by Daniel Liden
The U.S. Census Bureau started inviting households to participate in the 2020 census in mid-March and releasing daily 2020 census self-response rates in late March. Since then, we have been keeping a close eye on the self-response rates in Nevada. In addition to posting self-response rates on the Guinn Center social media pages, we also developed a 2020 response rate tracker. The tracker is updated each day as the Census Bureau releases updated numbers (usually around 12:00PM PT, though the releases are occasionally delayed). Currently, the tracker displays cumulative response rates by state, by county in Nevada, and by congressional district in Nevada.
The response rate tracker specifically tracks the self-response rate. This is the number of households that have responded to the census by mail, by phone, or online divided by the number of households that were invited to participate by mail (“self-response” enumeration areas) or to which census workers dropped off a questionnaire to be completed and returned (“update leave” enumeration areas). Responses collected by census field staff from households that did not self-respond (nonresponse follow up) are not included in the self-response rate.
The Census Bureau expects at least 60 percent of the U.S. Population to self-respond to the 2020 census. The final self-response rate to the 2010 decennial census was 66.5 percent.
Census Tracker Timeline
The Census Tracker will run for as long as the Census Bureau posts updates, and the tracker will be updated promptly with any new data from the Census Bureau. Some key dates are:
- Now through May 31: The Census Bureau will post updates seven days per week.
- June 1 through September 11: The Census Bureau will post updates five days per week (Monday through Friday)
- September 14 through October 31: The Census Bureau will post updates once per week, on Mondays.
Response Rates as of May 6, 2020
The following figures are all from the Guinn Center 2020 Census self-response rate tracker. These figures will be updated on the census tracker according to the dates listed above as the Census Bureau releases new data. Nevada’s self-response rate as of May 6, 2020 is 56.6 percent compared to the national average of 57.3 percent.
Figure 1: Nevada’s self-response rate is close to the national average.
Figure 2: Churchill County, Carson City, and Lyon County have the highest self-response rates in Nevada so far.
Figure 3: Nevada’s 3rd congressional district has the highest 2020 census self-response rate.
There are several other great sources of in-depth data and research on the census response rates.
- Census Bureau Self-Response Rates: The U.S. Census Bureau has provided a page with maps and downloadable data showing the response rates by state, county, city, and other geographic levels. The tools on the census site can be used to obtain both overall and Internet response rates. There are also links to technical documentation detailing how the self-response rates are obtained and reported.
- CUNY Center for Urban Research Response Rate Analysis: The CUNY Center for Urban Research is releasing weekly analyses of response rates detailing national trends and providing detailed analysis of trends such as Internet vs. mail response rates and response rates based on various demographic characteristics of census tracts. New analyses are released daily. Accompanying maps with more details about response rates can be found here.