Census 2020 marks the first time U.S. citizens have the ability to complete the census online. This is welcomed news to many, as it should make participation easier. Getting a complete count in Arkansas was promising. Committees around the state were doing their part in getting out the count. Cities and counties banded together and reached out to residents to encourage the completion of the Census through traditional and social media. COVID-19 soon proved to be a pretty large road block between outreach and the people, bringing most outreach to a halt and self-response rates to a crawl.
Arkansas ranks between 36th and 38th place in self-response. Pulaski County moves among the ranks between 10th and 12th place; cities within the county range from second place to 304th place out of 499 Arkansas cities. The pandemic has hampered in-person outreach across the state, and for Pulaski County, in-person outreach is imperative to getting a complete count in our historically hard-to-count areas.
But there is good news! The U.S. Census plans to drop off paper forms to households without physical mailing addresses this month in the Little Rock and Fayetteville areas. The U.S. Census has also adjusted its timeline to offset the impact of the pandemic. Census takers will begin to canvas communities in August through October. Pulaski County hopes to resume in-person community outreach in June and July.
Please encourage friends and family to complete the census at https://my2020census.gov/.