DES MOINES — The State of Iowa’s 2020 U.S. Census Complete Count Committee is launching a "Key to the Future" response rate challenge for all of Iowa's 928 cities and 99 counties.
The Committee was formed by Governor Kim Reynolds and chaired by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and vice chaired by Secretary of State Paul Pate.
“From disaster relief to representation in Congress, the Census plays an important role in protecting Iowa’s future,” said Reynolds. “Iowans take our civic responsibility seriously, and I hope everyone will do their part and participate in the 2020 Census.
The challenge is based on the 2020 Census Response Rate Map, which tracks self-response rates of households at the national, state, and local levels.
As of May 25, Iowa has a response rate of 66.9 percent, with about 990,000 households responding.
Iowa ranks number three, behind Minnesota (70 percent) and Wisconsin (67.4 percent) and just ahead of Michigan (66.7 percent) and Nebraska (66.5 percent).
“We are challenging every one of our cities and counties to help Iowa become No. 1 in response rates in the nation,” said Gregg. “We want to count everyone in Iowa because the 2020 Census shapes our future.
Census data impacts how we plan and how we make decisions every day, Gregg added.
Census results inform how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services.
The 2020 Census results will impact Iowa for the next 10 years.
Secretary of State Pate said, “Participating in the Census only takes a few minutes and it benefits your local community and the entire state of Iowa. Everybody wins by taking this challenge.”
Self-response rates measure households responding in one of three ways: online at the 2020 Census website, by phone at 1-844-330-2020 or by mailing in paper questionnaires.
Iowa cities and counties are being challenged to meet the goals as laid out below.
Tier 1 Cities, those populations with up to 5,000 people, are challenged to reach 100 percent count of households.
Tier 2 Cities, those populations with 5,001 to 50,000 people, are challenged to reach 2010 response rates plus 10 percent.
Tier 3 Cities, those populations with 50,001 people and larger, are challenged to reach 2010 response rates plus 10 percent.
Iowa counties are challenged to reach 2010 response rates plus five percent.
The State of Iowa Complete Count Committee will recognize each city and county that joins the challenge to boost self-response rates of households in their city.
The first city in each of the three tiers and the first county to reach their goals will be recognized with Key to the Future plaques.
Each city and county that reaches its goal will receive recognition in news and social media announcements by the State of Iowa Complete Count Committee.