Davie among top 5 for Census reporting

Published 9:44 am Thursday, April 30, 2020

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By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

for Davie EDC

Davie County made it into the top five counties in the state for Census reporting.

“Number five is good but with a little more effort, I think we can make it to No. 1,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, urging Davie residents to respond to the Census and to encourage their friends, family, and co-workers to do the same.

“The census is a once-every-10-year event. It’s critical that everyone is counted so that we aren’t at a loss for the next 10 years.”

Over half of households have responded in all of North Carolina’s top-five responding counties. These counties are: Orange (56.8%), Union (56.6%), Wake (55.9%), Chatham (54.3%), and Davie (51.9%). Response in these highest-responding counties still lags behind self-response in the highest responding state of Minnesota (60.4%). Historic self-response rates for Davie County were 70 percent in 1990; 71 percent in 2000; and 68.1 percent in 2010.

North Carolina’s ranking has fallen for the first time since reporting began. As of April 19, North Carolina ranked 38 out of 50 states and DC – a decline from last week’s ranking of 36. North Carolina’s current response rate stands at 46.6 percent of households.

What is the number, in dollars, associated with one individual not being counted in the census?

In North Carolina, that is a $23.8 billion question, Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, explained at a conference last June.

“The George Washington Institute for Public Policy recently published a series of memos regarding the fiscal impact of a census undercount. In FY2016, nearly $24 billion in federal funds were allocated to North Carolina through 55 programs guided by the 2010 Census. On a per-capita basis, this is more than $2,000 per NC resident, though it is hard to put a specific financial amount on the impact of any one person not being counted in the census.”

When thinking about census-derived funding and its impacts, there are two major consequences: North Carolina’s fair share of the overall national pie of federal funding; and equitable allocation of this funding to communities in greatest need within the state.

“When we talk about the importance of the Census, we talk about power and money. We use the Census counts to allocate funding for everything from highway spending to programs like Medicare and Head Start.

“It provides key decision-makers with the information they need to ensure that government resources are directed strategically to the state’s communities. Also, the Census ensures that communities are appropriately represented in the statehouse and in Congress. With an accurate 2020 Census count, North Carolina is projected to gain a seat in the House of Representatives, increasing its representation from 13 to 14 representatives,” Tippett said.

Davie County Manager John Eller considers the funding particularly important as the county recovers from the economic effects of Covid-19.

“Many of us may not realize how much funding is tied to the Census,” Eller said. “This impacts funding streams for non-profits, healthcare, services to our children, services to keep people safe, services to help with food services and farming, and services to our veterans. It also impacts our education from pre-k through college. Economic development is impacted because it assists with roads, highways, broadband, water, and sewer needs. I hope everyone sees how important this is for our community.  If you haven’t responded to the Census yet, it’s not too late.  You can complete your 2020 Census safely in your home either online, by phone, or by paper form.  Census data collection will continue into the summer, but you don’t need to wait.  Be counted now.  It’s quick, easy, safe, and important for the future of our community.”

For the first time, you can complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail.

To learn more about the census and how it impacts Davie, visit https://www.daviecountync.gov/898/Census-2020.

Take about 10 minutes to complete your census form by visiting https://2020census.gov/.

If you would prefer to complete the Census by phone, customer service representatives are available every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern Time on the following phone lines: English, 844-330-2020; Spanish, 844-468-2020; and TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020.