Rockingham County Surpasses 2010 Census Response Rate
JUNE 26, 2020 – The latest response rates for the 2020 Census show that Rockingham County has exceeded its 2010 Census response rate. So far 68.2% of households in Rockingham have responded to the 2020 Census, including 46.2%% through the online questionnaire, surpassing the total 2010 Census self-response rate of 66.8%.
The City of Harrisonburg is making progress toward reaching its 2010 rate with 60.9% of households that have responded so far in comparison with 65.1% in the last decennial census. A majority of respondents – 53.8% have used the online response option, which is available for the first time in 2020.
City and county officials are encouraging all households that have not yet completed their census questionnaire to do so now. Census workers will begin making door-to-door visits to all non-responding households in early August. A complete count is essential to ensuring local communities have the adequate funding for programs such as roads, schools, health centers and emergency response services.
To focus attention and human resources on increased reporting, a 2020 Census Committee was formed with representatives from the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, all towns in the County, both City and County school systems, JMU, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and other local associations. City, County and JMU representatives took the lead with technical support from a Partnership specialist from the Philadelphia Regional Census Center of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Three towns in Rockingham County are in the top 20 for response among all cities and towns in the Commonwealth – Bridgewater is in 7th place at 77.3%, Broadway in 13th at 73.0%, and Mt. Crawford in 18th with 70.8%. The Census Bureau’s online response rate map shows current response rates by state, city, county and census tract.
“People should realize that the ten year Census count also has implications beyond government funding, with business decisions made based on population, demographic breakdowns and labor force trends, so businesses should encourage employees and associates to complete their Census forms”, observes Frank Tamberrino, Chamber President.
Residents that have not responded can do so safely and conveniently at home using the online form at 2020census.gov, or by calling toll-free to speak with a census representative at 844-330-2020, or by mailing the paper questionnaire that was sent to all home addresses in April. Language support is available with all response methods in 12 non-English languages (online and phone) and more than 50 additional languages (via guides available for the paper form). Households that do not respond to the census will receive a visit from a census taker who will assist them.
As required by the U.S. Constitution, the once-a-decade census must count every person living in the United States. Census data are the basis for our democratic system of government, ensuring that representation in government is equally distributed. Census results shape the future of communities, as census data informs how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.
POC for Rockingham: Bradford Dyjak
POC for Harrisonburg: Amy Snider, Assistant to the City Manager 540-432-770