Prince George’s County was the sixth-most-improved county in Maryland to improve its Census response rate in first week following Census Day. But Prince George’s County’s overall response rate still lags behind most other Maryland counties, while slightly ahead of the national response rate.
Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau tries to count where everybody lived as of April 1, or Census Day. But Census Day is not a deadline. The count will continue for several months, using online responses and in-person surveyors to collect data. Local governments are pushing their residents to respond to the Census online, noting that the demographic data produced by the Census is used to allocate congressional representatives as well as federal funding.
Nationally, an estimated 46.7 percent of U.S. residents had completed the Census by April 9, 2020, a 10.5 percentage point increase across the country since Census Day. Maryland improved its response rate from 38 percent to 49.9 percent between March in that same span, an 11.9 percentage point increase. Prince George’s County improved its response rate 13 percentage points between March 31 and April 8, rising from 34.3 percent estimated response to 47.3 percent estimated response.
Prince George’s County now ranks 13th out of 24 Maryland counties when it comes to Census response rates. The highest-ranked is Howard County, which started Census Day ranked No. 2 in the state with a 45.6 percent response rate. A week later it had increased that 14.3 percentage points to 59.9 percent estimated response rate. Worcester County has the lowest estimated census response rate, at 22.9 percent estimated response. A week before, that number stood at 18.2 percent. A full ranking of Maryland county response rates is below.
Meanwhile, University Park here in Prince George’s County currently claims the highest municipal Census response rate in Maryland, sitting at 73.2 percent as of April 9, 2020. The lowest municipal response rate in the state belongs to Ocean City, Maryland, with just 6.3 percent of its estimated population responding to the Census so far.
Among Prince George’s County’s 27 municipalities, response rates ranged on April 8 from University Park’s state-leading share to a low of 32.8 percent estimated response from Eagle Harbor. Among inner-Beltway Route 1 corridor municipalities, Berwyn Heights claims the second-most-complete Census response at 61.2 percent. The lowest estimated response rate in the Route 1 corridor is in College Park, a city’s whose massive student population has been suddenly cast back to their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic. Only 33.2 percent of College Park residents had responded to the Census by April 8.
Twin-towns Cottage City and Colmar Manor were the most-improved municipalities in Prince George’s Census response in the first week since Census day. Colmar Manor saw its census response rate increase 18.4 percentage points in that time, while Cottage City boosted its response rate 15.6 percentage points. A full ranking of Maryland municipal Census response rates is below.
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