7-10-2020 – Caldwell boasts above-average response to census

Posted on: July 10th, 2020 by admin


July 10, 2020


By Garrett Stell


Jul 09, 2020 3:12 PM


Caldwell County’s 2020 Census response rates continue to be slightly higher than the state average, and the U.S. Census Bureau is slowly reopening more regional offices for in-person interviewers with members of households that have yet to respond.


According to the Response Rate Map at 2020census.gov, 62.6 percent of households in the county have responded to the 2020 Census so far. That’s a little over 4 percentage points higher than the statewide response rate of 58.2. The majority of the responses in Caldwell County have come via the internet, but households can also respond by phone or mail.


The better-than-average trend is present in all Caldwell County municipalities as well, with the village of Cedar Rock leading the way with an 80.4 percent rate. All other municipalities have returned responses from at least 61 percent of households: Cajah’s Mountain (69.3); Gamewell (63.3); Granite Falls (68.1); Hudson (67.2); Lenoir (61); Sawmills (63).


Statistics from the rate map are up to date as of July 7.


On Wednesday, the Census Bureau announced in a press conference that in-person operations to interview those who have not yet filled out a census form will resume in parts of Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma and West Virginia on July 16, followed by more field operations in Connecticut, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio on July 20.


No announcement has been made about when field operations will resume in North Carolina offices, but a bureau press release said that the majority of remaining offices would reopen and resume in-person interviews by Aug. 11 and that work must be concluded by Oct. 31.


In addition to playing a part in determining federal funding for each region, statistics from this year’s census will also contribute to experimental tools that the Census Bureau is using to assess the impact of COVID-19 and help communities prepare for disasters, such as the bureau’s new Community Resilience Estimates tool.


The CRE tool combines data from two national surveys – the 2018 American Communities Survey, which gathers data on household income, poverty, health insurance and education, and the 2018 National Health Interview Survey – to identify regions, states and countries that have a high concentration of selected risk factors.


Although the bureau’s website says that the CRE is relevant for all disaster types, the current estimates are based on COVID-19 risk factors: age 65 or older; low-income household; single-caregiver household; employment or disability status; preexisting conditions; and lack of health insurance.


Individuals with at least three risk factors are considered by the study to be at high-risk during a pandemic, and counties are put in that category if 30 percent of residents or more are high-risk. The tool estimates that 47 percent of Caldwell County residents have one or two risk factors. Twenty-seven percent have zero risk factors, and 26 percent have more than three.

According to the estimation tool, which can be viewed online at census.gov/community-resilience-estimates, the largest concentrations of high-risk residents in Caldwell County are around Lenoir, Gamewell and the Little River area.


Reporter Garrett Stell can be reached at 828-610-8723.

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