Clay County’s census response eighth-best in state

Spending 10 minutes to be counted affects how national, state, local funds are allocated

For Clay Today
Posted 8/5/20

GREEN COVE SPRINGS –Clay County ranks eighth in the State of Florida with a 2020 Census self-response rate of 65.7%, compared to the rest of Florida at 59.9, and the nation at 62.8%. In Clay …

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Clay County’s census response eighth-best in state

Spending 10 minutes to be counted affects how national, state, local funds are allocated

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS –Clay County ranks eighth in the State of Florida with a 2020 Census self-response rate of 65.7%, compared to the rest of Florida at 59.9, and the nation at 62.8%. In Clay County, 55.7% of census forms were completed online with the rest completed over the phone or by mailing back the paper form.

The Census Self-Response Rate is the percentage of homes that respond to the census on their own.

The Cities of Green Cove Springs and Keystone Heights, and the Town of Orange Park have an average 64 % self-response rate with half of the forms completed online. The Town of Penney Farms has a self-response rate of 54.1% with 39% of the form completed online. Some rural areas of Clay County have a lower self-response rate and a much lower online response rate. Areas in the zip codes 32656, 32666, and 32234 have an average of 50% self-response rate with only 23% of forms completed online. Self-response rates for your neighborhood can be found here: https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html. Click on “Census Tract” to see your neighborhood.

Low online self-response rates may partially be due to poor internet connectivity in some areas. If your household doesn’t have reliable internet service, there are other options for completing the census such as mailing in the paper form, calling in your responses, or taking the census at the library. All Clay County public library locations have computer stations available to take the census for free and you do not need a library card. Library staff clean computer stations after each use and can answer basic questions about completing the form. All Clay County library branches are open from 1-6 p.m., Monday through Friday and anyone can walk in to complete their census form online. There is also free Wi-Fi at each of the libraries so you can connect your device from the parking lot to take the census anytime.

More 500,000 census workers will start visiting all U.S. households that have not responded. Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit your home to personally ask the questions on the census form. If you do not wish to have an at home visit from a census taker, you can #AvoidTheKnock and respond now online at https://my2020census.gov/, complete and return the paper form, or call in your response toll free (844) 330-2020.

Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau counts the number of people in all U.S. households and asks some very basic questions about their age, race and gender. An accurate census count is critical information that affects your voice in government, how much money your community receives, and how your community plans for the future. The 2020 Census will determine how hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent in the public and private sectors each year for the next 10 years. Critical funding will be made available to local governments based on the number of people living in an area and their needs. Census counts fund medical research, public healthcare facilities, improve road systems, provide school lunches and after school programs, and much more. The public health services and facilities funded by the census will be critical as we work towards a healthier and more resilient society for our children and grandchildren.

All U.S. households received their invitation to respond to the census in the mail as of Oct. 31, and this year, the deadline to respond has been extended to Sept. 30. This is the first year that everyone will have the opportunity to respond online, in addition to by mail or over the phone. This year’s census is also available in 59 languages. Responding to the census is easy and it only takes about 10 minutes to complete the form. All answers are strictly confidential and can never be shared or used against you in any way.

Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Gayward Hendry said, “Let’s all do our part to make Clay County a healthier and better place to live for everyone. Stand up and be counted, complete the 2020 Census now by mail, by phone or online and #AvoidTheKnok at the door this fall.”

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