CLEVELAND — Less than two-thirds of Americans have sent in responses for the US 2020 Census, and those response rates are even worse in major cities across Ohio, according to data from the federal agency responsible for counting the population.
While Ohio as a whole has been more responsive to date than the nation at-large, less than half of Cleveland residents have responded, based on data displayed in an interactive map at 2020census.gov.
As of August 1, 47.5% of Clevelanders have replied, 56.4% of people living in Toledo have sent back their information, and 61.4% of people living in Akron have responded.
Further south, 52.2% of people living in Cincinnati have send in responses, and 50.3% of those living in Dayton have replied.
The state of Ohio has a current self-response rate of 67.1% to date, compared to 62.8% nationally, as shown on the map.
In order to make it easier to be counted, for the first time ever, every single household has the option to fill out the census online at the same site where the interactive map is found, on 2020census.gov. (If you'd prefer, you still have the option to respond by phone, or by mail.)
If officials from the Census don't hear from someone at your address by August 11, you might get a call, an email, a letter, or even a knock on your door before the end of October.
There’s an estimated $900 billion in federal funding at stake, according to the GW Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The results of the census decide where that money goes and how it gets spent once it gets there, divided up between things like fire stations, public schools, road repairs, hospitals and meal assistance.
Those results also decide how many government representatives we get, both locally and nationally.
More people counted in our neighborhoods means more representation, which equates to a bigger say when it comes to measures that get voted on and have a lasting impact on our everyday lives.
Because of COVID-19 setbacks, this year the final numbers have to be handed over to the President by the extended deadline of April 30, and then sent to Congress within 14 days.
Then, by July 31, the data will be delivered to every state, to be used redraw the lines for updated voting districts (which were previously ruled to be unconstitutionally drawn to benefit Republicans in the state of Ohio).
Stephanie Haney is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and California.
Any legal information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only. None of the information in this article is offered, nor should it be construed, as legal advice on any matter.