Roanoke City officials say Census survey completion numbers are low

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Officials with Roanoke City say Census survey completion rates are low, and now the Star City is working with the Census Bureau to improve those numbers.

Tiffany Bradbury, the City of Roanoke Community Engagement Manager, has been helping to coordinate the local effort to get people to fill out their surveys. However, Bradbury says the completion rate is low.

“Our country, I think, is only at a 67 percent response rate, and Roanoke is at 63 percent, so that’s almost half of our community that has not been counted,” Bradbury said.

“That data makes sure that specific resources are funneled to our community and those resources are for community safety community programs,” she explained.  

Crystal Hepler says she typically fills out her survey in-person, but she did the mail-in ballot instead this year. 

“I verbally told people the information that they asked, so it was a lot different because it was pencil-paper versus someone coming to my door,” she explained. 

Hepler continued, “It helps where you live to be able to correctly identify how many people are there.” 

Starting Tuesday, Aug. 11, in-person follow-ups will begin.

“Census workers are starting to go back into the community, and they’re starting to knock on doors,” Bradbury explained. 

Meanwhile, Roanoke County has some harder-to-count populations including children under five, racial and ethnic minorities, college students, poor and homeless people, LGBTQ persons, and undocumented immigrants.

Census survey data collection and apportionment counts will be in by Dec. 31.

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