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Mississippi’s East Central 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**
Choctaw51.9%$213,049,50048.1%$197,450,500
Clarke51.9%$403,288,95048.1%$373,761,050
Clay57.5%$555,335,00042.5%$410,465,000
Jasper37.6%$308,000,40062.4%$511,149,600
Kemper48.0%$233,808,00052.0%$253,292,000
Lauderdale55.4%$2,053,262,50044.6%$1,652,987,500
Leake56.5%$643,704,50043.5%$495,595,500
Lowndes61.2%$1,793,007,00038.8%$1,136,743,000
Neshoba54.6%$794,921,40045.4%$660,978,600
Newton57.4%$603,216,60042.6%$447,683,400
Noxubee43.3%$225,528,05056.7%$295,321,950
Oktibbeha49.9%$1,237,195,65050.1%$1,242,154,350
Scott54.3%$763,566,60045.7%$642,633,400
Smith44.1%$350,947,80055.9%$444,852,200
Webster54.0%$261,603,00046.0%$222,847,000
Winston59.5%$534,161,25040.5%$363,588,750
*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**
Ackerman52.8%$38,227,20047.2%$34,172,800
Artesia32.8%$6,970,00067.2%$14,280,000
Bay Springs31.3%$25,947,70068.7%$56,952,300
Brooksville32.7%$17,707,05067.3%$36,442,950
Caledonia57.1%$30,205,90042.9%$22,694,100
Carthage65.7%$157,088,70034.3%$82,011,300
Chunky52.6%$8,284,50047.4%$7,465,500
Columbus59.1%$696,582,15040.9%$482,067,850
Crawford35.3%$11,472,50064.7%$21,027,500
De Kalb49.7%$42,369,25050.3%$42,880,750
Decatur49.7%$25,023,95050.3%$25,326,050
Enterprise44.7%$10,616,25055.3%$13,133,750
Eupora56.9%$57,042,25043.1%$43,207,750
Forest54.5%$150,856,00045.5%$125,944,000
French Camp44.0%$3,630,00056.0%$4,620,000
Heidelberg40.8%$13,443,60059.2%$19,506,400
Hickory39.8%$10,527,10060.2%$15,922,900
Lake51.6%$8,359,20048.4%$7,840,800
Lena50.0%$3,400,00050.0%$3,400,000
Louin35.1%$4,545,45064.9%$8,404,550
Louisville61.9%$185,173,85038.1%$113,976,150
Maben42.6%$17,892,00057.4%$24,108,000
Macon52.2%$63,188,10047.8%$57,861,900
Marion57.0%$42,607,50043.0%$32,142,500
Mathiston57.4%$19,056,80042.6%$14,143,200
Meridian52.9%$961,378,15047.1%$855,971,850
Mize45.3%$7,315,95054.7%$8,834,050
Montrose23.6%$1,593,00076.4%$5,157,000
Morton51.7%$91,172,95048.3%$85,177,050
Newton62.5%$98,593,75037.5%$59,156,250
Noxapater51.6%$11,300,40048.4%$10,599,600
Pachuta32.3%$3,762,95067.7%$7,887,050
Philadelphia54.6%$193,229,40045.4%$160,670,600
Polkville50.3%$20,648,15049.7%$20,401,850
Quitman57.5%$60,691,25042.5%$44,858,750
Raleigh33.0%$23,281,50067.0%$47,268,500
Scooba34.3%$11,764,90065.7%$22,535,100
Sebastopol51.1%$7,051,80048.9%$6,748,200
Shubuta31.8%$6,455,40068.2%$13,844,600
Shuqualak38.4%$8,371,20061.6%$13,428,800
Starkville51.8%$664,412,70048.2%$618,237,300
Stonewall44.3%$21,596,25055.7%$27,153,750
Sturgis46.5%$6,114,75053.5%$7,035,250
Taylorsville34.4%$21,414,00065.6%$40,836,000
Union57.2%$54,254,20042.8%$40,595,800
Walnut Grove43.2%$36,136,80056.8%$47,513,200
Weir51.8%$11,059,30048.2%$10,290,700
West Point60.0%$312,120,00040.0%$208,080,000
*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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