Black and Hispanic people in Connecticut are filling out their Census applications at a lower rate than white people - a situation that could result in a mismatch of programs, finances, and services for under-counted communities.
The Census helps decide how to disperse resources based on population. It impacts services such as school lunches, highway upgrades, firefighters, water protection, and safety net programs.
The self-response rate in Census tracts (federally defined neighborhoods within a municipality) where Black and Hispanic people make up the majority was 51 percent, according to the Population Reference Bureau, a national nonprofit.
Where white people make up the majority, the response rate is 64 percent.
In total, about 67 percent of households had responded to the Census.
Of Connecticut’s counties, Windham, Litchfield, and New Haven counties have the worst response rates with about 64 percent of households responding from each area.
Tolland County has the best response rate at 72.5 percent.
Connecticut isn’t alone in lagging Census response. Nationwide, the average tract-level response rate was 62 percent as of July 14, the Census Bureau reported.
The Census has produced a response rate “toolkit” to help communities encourage the national count.
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