Secretary of State launches Census Challenge for final push of statewide count

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is launching the 2020 Census Challenge. To date, California ranks 22nd in the nation with a 65.1 percent response rate. The California Census Challenge aims to target and fill the gaps in Census outreach, especially in hard-to-count communities, by having cities and counties with similar population sizes compete for the highest and most improved census response rates.

“The Census is not just critically important, it’s now critically urgent with less than 50 days left to get a complete count,” Padilla said. “The Census Challenge may be friendly, but the stakes could not be more serious. An undercount would have devastating repercussions on our federal funding and political representation for the next decade. The COVID-19 Pandemic has put a spotlight on how important it is for all California communities to receive our fair share of resources and have our voices heard in Washington. We need all 482 cities and all 58 counties to get a complete count by September 30, 2020.”

The Census Challenge encourages partners to enhance their current census plans and materials by utilizing social media platforms to share census information related to key deadlines and dates. In order to inspire friendly competition, the Secretary of State’s office will be sharing the data on one page so that California knows where we stand on our response rates at a city, county, and national level.

The Secretary of State’s office is also providing an outreach toolkit to promote census participation during this final stretch.


2020 Census Response rates as of August 13

            Top five counties: San Mateo, 74.9 percent; Contra Costa, 73.2 percent;   Santa Clara, 73.1 percent; Marin, 72.9 percent; and Ventura, 72.7 percent.

Top five cities: Piedmont, 88 percent; Clayton, 86.8 percent; Saratoga, 84.7 percent; Moraga, 84.5 percent; and Los Altos, 84.2percent.

Bottom five counties: Mono, 20.5 percent; Alpine, 25.1 percent; Trinity, 28.1 percent; Plumas, 37 percent; and Sierra, 40.5 percent.

Bottom five cities: Paradise, 12 percent; Mammoth Lakes, 14.7 percent; Big Bear Lake, 16 percent; Carmel-by-the-Sea, 27.1 percent; and Avalon, 27.3 percent.

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