U.S. Census Bureau tracking showed Plano to have a 74.3% self-response rate in the hours before numbers are finalized. This number rose to 74.4%, the same as the last decade's self-response rate, which was gathered without months of interruption by the coronavirus pandemic. Had the census continued until the end of the month, the city might have surpassed that number, said Alan Johnson, chair of the Plano Census 2020 Complete Count Committee.
Even with the same rate of response, Plano will still likely see more funding for school systems, infrastructure programs, roads, sewerage, power and water and other items the federal government helps fund, Johnson said.
"Although the percentages are very close, the actual number of residents in Plano has grown significantly over the last 10 years," Johnson said. "Plano should be on the receiving end of more federal dollars than it has in the past."
The U.S. Census is taken every 10 years, as required by the U.S. Constitution, and must be completed by all residents of a county. Filling out the census helps to determine the allocation of billions of federal funds to local communities for schools, roads and other public services, as well as to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and other levels of government.
Almost exactly a month ago, Plano had a 73% response rate—the highest of any city with more than 192,000 residents, Johnson reported at a Plano City Council meeting. Plano maintains that rank in final counts, according to U.S. Census Bureau tracking data.
Across the nation, the 2020 Census claims a 99.9% total enumerated rate, which includes responses gathered by Census workers who reached out for answers from those who did not respond to the questionnaire online or by phone or by mail. The state of Texas and Collin and Denton counties also show a 99.9% completion rate for follow-up responses to the census, according to the bureau.
The announcement that the census count would end Oct. 15 came after the U.S. Supreme Court approved the White House administration’s emergency request for the census to end earlier. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only one to dissent, saying that “the harms caused by rushing this year’s census count are irreparable. And respondents will suffer their lasting impact for at least the next 10 years."
In August, the court previously ruled the deadline for all responses was Oct. 31.
Reporter Sandra Sadek contributed to this report.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect final self-response rates from Plano residents.