Census says 98.6 percent of Indiana households have been counted


    The door-to-door visits are nearly over. The 2020 Census count is ending. Census officials said this week that 95 percent of all U.S. households have been counted. Nationwide, census officials said 66.1 percent of data were self-reported by residents, and 28.9 percent were census takers who canvassed neighborhoods to complete the count.

    This week, census officials began releasing completion dates for all U.S. states.

    The data includes self-reporting rates from residents reporting counts by mail, online or by phone. The data also includes enumeration rates, which is work from census takers documenting counts by door-to-door visits or telephone follow-up calls.

    In Indiana, the U.S. Census says 98.6 percent of Indiana’s households have been counted. Of that percentage, 69.8 percent were self-reported, and 28.7 percent of the data came from census workers.

    Census officials are still working to get as many households counted as the deadline looms. This week, census officials sent out text messages to reach residents who have not self-reported or been counted by census takers.

    As far as individual cities, the Census is only providing data on self-reporting responses and not enumeration information.

    That is critical for underserved communities where there are many hard to count neighborhoods where census workers have a difficult time accessing homes or apartments.

    One census worker who spoke to the Crusader said many of the addresses in Gary that were visited were homes that were either vacant or are no longer there.

    In Gary this year, only 47.5 percent of residents self-reported their counts through mail, online or by phone. That left an estimated 16,480 Gary households for census workers to count before the deadline on September 30. Questions remain whether this goal was achieved, considering the challenges census workers face canvassing neighborhoods in Gary.

    The work for census workers was lighter in 2010, where 54.9 percent of Gary households self-reported their census counts.

    This year, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were a concern as organizations like the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, held events to boost participation in the census count. Those efforts have had minimal impact on Gary’s self-response rate.

    According to the latest census data, of 15 cities in Northwest Indiana, Gary has the second lowest self-response rate at 47.5 percent. East Chicago was last with 45.3 percent. With the deadline just days away, Gary and East Chicago are the only two cities where the self-response rate is lower than 50 percent.

    Twelve cities in Northwest Indiana have self-response rates over 60 percent, and six have self-response rates over 80 percent. They include St. John, Dyer, Munster, Schererville, Crown Point and Highland. As of September 23, St. John had the highest self-response rate at 88.2 percent.

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