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Mississippi’s Delta Region Represents a Significant Impact on Our State Through the 2020 Census

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Guest Editorial: Former State Senator Giles Ward, Chairman Mississippi Census Complete Count Committee. Media may contact Senator Ward directly at: gilesward1948@gmail.com or by cell: (662) 803-0058.

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Mississippi Census: You Represent a Significant Impact on Our State

See just how much below.

A Guest Editorial by Former State Senator Giles Ward 

Chairman of the Mississippi Census Complete Count Committee

Jackson, Mississippi July 17, 2020 – As Chairman of the Mississippi Complete Count Committee, I wanted to reach out to all Mississippians about this year’s census. For those of you who don’t typically follow the census, here’s a little background. 

In 2010, the last time the decennial census was conducted, Mississippi’s response rate was just plain low. There’s no other way to put it. Our self-response rate (the rate at which people voluntarily submitted their census before intense door-to-door efforts) was 61.3%. The final count left off with 8.9% of us uncounted — the lowest in the country, and we ended up leaving what would turn out to be approximately $13.2 billion in Federal dollars driven by census data on the table. 

Mississippi could have used $13.2 billion dollars over the past 10 years. 

In 2019, I was honored to be asked to head up the Mississippi Complete Count Committee to help change all of that for 2020. I thought to myself before agreeing to the challenge, “What a worthwhile cause to spend some of my retirement time making sure all Mississippians are counted. We are sometimes last in the U.S. in one ranking or another, but by golly we don’t have to be last in this one. This one is easy. All we have to do is make sure people fill out a short survey that takes less than 10 minutes.”

Our committee of dedicated Mississippians is working hard on the 2020 census, which is now in the middle of a pandemic. Counting has been extended two months through October, and while I am still honored to be your census chairman, we still have a lot of work to do. These days every ounce of our committee and our marketing team’s energy is going toward getting all of you counted. But we could sure use some help.

Right now, Mississippi ranks 39th in the nation with a 57% self-response rate and 51st in the nation (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) in internet response rate at 34.6%. Mississippi indeed has one of the lowest rates of high-speed internet in the country, so we are beating some of the odds against us.

Additionally, based on the estimated $50,000 per person impact that one person has on federal funding, Mississippi’s current count represents $84,820,246,500 in funds. However, based on our current response rate, there’s an additional $63,987,203,500 in Federal funds that Mississippi would leave on the table if the census was completed today. 

But the most important point here is that we can do much, much better. If you want to look at all of the numbers yourself, just click this link on the Mississippi Census website https://mscensus2020.org/response-rate/ and you can see rankings among states, counties, cities and can sort, drill down, slice and dice the numbers all sorts of ways. 

Below, we’ve pulled together the self-response rate numbers as of July 13, 2020 for the specific cities and counties in your area. We also pulled together the dollar figures that these numbers represent for Mississippi in Federal dollars right now, but the last column shows how much more we would gain if your city or county had a complete count. This illustrates why we need everyone’s help to encourage everyone to be counted.  

Counties 

CountySelf-Response RateImpact So Far with Current Response Rate on Federal Funding from 2020 to 2030*Current Estimated Undercount for the CountyAdditional Funding That Could Be Gained with a Complete Count**
Attala53.7%$487,971,90046.3%$420,728,100
Bolivar52.4%$802,453,60047.6%$728,946,400
Carrol43.1%$214,357,85056.9%$282,992,150
Coahoma50.4%$557,524,80049.6%$548,675,200
Grenada53.7%$557,352,30046.3%$480,547,700
Holmes49.1%$417,595,50050.9%$432,904,500
Humphreys53.1%$214,099,20046.9%$189,100,800
Issaquena31.7%$21,032,95068.3%$45,317,050
Leflore53.9%$759,531,85046.1%$649,618,150
Montgomery53.9%$263,436,25046.1%$225,313,750
Panola55.2%$943,699,20044.8%$765,900,800
Quitman45.1%$153,159,60054.9%$186,440,400
Sharkey44.8%$96,790,40055.2%$119,259,600
Sunflower56.3%$706,846,50043.7%$548,653,500
Tallahatchie32.3%$223,015,35067.75$467,434,650
Washington53.4%$1,172,370,30046.6%$1,023,079,700
Yalobusha54.2%$328,126,80045.8%$277,273,200
*Based on $5,000 per person, per year or $50,000 per person in Federal Funds over 10 years. 
**Uses current undercount figures x $50,000.

Cities

CitySelf-Response RateImpact Generated So Far on Federal Funding from 2020 to 2030*Current Estimated Undercount for the CityAdditional Funding That Could Be Gained with a Complete Count**
Alligator40.0%$3,740,00060.0%$5,610,000
Anguilla34.9%$10,906,25065.1%$20,343,750
Arcola28.7%$4,606,35071.3%$11,443,650
Batesville62.6%$225,923,40037.4%$134,976,600
Belzoni60.2%$57,641,50039.8%$38,108,500
Benoit32.6%$6,894,90067.4%$14,255,100
Beulah21.5%$3,493,75078.5%$12,756,250
Boyle43.5%$12,789,00056.5%$16,611,000
Carrolton45.3%$3,986,40054.7%$4,813,600
Cary35.4%$4,814,40064.6%$8,785,600
Charleston39.8%$37,153,30060.2%$56,196,700
Clarksdale56.5%$420,755,50043.5%$323,944,500
Cleveland60.3%$333,850,95039.7%$219,799,050
Coahoma29.7%$4,752,00070.3%$11,248,000
Coffeeville50.9%$21,021,70049.1%$20,278,300
Como45.3%$26,908,20054.7%$32,491,800
Courtland47.3%$12,085,15052.7%$13,464,850
Crenshaw38.9%$16,435,25061.1%$25,814,750
Crowder28.9%$9,233,55071.1%$22,716,450
Cruger36.3%$6,098,40063.7%$10,701,600
Doddsville64.5%$2,838,00035.5%$1,562,000
Drew53.7%$43,174,80046.3%$37,225,200
Duck Hill38.2%$31,438,60061.8%$50,861,400
Duncan29.8%$5,662,00070.2%$13,338,000
Durant51.2%$57,907,20048.8%$55,192,800
Ethel32.7%$6,294,75067.3%$12,955,250
Falcon40.7%$2,910,05059.3%$4,239,950
Friars Point25.1%$12,738,25074.9%$38,011,750
Goodman48.5%$28,227,00051.5%$29,973,000
Greenville55.7%$810,017,25044.3%$644,232,750
Greenwood57.6%$390,556,80042.4%$287,493,200
Grenada58.2%$355,572,90041.8%$255,377,100
Gunnison35.4%$7,221,60064.6%$13,178,400
Hollandale49.4%$56,908,80050.6%$58,291,200
Indianola63.2%$285,569,20036.8%$166,280,800
Inverness58.4%$25,287,20041.6%$18,012,800
Isola61.7%$18,849,35038.3%$11,700,650
Itta Bena54.4%$49,204,80045.6%$41,245,200
Jonestown24.7%$13,585,00075.3%$41,415,000
Kilmichael53.2%$14,816,20046.8%$13,033,800
Kosciusko61.3%$205,968,00038.7%$130,032,000
Lambert39.8%$26,725,70060.2%$40,424,300
Leland59.2%$111,473,60040.8%$76,826,400
Lexington52.2%$37,923,30047.8%$34,726,700
Louise35.1%$2,965,95064.9%$5,484,050
Lula32.4%$4,033,80067.6%$8,416,200
Lyon34.1%$4,910,40065.9%$9,489,600
Marks37.9%$2,349,80062.1%$3,850,200
Mayersville55.0%$39,022,50045.0%$31,927,500
McCool24.3%$7,180,65075.7%$22,369,350
Merigold46.4%$8,746,40053.6%$10,103,600
Metcalfe38.9%$18,769,25061.1%$29,480,750
Moorhead45.3%$46,726,95054.7%$56,423,050
Morgan City37.6%$4,474,40062.4%$7,425,600
Mound Bayou55.4%$37,949,00044.6%$30,551,000
North Carrollton30.5%$6,542,25069.5%$14,907,750
Oakland51.9%$13,000,95048.1%$12,049,050
Pace45.0%$5,400,00055.0%$6,600,000
Pickens37.5%$18,656,25062.5%$31,093,750
Renova74.1%$27,676,35025.9%$9,673,650
Rolling Fork54.8%$52,854,60045.2%$43,595,400
Rosedale41.4%$32,871,60058.6%$46,528,400
Ruleville57.5%$73,513,75042.5%$54,336,250
Sallis56.5%$3,616,00043.5%$2,784,000
Sardis63.2%$49,959,60036.8%$29,090,400
Schlater50.0%$7,175,00050.0%$7,175,000
Shaw41.0%$34,542,50059.0%$49,707,500
Shelby38.6%$37,615,70061.4%$59,834,300
Sidon28.4%$6,588,80071.6%$16,611,200
Silver City34.6%$4,982,40065.4%$9,417,600
Sledge45.5%$10,829,00054.5%$12,971,000
Sumner9.9%$1,321,65090.1%$12,028,350
Sunflower47.3%$23,129,70052.7%$25,770,300
Tchula43.0%$41,473,50057.0%$54,976,500
Tutwiler28.1%$47,994,80071.9%$122,805,200
Vaiden38.6%$18,470,10061.4%$29,379,900
Water Valley59.1%$96,185,25040.9%$66,564,750
Webb11.6%$2,772,40088.4%$21,127,600
West42.2%$3,143,90057.8%$4,306,100
Winona60.1%$119,118,20039.9%$79,081,800
Winstonville42.7%$3,565,45057.3%$4,784,550
*Based on $5,000 per person, per year or $50,000 per person in Federal Funds over 10 years. 
**Uses current undercount figures x $50,000.

I know we can achieve higher response rates through a variety of methods. That’s because there are four different ways to complete this year’s census: online at https://my2020census.gov/ (which also works on mobile phone browsers), by paper survey through the mail, by telephone at 1-800-923-8282 or through someone from the Census Bureau contacting you in person or by phone. 

Let’s not wait until the last minute.  

Make sure you complete your census, and ask family, friends, and neighbors if they have completed theirs. Assist them if needed. At an estimated $50,000 per person left on the table for 10 years, we can’t afford for any Mississippian to not be counted. 

I am counting on you. 

For all things Mississippi Census visit: https://mscensus2020.org.

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