Solano remains ahead of state, nation in census self-reporting

April 24 2020

The Reporter By NICK SESTANOVICH | |

PUBLISHED: April 23, 2020 at 3:50 p.m. | UPDATED: April 23, 2020 at 3:51 p.m.

As Americans remain cooped up at home due to the shelter-at-home orders that have been issued in most states, many have been using this time as an opportunity to fulfill their civic duties by filling out the U.S. census.

As indicated through national and statewide response dates, Solano County has been doing better than most. In fact, according to the Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the self-response rate is ahead that of the state’s and nation’s.

Per data available on Tuesday, 57.6 percent of households in Solano County had completed their census forms, compared to 52.8 percent of overall Californians and 51.6 percent of overall Americans.

According to Solano EDC officials, the organization is part of a multi-county Bay Area effort coordinated regionally through United Way Bay Area to share resources and ideas for reaching the entire population of the region, including its hardest-to-count tracts. According to Solano EDC officials, those areas are primarily in highly populated cities like Vallejo and Fairfield, but every city was showing a higher self-response rate than California or America as a whole.

“We are very happy with the results we’ve seen so far,” Bob Burris, president and CEO of Solano EDC, said in a statement. “Through partnerships with KUIC, local political leaders, business owners and nonprofits, we are working to reach every single person living within our county’s borders, and we have greatly appreciated our local media’s help in getting the word out.”

The term “self-response” refers to households that have taken the census online, by mail or by phone on their own accord. Enumerators are traditionally sent to properties to help residents complete the survey or clarify incomplete information. This process primarily affects households with a nontraditional address such as those living in nursing homes, prisons or other group quarters. The process is planned for later in the year, but Solano EDC officials said it has not taken place yet.

As required by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, the U.S. Census is issued every 10 years to determine the overall population and record information about it. The data is used to determine federal spending for services like hospitals, schools, roads and infrastructure, and it also helps decide the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives.

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