As 2020 census deadline looms, Texas moving up

HARLINGEN — Texas continues to rise in the rankings for the 2020 census, with the state now listed as 33rd in the nation with a total response rate of 95.2% of households.

Census enumerators going door-to-door will stop on Sept. 30. The deadline for self-responding online by households is also Sept. 30, although households may still respond via mailing in census forms through Oct. 7.

“Currently in terms of self-response, Texas is sitting at 61.7% as of yesterday,” Katie Lightfoot Martin of the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Texas Counts, said Monday.

“With that I did want to share that in addition to self-response, 33.4% is the share of units that have been resolved via Non-Response Follow Up, and as a reminder, that’s when the Census Bureau is going door-to-door and doing that interview in person,” she said.

The Non-Response Follow Up is particularly crucial to a maximum census response in Texas, much of which is considered a hard-to-count area.

“So when we look at combining the self-response rate with our Non-Response Follow Up work the bureau has been doing, 95.2% is the total share of housing units that have been enumerated in Texas as of yesterday, so again we’re not quite at 100% yet, and we have a little over a week left currently with the 2020 Census,” she added.

Nationally, Texas has now raised its total response rate just below the national mark of 95.4%. That percentage means 97.8 million households nationwide have now responded.

Here in the Valley, Cameron County’s self-response rate is 51.0%, which is below the final self-response rate of 56.4 percent it produced in 2010.

Combined self-response and enumerated response rates are not yet available. But the Census Bureau announced Monday that 85% of households in Cameron and Hidalgo counties which have not self-responded have been counted by in-person enumerators.

In Willacy County, the self-response rate has risen to 41.6%, which is down from the 50.6% rate in the 2010 census.

Hidalgo County’s self-response rate is the highest in the Valley at 52.9%, but still off the 55.9% recorded in 2010.

Starr County is at 47.6%, which is actually above the self-response rate recorded there during the 2010 census, which was 45.5 percent.

Among cities in the Valley, Brownsville’s self-response rate stands at 58.0%, down from the 66.3% the city recorded in the 2010 census.

Harlingen stands at a self-response rate of 54.2%, down from 62.3% in 2010.

McAllen has moved over the 60% threshold for self-responses, coming in at 60.1%. In 2010, the city had a final self-response rate of 65.6%.