LIVE 5 ALERT DESK: Census Bureau representative speaks about the final push for the 2020 U.S. Census

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 12:53 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The U.S. Census Bureau is urging people in South Carolina to respond to the 2020 Census now.

The census bureau says that to ensure communities don’t lose out on 10 years of federal funding for critical public services, members of the community must respond to the census.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the national total response rate for the census is 98.4% and self-response is 66.6%.

However, South Carolina remains one of the lowest performing states in the nation.

While it may not seem like a large difference, the bureau says South Carolina’s total response rate of 96.5%, and self-response rate of 60.6% places the state at 49 and 42 respectively in comparison with all 50 states.

U.S. Census Bureau Assistant Regional Census Manager Marilyn Stephens says, “I tell people, ‘all is forgiven.’ We’re going to start with today. If your household has not responded to the census to date, do one of three things. Cooperate with your numerator that will knock at your door... Go to and complete your form online... Or complete it by phone. Go to 844-330-2020.”

Stephens says responses to the 2020 Census will inform how more than $675 billion in federal funding will be allocated to communities across the country every year for the next decade. They say these funds will support essential programs and services including housing, transportation, health care, education and emergency response.

The bureau says census responses also determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

So far the census bureau’s data on Lowcountry counties is as follows:

  • Dorchester – 69.4% (2)
  • Berkeley – 66.9% (7)
  • Charleston – 61.9% (13)
  • Colleton – 52.7 (32)
  • Orangeburg – 52.7% (32)
  • Georgetown – 48.3% (41)
  • Williamsburg – 47.8% (42)

Some notable Lowcountry city’s data continues this trend:

  • James Island – 77.4% (3)
  • Mount Pleasant – 75.2% (6)
  • Goose Creek – 72.4% (16)
  • Summerville – 71.0% (18)
  • Moncks Corner – 69.5% (20)
  • Hanahan – 67.2% (32)

The bureau says the following cities all rank near the bottom of the state:

  • Folly Beach – 30.6%
  • Kiawah Island – 25.9%
  • Pawley’s Island – 11.5% (last in state)

To respond to the 2020 Census, coordinaters ask that people please visit, call 844-330-2020, or cooperate with census takers who visit or call.

According to an article by the Associated Press, U.S. residents have until through the end of the month to respond to the census.

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