The last call is approaching for those across the country who have not responded to the 2020 United States Census.
Horry and Georgetown counties, and the municipalities within them, generally are lagging behind the 2020 national and state averages for filling out the census on their own, as well as trailing 2010 local averages for self-reporting.
And time is running out for more locals to complete their census survey. The final day to submit a survey is Sept. 30 so that government employees have time to compile the data ahead of a Dec. 31 deadline to present the result to President Donald Trump.
Volunteers are knocking on doors in both counties asking folks to finish the constitutionally required count of all people residing in the United States, but filling the survey out by oneself — online, over the phone or by mail — is the preferred method.
Currently, an expected 60 percent of South Carolina’s households have self-reported the survey compared to 64 percent a decade prior. This leaves the state 43rd out of the 50 states for self-reporting the survey, according to information provided by the Atlanta Regional Office of the Census Bureau.
The South Carolina District 7 seat to the United States House of Representatives was created in 2011 after the census showed a growth of population in the district that encompasses much of the Pee Dee region, including Horry and Georgetown counties.
This year, 50.8 percent of households within the congressional district have self-responded compared to 58.9 percent in 2010. In fact, across the board, Horry and Georgetown counties lag behind their 2010 self-response rates with only a couple weeks remaining.
Neither Horry (48.4 percent) or Georgetown (47.9 percent) counties ranks in South Carolina’s top 10 for highest percent of self-respondents. York County takes the top spot with an expected 70.3 percent of its households self-reporting.
Getting an accurate count of the population is important for gauging the needs of the whole Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Political districts, federal funding levels and community planning all rely on census data to help determine the needs of an area.
Not filling out the census could lead to an inaccurate count and fewer resources for Horry and Georgetown counties.
Despite an ongoing pandemic, census volunteers are still knocking on doors trying to record any final holdouts. A volunteer can be identified by their census mask, badge and tote bag.
Those who completed the survey in-person through a volunteer are not included in the self-response rates, but will be added into the census data.
Locals can still fill out the survey themselves online at www.my2020census.gov or over the phone by calling 1-844-330-2020. The census is provided in dozens of languages including English and Spanish, while completing the survey is expected to take 10 minutes.
Individual information disclosed in the census survey is kept strictly confidential. The census ask questions about basic demographical and household information.