80.9%. Surrounding counties’ percentages were 54.2% for Crawford, 71.5% for Daviess, 64.4% for Martin, 63.7% for Orange, 72.1% for Perry, 69.5% for Pike, 71.3% for Spencer and 77.6% for Warrick.

The self-response percentages for townships and municipalities in Dubois County ended up being:

• Bainbridge: 81.8%

• Boone: 85.7%

• Cass: 79.7%

• Columbia: 70.6%

• Ferdinand: 84.6%

• Hall: 85.7%

• Harbison: 80%

• Jackson: 86.1%

• Jefferson: 76.9%

• Madison: 89.1%

• Marion: 73.6%

• Patoka: 76.1%

Self-response rates for municipalities were:

• Birdseye: 66.4%

• Ferdinand: 81.9%

• Holland: 71.6%

• Huntingburg: 73.8%

• Jasper: 82.1%




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