Census Participation Crucial to Disbursement of Transportation, Health Funding

Residents encouraged to answer questionnaire online
Contact: Brian Wilson

Arlington, Texas – As North Texans remain mostly at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have an opportunity to help ensure data used for the next 10 years is accurate. The US Census Bureau continues its once-a-decade count of citizens, and this year the questionnaire can be completed online. 
While the pandemic has forced many changes, technology has helped people remain connected to friends, family and work colleagues. In the same way, it is more convenient than ever to respond to the census. North Texans are encouraged to complete the census online by visiting this link. Information can also be submitted by mail or over the phone.
The questions can be answered in about 10 minutes, and the process is safe and secure. Answers are important because they help determine how much federal funding Dallas-Fort Worth and other regions across Texas and the nation receive toward endeavors such as education, transportation, healthcare. Census results also inform congressional representation.
In Texas, approximately 50% of residents have responded to the census. North Texas counties are setting the standard in response rate, with six counties in the top 10, including Rockwall County (first), Collin County (second) and Ellis and Denton counties  (tied for fifth), according to the Census Bureau. Colleyville, Trophy Club and Haslet lead the region’s cities in response rate. Updated data on self-response rates can be found at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/2020/planning-management/count/response-rates.html. In 2010, approximately 64% of Texans completed the census form themselves.

To assist with the collection of data, the Census Bureau has begun to send reminder postcards to homes to encourage people to complete the census questionnaire. Households that do not provide information will receive an in-person visit from a Census Bureau representative later this summer. In-person activities are currently suspended due to COVID-19.

When they resume, the Census Bureau expects to incorporate the most current guidance from healthcare authorities to ensure the staff members and the public remain safe and healthy.

Until then, North Texans can do their part in the comfort of their own homes to help make sure the data the Census Bureau will report accurately reflects what the growing region looks like. While adults will answer the questions, the whole family could benefit from the lessons of the process. This is also an opportunity for kids learning remotely to discover how easy it is to participate and how valuable the information is to policymakers.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area remains one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, with a population of more than 7.5 million. The region typically adds more than 1 million new residents every 10 years. Its population in 2010 was more than 6.3 million, according to the Census Bureau.

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit NCTCOG.org/trans.