Town's census response rates in '20 exceed goal by 4.6%

With support from Complete Count Working Group

Town of Arlington seal

Thanks to a highly engaged and supportive community, Arlington surpassed expectations to achieve a 4.6-percent higher self-response rate, a town news release says.

The town’s final such rate for the 2020 Census was 82.6 percent, compared with the final self-response rate for the 2010 Census of 77.2 percent.

Self-response data is typically the most reliable, so achieving a higher proportion of responses is critical. Arlington’s exceptional 2020 self-response rate is in despite of a decade of national decline in census and survey participation and the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Because of high self-response rates and Arlington residents’ cooperation with census workers who visited Arlington homes this summer, the Census Bureau has informed the town that it has accounted for the population of 99.9 percent of all addresses in the town's area census office region. 

The town’s success in the 2020 Census would not have been possible without the leadership of the Complete Count Working Group, whose members reached out to residents, businesses, the faith community, schools, and daycares to inform the community about the 2020 Census and encourage individuals to respond. Thank you for your dedication to making sure that each and every Arlington resident was counted, and your perseverance despite the pandemic: 

  • Patricia Lieberson, Arlington League of Women Voters
  • Lauren Ledger, Arlington EATS
  • Ellen Lawton, resident and public health attorney
  • Brucie Moulton, Mothers Out Front / Sustainable Arlington
  • Kristine Shah, Council on Aging
  • Adam Kurowski, Information Technology / GIS
  • Christine Bongiorno, Health & Human Services
  • Jillian Harvey, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator
  • Anna Litten, Libraries
  • Karen Foley, Clerk's Office
  • Julie Dunn, Arlington Public Schools
  • Joan Roman, Public Information Officer
  • Noah Sweder, student at Arlington High School 
  • Erin Zwirko, Department of Planning and Community Development
  • Kelly Lynema, Department of Planning and Community Development 

Census data informs how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster-recovery initiatives and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years. We appreciate the work of the Complete Count Working Group, our local leaders and partners, and all residents in ensuring a complete and accurate count so that Arlington receives its fair share of funding.   

In October, under the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request from the Trump administration to halt the census count while an appeal plays out over a lower court's order that it continue.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine appealed to the public in September, but the Oct. 13 court ruling put the on hold. The matter was subsequently resolved.

The manager wrote: "Census counts affect the lives of every resident in Arlington for the next decade. That includes congressional representation, redistricting and critical federal funding for such matters as education, housing, food programs and emergency funding, including assistance during a pandemic. A curtailed operation could lead to a significant undercount, especially for renters, people of color and immigrants.

"While nearly 82 percent of Arlington households have responded to date, we need those who haven't to respond as soon as possible."

This news announcement was published Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.