June marked the fourth month for 2020 Census self-response. Operational delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed door-to-door follow-up at non-responsive households back to August. This creates an extended window for communities to drum up additional responses from residents.
And responses do continue to come in from across the state:
- 61% of the state’s households have now responded.
- Tennessee continues to track with the national response rate and ranks #24 among the states.
- Phone and internet self-response (my2020census.gov) extend through late October, with door-to-door follow-up at an estimated 1.18 million housing units in the state fully underway by August 11th.
To further reduce the number of homes that Census Bureau temporary workers will need to visit, a sixth mailed reminder will be sent to non-responding households in mid-July. For communities across the state, coordinating constituent outreach in association with this communication should help make this even more productive. A boost in response has been associated with other reminders.
The Bureau also put out a call to the states looking for feedback about ways in which COVID-19 related operational delays could affect census quality. Because of change in timing and the pandemic, some Tennesseans may have moved temporarily. This makes it more difficult to count them where they were residing on April 1.
To help identify such instances, the states are being asked to provide examples—both general and specific—to the Census Bureau, showing where temporary or seasonal relocation could impact a complete count of our residents. A few examples are:
- College students moving home
- Parts of the state where seasonal/vacation housing might have occupied in April but not this fall
- Areas where migrant farm workers would have been located in April
- Seasonal campgrounds where RV’ers may have been staying in April but would be elsewhere in the country later in the year.
These cases require local knowledge specific to Tennessee’s cities and counties. The State Data Center is helping to collect this input to share with the Census Bureau. Please circulate this request to other officials, including city and county administrations, who may have expressed concerns. Submit comments directly to Tim Kuhn, Director of the Tennessee State Data Center (email@example.com), by June 30th. Feel free to call or email with any questions.