Regional Planning Leaders Encourage Greater Census Response

Staff Report From Charleston CEO

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

South Carolina currently ranks 40th nationally in Census response rate at less than 50 percent, placing future federal funding and Congressional representation in jeopardy if those numbers don’t improve – though there is still time to act.

The national response average through April 27 was 53.7 percent. South Carolina was at 48.4 statewide. Local county figures were:

Berkeley County: 52.6 (8th in S.C.)

Charleston County: 48.3 (16th in S.C.)

Dorchester County: 55.5 (3rd in S.C.)

The Town of James Island had the highest local municipal response rate at 61.6 percent.

“With hundreds of billions of dollars and representation in Congress at stake, it is critical that everyone in our region responds to Census 2020,” said Ron Mitchum, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments executive director. “Transportation projects, community development efforts, critical services, planning funds and more are impacted by Census data. The good news is that the process is very easy.”

Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12–20. The Census counts everyone living in the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region. One person, at least 15-years-old, should respond for each home. They should live in the home or place of residence themselves and know general information about each person who was living there on or before April 1, 2020.

The self-response deadline for online, phone and mailed completions has been extended to Oct. 31. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect answers and keep them strictly confidential.

How to respond?

Complete forms online, by phone, or by mail when the invitation to respond arrives. Visit my2020census.gov to begin.

Customer Service Representatives are available every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. in the following lines:

English: 844-330-2020

Spanish: 844-468-2020

Why Complete the Census Form?

Informs billions in federal spending across more than 100 programs, including transportation and education.

Determines the number of seats in Congress.

Mandated by the Constitution and has been updated every 10 years since 1790.