The 2020 Federal Census continues to move forward despite the ongoing snags caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Morgan County currently has a 67.3% response rate, with a little more than half of the responses coming online. Scott County is at 65.8% with 51% of responses coming online. The overall state response rate is at 66.8%, and the national average is currently at 62.1%.
Krisitin Jamison of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation, which covers both counties, hopes that the response rate goes higher by the Fall: “Of course, we are hoping to get closer and even surpass our final response rate of 2010. If we look back at those responses, we were at 73% at the end of the census for Morgan County and Scott County was at 72.8%. We’ve got a little ways to go there to get to where we were in 2010, and of course, we would like to have an even higher rate. That means that more money is funneled back to our counties through the federal government.”
Jamison says that some areas are doing better than others with response: “I do know that we have to do a little bit more for specific areas. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way in which we were approaching trying to push information out into the community about the census. I think more than anything that [COVID-19] became the news cycle. If things weren’t related to the pandemic, people were not listening. We know that the census has been pushed back and more time has been given for that collection. I do anticipate working with JREDC and our county partners to really ramp up the messaging here as we near the Fall months, knowing that the census will conclude in October.”
Jamison says that door-to-door collection of census numbers has begun in Morgan County and that numbers will be updated periodically as those numbers are brought in.
According to the U.S. Census website, Cass County stands at 65.8%, Greene County is at 57.6%, Pike is at 60.8%, Brown is at 59.9%, Schuyler is at 62.7%, and Macoupin is at 69%. The final date of the census is October 31st.