Media Relations Update
June 19, 2020
As the world faces a changing political, economic, and social landscape, ALZA Strategies is committed to keeping you in the loop on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting public affairs. We hope you remain healthy and safe during these trying times.
  COVID-19, the Census, and California 
The current pandemic has changed everything about our lives, and recently, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reports that it is impacting the rate of response to the United States Census. California’s Census response rate is about six points below that of the state’s self-response rate in 2010. At the current rate, California will note reach the self-response rate achieved ten years ago before the Census Bureau brings in-person outreach in mid-August.

California’s response rate to the 2020 Census is low compared to this stage in the Census count ten years ago. Responses are trickling in at an average of .04% per day, signifying that the state will not reach 2010 numbers by August 11 th , when the U.S. Census Bureau begins in-person follow ups. 
Response rates do vary, with neighborhoods with large concentrations of Latinos, noncitizens, and renters yielding low response rates. In parts of Central Los Angeles, which has a high population of renters, the response rate is as low as 11.6%. In the southwest portions of Fresno and Tulare counties, where the majority of the population is estimated to be Latino, responses rates are in the teens. 

PPIC’s report notes that Los Angeles County’s low response turnout is especially worthy of monitoring going forward. As of now, the county’s response rate at 57.4% lags behind the current statewide rate of 63.8%, possibly a result of COVID-19 overshadowing Census messages since rates of infection in LA are the highest in the state.
In-person follow up to nonresponding households is the next phase of Census outreach. COVID-19 seriously complicates in-person outreach efforts, and the intricacies of in-person outreach will likely be far more complex than it was pre-pandemic.
Roger Salazar, President l (916) 284-1255

Hilary McLean, Partner l (916) 203-7274