St. Louis far behind other cities in census self-response rate


ST. LOUIS – Funding for transportation projects, housing, and other infrastructure can be determined in large part by a city’s population. 2020 is a census year, meaning residents are asked to respond to a few questions to help government officials determine the population of each city. The deadline to complete the census is September 30.

A check of a U.S. Census Map on Tuesday put the City of St. Louis self-response rate at 52.2 percent.

Chesterfield had an 81.7 percent rate, while Ballwin was at 86.6 percent, and Wildwood had a self-response rate of 87 percent.

City of St. Louis officials urging residents to complete the census before it’s too late.

“We have to boost the number up, so we make sure we have the federal dollars necessary to do the work that our residents desire and need,” said Director Charles Bryson, City of St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency.

He said for the past 6 weeks, the city has left doorhanger reminders in neighborhoods were census reporting is lacking. Several signs along busy streets also show phone numbers to call and websites to visit to complete the census.

“Each and every person that fills out the census is worth $1,300 to the people in the community for goods and services of all sort,” said Bryson.

“That’s a lot of money to lose out of an area that’s improvised that we’re trying to get dollars into,” said 27th Ward St. Louis Alderwoman Pamela Boyd.

She’s been active in telling residents in her ward to respond to the Census. She points out population numbers are also a factor for determining the number of elected officials for each region.

“If you don’t have the population, you don’t have the representation,” said Boyd.

The self-response rate in the City of St. Louis is nearly 7 percent behind where the city finished in 2010. Bryson believes COVID-19 has been a factor. He said several educational events had to be canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns.

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