The September 30 deadline for collecting responses is now just 36 days away, and door-to-door field work by Census takers is underway across the state.
While this signals that the end of the 2020 Census enumeration process is near, there is still work to do. Here is where Tennessee currently stands:
- 76.3% of housing units in the state have participated; 63.7% self-responded and 12.6% were counted by Census Bureau field workers
- Tennessee’s combined enumeration rate ranks No. 26 nationally
- 25% of municipalities have bettered their 2010 response rate. Just 6 of 95 counties have higher response rates compared to 2010.
- Neighborhoods surrounding the state’s largest cities, including Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga, are well below their 2010 levels.
- The 60.9% self-response rate from rural counties now trails the response rate of urban counties by 4.4%, which is up from 3.9% at the beginning of August.
September 30 is the deadline for submitting online responses. Paper questionnaires must also be postmarked by this date. The Census Bureau plans to send an additional paper questionnaire to homes that have not yet responded. The form will arrive between August 22 and September 15. Leveraging the delivery of this form to coincide with other outreach efforts can help improve response in hard-to-count communities. The previous paper forms sent in March and late April generated significant boosts in response rates.
There are also several census operations aimed at counting people who don’t reside in traditional dwelling units that will begin soon. These include:
- Transitory locations, such as campgrounds, marinas, and hotels, on September 3-28
- People experiencing homelessness outdoors at locations under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc., on September 23-24
- Service-based locations, such as soup kitchens and shelters, on September 22-24.
The Census Bureau’s deadline for providing state-level apportionment counts to the President is December 31, 2020. Tennessee’s data used for redistricting congressional, state and local districts will likely follow in mid- to late-March, 2021.