The 2020 Census was a success in Utah County despite a pandemic and social unrest during key months of response gathering.
“The turnout for Utah County was wonderful,” said a representative of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Not only were 99.9% of housing units and addresses accounted for in Utah, but Utah County also saw a 5.1% increase in self-response rates.
Provo’s turnout dipped slightly in 2020 from 71.8% and 71% in 2010 and 2000, respectively, to 69.9% in 2020.
The U.S. Census Bureau, however, said comparing the 2020 Census to previous censuses is inappropriate because of the unique circumstances in which it was taken. This year was the first year in which data was collected via the internet and over the phone. The COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and in some cases, natural disasters also make it difficult to draw comparisons.
Although the 2020 Census may be one of a kind, its effects will be the same. The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation and will inform the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding.
“That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location,” the Census Bureau representative said.
“Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems. Or think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education. The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults.”