Gila County produces below average census participation


Time is running out for Gila County residents to respond to the U.S. Census.

With only one month remaining, recent figures show that Gila County and the State of Arizona are responding at a rate near the bottom of the national pack. This lack of response could affect everything from federal aid to whether the state receives another seat in the U.S. House.

As of press time, the Census Bureau shows that just 65.8 percent of Arizonans have self-responded and 40.2 percent of Gila County have self-responded.

Only four states have lower tallies than Arizona.

These low numbers come in despite the $1.2 million allocated toward a grassroots and paid media effort from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office to help increase response rates.

The original plan was to have census takers in the field boosting response through the end of July, but that became an impossible task due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Officials are continuing a campaign that urges residents to take a few minutes to fill out the 2020 Census before the end of September deadline. Resident response will greatly affect the future of Gila County.

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