Richardson sees decline in response rate as 2020 Census count comes to a halt

Oct. 15 was the last day to complete the U.S. 2020 Census. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oct. 15 was the last day to complete the U.S. 2020 Census. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Oct. 15 was the last day to complete the U.S. 2020 Census. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Just over 70% of Richardson residents had responded to the census when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Oct. 13 to end data collection 15 days early.

The announcement came after the court approved the White House administration’s emergency request to halt the census at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 15. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only one to dissent, writing “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.”

According to an August lower court ruling, the deadline for all responses was Oct. 31. Results must be reported to the president by Dec. 31, according to the bureau.

Richardson’s response rate in the 2010 census was 74.9%. But ending data collection early should not greatly impact the city because of the robust number of responses it has already received, Assistant City Manager Shanna Sims-Bradish said.

“For the last year and a half, we've really been focused on creating community awareness and creating community connection,” she said. “We feel like our community responded well.”


Richardson’s 70.1% rate includes responses gathered by Census workers who followed up with residents who did not respond to the questionnaire online, by phone or by mail.

As of Oct. 14, Dallas County had a self-response rate of 63.7%, representing a nearly a 1% decrease from the 2010 census. Collin County had recorded a 73.6% self-response rate, which is an increase from the 72.6% rate in 2010. Nationwide and statewide numbers show 99.9% of all residents have completed the 2020 census.

Responses for the census are taken every 10 years, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The census helps determine the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads and other public services. It also dictates the number of seats each state has in Congress and other levels of government.