News

June 25, 2020

Keystone Counts Shares Update on the 2020 Census in Pennsylvania

Keystone Counts recently shared an update on the 2020 Census in Pennsylvania. LAMPa is one of the more than 100 coalition members of Keystone Counts, a statewide coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, and community organizations joined together to build an education and outreach effort for a fair and accurate 2020 census.

The nationwide response to the census, as of June 5, was 61.4% exceeding the projected end response rate of 60.5%. The Pennsylvania response rate, as of June 5, was 64.7%. In 2010 the total response rate in Pennsylvania was 70.2%. It was anticipated nationally and in Pennsylvania that total results in 2020 would be lower than 2010 rates.

In Pennsylvania, more than 1.2 million households in 24 Priority counties were identified as at risk in the 2020 Census. Keystone Counts set a goal to reach/connect with 244,648 at-risk households. The goal was set to be achieved through personal visits, phone calls and text banking. COVID-19 substantially altered these plans.

Trusted community messengers, representing various coalition members, were set to walk neighborhoods connecting with residents in more than nine languages, sharing Census education, stories, building relationships and encouraging residents to complete the Census. A key element of census education included sharing the financial benefits Commonwealth residents receive federally based on the census count. Guided by Decennial Census Date (Fiscal Year 2016) Pennsylvania received more than $39 Billion from the Federal Government that was allocated through 55 large Federal Spending Programs.

Amazingly, despite COVID, and through the dedication of coalition partners, more than 405,000 at risk households have been reached to date. It is anticipated the relationships formed through these contacts will continue especially as individuals are encouraged to register to vote and pledge to follow through.

Results of the 2020 Census will also affect Redistricting Appointment Counts in the state. The COVID altered schedule for the Census anticipates the appointment counts to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021.  Redistricting data is anticipated to be delivered to each state by July 31, 2021.

This year’s Census data can affect representation in Federal & State Congressional Redistricting. It is anticipated Pennsylvania may lose one or more US Congressional Representative seats and an electoral vote.

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