Local Census Participation Rates Show Digital Divide

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Self-response household participation in the 2020 Census in the three-county region shows Mahoning County slightly behind Trumbull and Columbiana counties, but essentially on par with Franklin and Hamilton counties.

The most revealing statistic, however, is the percentage of census forms that have been completed via the internet – reflecting the huge digital divide that plagues Youngstown, Warren and Cleveland

According to figures released late Monday by the office of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, only 68% of the housing units in the 13th congressional district have self-responded in the census count. The deadline is Sept. 30.

In Mahoning County, 67.2% of the housing units have been counted to date with 44.7% responding online. In the city of Youngstown, just over half, 52.2%, self-responded, and of those housing units, only 25.6% used the internet to complete the form.

Participation in Trumbull County is a bit better, 69.1% of the county’s housing units, and 45.8% via the internet. The self-response percentage in Warren is 58% with just 33.1% completed online.

Across Ohio, the self-response rate is 69.0% but in-person follow-ups have raised the total enumerated rate to 85.5%. In Pennsylvania, the total percentage of housing units counted is 85.7%.

Total enumeration rates by county have not been released.

The self-response rate among total housing units in Franklin and Hamilton is the same, 66.4%, with 56.8% and 55%, respectively, responding online.
Cuyahoga County falls a bit behind, 65.2% self-response participation among its housing units, 51.8% via the internet.

In Cleveland, however, the self-response rate is just 48.8%, 30.8% online.

“Participating in the 2020 census will help shape what the next ten-years look like in our communities as the data will be used to fund roads and bridges, community assets, and even our schools,” said Ryan, in a statement. “To ensure that we get all of the federal resources to which we are entitled, we all need to be counted.”

Ohioans can respond online, by phone, or return the paper form. To submit your census, go to 2020census.gov or call 844 330 2020. 

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.