Commission looks to address low Census participation

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Dallas County Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Jimmy Nunn delivered and update on the 2020 Census at Monday evening’s meeting of the Dallas County Commission.
At the meeting, Nunn shared with the Commission a ranking of all 67 of Alabama’s counties by Census participation.
According to the list, which show the response rate as of May 4, Dallas County comes at 41 of 67 with a 46.8 percent response rate.
Shelby County ranks highest with a 65.1 percent response rate and Coosa County ranks lowest on the list with a 24.4 percent response rate.
The list shows neighboring Black Belt Counties like Lowndes, Perry and Wilcox also ranked low on the list coming in at 54, 66 and 64, respectively.
Nunn drew the commission’s attention to the low ranking of many of Alabama’s Black Belt Counties during the meeting.
“Y’all we have got to do something about this,” he said.
Upon communicating with the Census Bureau, Nunn said he learned Craig Field, Minter, Old Montgomery Highway and Orrville were all reported to have very low response rates.
“There are areas we are going to have to concentrate on to get these numbers increased,” said Nunn. “Any opportunity that you have, tell people about completing the Census.”
The Probate Judge warned that Dallas County could lose federal funding and congressional representation if response rates did not increase.
Nunn said he expected response rates would increase once Census representatives are allowed to collect responses door-to-door in July.
Until then the Commission discussed the possibility of placing signage near low response areas and doing radio spots to increase awareness and participation.