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With A Month Left Before Census Deadline, Households Remain Uncounted

The Census self-report rate in Oregon by county as of Friday, August 28, 2020.
The Census self-report rate in Oregon by county as of Friday, August 28, 2020.

Tuesday, Sept. 1 marks one month before the deadline for residents to be counted in the U.S. Census.

As of Friday, more than 88% of households in Oregon have self-reported or been contacted by Census workers. In California more than 84% of households have been counted.

The constitutionally-mandated, once-a-decade count of the U.S. population is used to determine political representatives and how federal funds are distributed to communities.

At the county level, some of the lowest self-response rates in our region include areas such as Trinity County in California where just 28.8% of residents have self-reported and Lake County in Oregon where that number stands at 42.2%.

In early August, federal officials announced the 2020 Census schedule would be shortened by one month. That’s created worries and criticism about whether the hardest-to-reach residents will get counted with added complications for field workers during the pandemic.

Online self-reporting for the Census can be done at 2020census.gov.

Erik Neumann is JPR's news director. He earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and joined JPR as a reporter in 2019 after working at NPR member station KUER in Salt Lake City.