The 2020 Census paper forms are now arriving in western Nebraska mailboxes. The first push was a postcard mailing prompting people to fill out the Census online.
David Drozd, research coordinator at UNO’s Center for Public Affairs Research, said western Nebraska was one of the last areas to receive the paper forms.
“We have seen a spike in response, it took a little while since the census mailed these out at different times across the nation and Nebraska,” he said.
The response rate does vary from eastern Nebraska, where they tend to have more responses and western Nebraska, where the response rate is a bit lower.
The Census theorizes there can be some attitudes in the west, where people want to stick to themselves and don’t want the government involved.
This time around for the Census, western Nebraska is doing better than it has in the past.
“In the Panhandle, there are nine out of the 11 countries, which are performing better than in the previous census,” Drozd said. “For example, in Box Butte and Dawes, they are both above 55 percent for response rate, so they are within ten points of where they were in the last census.”
He added Scotts Bluff, Cheyenne, and Kimball Counties are all doing well, with only Morrill and Dueul Counties, still 20 points behind where they need to be to get to the 2000 census response rate.
After the mailings, the Census would have sent out field workers for door-to-door surveys in May. Covid-19 will be delaying this process until August, giving people three more months to complete the Census online or in the mail.
The Census done is every 10 years and is essential in helping to distribute billions of dollars in federal resources to communities, providing funding for hospitals, emergency services, schools, roads, and more.
For more information visit my2020census.gov