Livingston Parish is responding to the 2020 Census at a rate slightly better than the state average but still lower than the national average, according to online data.
As of July 8, the self-response rate in Livingston Parish is 56.3 percent, a mark narrowly above the state average of 56.1 percent. Currently, Louisiana ranks No. 45 nationally and last in the Deep South in response to the 2020 Census.
The national self-response rate, as of July 8, is 62.0 percent.
Locally, Walker has so far recorded the highest self-response rate of all the cities, towns, and villages in the parish, ranking No. 23 in the state at 61.5 percent.
Following Walker in the state rankings are Denham Springs (No. 73; 54.7 percent); French Settlement (No. 107; 52.0 percent); Port Vincent (No. 138; 48.3 percent); Livingston (No. 142; 48.1 percent); Killian (No. 195; 42.1 percent); Springfield (No. 198; 41.5 percent); and Albany (No. 212; 39.5 percent).
Even during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly called on residents to fill out the 2020 Census, reminding citizens that the federal government will rely on the information collected in 2020 to guide distribution of approximately $1.5 trillion in annual spending across 316 federal programs for the next 10 years.
These programs include Medicaid, direct student loans, highway construction grants, low income tax credits and loans, and even adoption assistance programs. In addition, the numbers help determine boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of filling out the Census form,” Edwards has said in the past.
Some of the local programs that rely on Census numbers for funding include:
-- Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies, which provide financial assistance to schools and school districts with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet state academic standards.
-- Community Development Block Grants Entitlement Program, which provides annual grants to cities and counties with sufficient populations (over 50,000 for cities and over 200,000 for counties) to help provide decent housing and suitable living conditions, and to expand economic opportunities, primarily for people with low and moderate income.
-- Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Programs for Dislocated Workers, Adults, and Youths, which provide financial support for employment and training services including job searching, career counseling, placement assistance, and relocation assistance
The 2020 Census is available online at My2020Census.Gov. For more information or to request a form by mail, call 1-844-330-2020.
Due to COVID-19, the self-response dates have been extended. The 2020 Census non-response follow-up will begin in August and end Oct. 31.