The U.S. Census Bureau wanted to thank the Town of Parker and La Paz County for their efforts in ensuring a full count for the 2020 U.S. Census. Tammy Parise, Partner Specialist for the Arizona U.S. Census Bureau spoke to the Board of Supervisors Feb. 1 and the Town Council Feb. 2. She also gave a report on reporting for the census, and talked about when actual numbers would be available.
Of the American households that responded to the census, Parise said 67 percent responded on their own without any contact from the Census Bureau. This was a record percentage for self-responding. Of these, she said 80 percent responded on-line. She said this was the first time, people could respond to the census on-line, and the bureau was pleased to see so many people take advantage of that.
“There was no down time on our computers and no data breeches,” Parise said.
As a state, Arizona ranked 32nd in self-responses with 64.1 percent of households self-responding.
La Paz County was behind the national average in their self-response rate. Overall, the self-response rate of the county was 24 percent. For Parker, it was 51 percent, while it was 20 percent for Quartzsite.
When it came time to go door-to-door to reach households that hadn’t self-responded, Parise said their field workers reached 64 million addresses in 68 days.
Parise said the bureau finished their data collection in October 2020. She said the data is currently being compiled, and they should be able to realize some actual numbers in Summer 2021.
For those who want estimates earlier than this summer, Parise said the bureau completed their American Community Survey Dec. 10, 2020. On their website, www.census.gov, they described this survey as “an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.”
Parise thanked the Board and the Council and presented them with certificates of appreciation for their assistance as partners in the census. She said they had 67,000 partners in the 2020 census, and that made things work more smoothly.
“We couldn’t have done this alone,” she said. “We could not do this without partners like you.”
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census every 10 years (Article 1, Section 2) to determine apportionment in the House of Representatives in Congress. It is also used by states to determine their legislative districts, while data from the census is also used to apportion federal and state funding.
“Enshrining this invention in our Constitution marked a turning point in world history,” the U.S. Census Bureau said on their website. “Previously, censuses had been used mainly to tax or confiscate property or to conscript youth into military service. The genius of the Founders was taking a tool of government and making it a tool of political empowerment for the governed over their government.”
According to the Census Bureau’s estimates for 2019, La Paz County had a population of 21,108. Median household income was $34,643. Approximately 22 percent of the residents lived in poverty. There were also 2,526 military veterans. This information does not include winter visitors.