October 12, 2020
As 2020 census nears end, self-response rate craters
As the 2020 census lurches to a counting finale this month, Texas has dropped back to No. 39 in the national rankings of households which have self-reported.
All told, the state’s self-response rate of 62.6% when added to its enumerated rate — where census workers go door-to-door — totals an impressive 99.9%.
The problem is, experts say, that isn’t telling the whole story.
“Long story short, enumeration does not mean count, it just means that the census bureau has categorized this (address), they can get it off the list of their workload, and say that they have completed that count for that housing unit,” Lila Valencia, senior demographer with the Texas Demographic Center, said Monday in an online webinar.
“Self-response data, we know that is the highest-quality data, that is the data we want to see an increase in right now during these last few weeks of the count,” she added.