CH census response below state average
The COVID-19 crisis has impacted every aspect of our lives and our community; the 2020 U.S. Census is no exception. While the goals of the Census Bureau have not changed during the pandemic, field operations have. Plans for door-to-door canvassing and census-related public events have been delayed, to be reevaluated in June. The U.S. Census Bureau is also pursuing a 120-day extension to deliver the final count.
This doesn’t mean that Cleveland Heights residents should delay in getting themselves counted. Perhaps now more than ever, residents are witnessing the many ways the city is supported by programs whose funding is based on census data; the more CH residents are counted, the more federal funding the city will receive for services in the coming decade. These programs include Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare Part B, special education grants, National School Lunch Program, Head Start/Early Head Start, foster care and health care programs.
As of April 19, an estimated 52% of Cleveland Heights residents had completed a census report, which is slightly higher than the current national average of 50.5%, but below Ohio’s average of 53.9%. Over the course of the next few months, the Census Bureau and city staff will devise strategies to count the other half of the city’s population.
Residents can track Cleveland Heights' progress at www.2020census.gov/en/response-rates. The website breaks down the numbers by city and by census tract (see the accompanying map), showing the response rates of neighborhoods in the city. Areas shaded in orange have a response rate below 50%; the darker the shade of orange, the fewer responses a tract has.
The city’s goal is to be counted at 100%. If your household has not yet been counted, know that the census questionnaire is designed to be quick and simple. Only one person needs to respond for each home or apartment unit, and the responder should count everyone who is living there, including infants and children. Visit www.my2020census.gov to fill out the questionnaire online now, or keep an eye on your mail for the paper form.
Hannah Morgan serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA to FutureHeights.