Census responses: Burnet County ahead, Llano County behind

The U.S. Census deadline has been extended, so you now have more time to respond.

The self-response rate for the Census in Burnet County has surpassed the 2010 number, the last time a census was taken, said Brenda MacDonald, U.S. Census media specialist. The Llano County self-response rate is behind its 2010 number by 1.9 points. 

Burnet County’s self-response rate is 58.7 percent. It was 56.5 percent in 2010. Llano County’s 2020 self-response rate is 47.1 percent.

“Response rates are continuing to increase, and there is still time left to self-respond though census takers are going door to door,” McDonald said.

Nationwide, over 95 percent of housing units have been counted. Of those, 29.6 percent were counted by census takers and other field data collection operations, which, for the first time ever, included emails and phone calls on top of door-to-door enumerators. 

The self-response rate nationwide is 66.2 percent. Also for the first time, respondents were able to send their information by phone or online as well as through the mail. 

“For the first time, people have been able to respond anytime, anywhere — online from any device or by mail or phone,” McDonald said. “This was extremely beneficial during the pandemic and restricted social gatherings that the households could still respond in several ways.” 

It’s not too late, and it is important on the grassroots level to have every household counted. The count targets who is living in each household as of April 1 of the census year. The information is used to allocate federal funds and determine representation in government on federal and state levels. 

Burnet County Judge James Oakley urged everyone living in the county who has not already been counted to complete their census form, which can be done online at 2020census.gov

“The impacts of being undercounted are such that we would be potentially underfunded on federal programs,” Oakley said. “It’s simple and important. It takes no more than three minutes to do.” 

As established in the Constitution, the U.S. government has taken a census every 10 years since 1790. For a look at how the census was taken in Marble Falls in 1950, check out the story “Remember When: 1950 Census Taker Vashti Tucker,” which ran in the June issue of The Picayune Magazine. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com

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