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Mississippi’s Northeast 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**
Alcorn58.8%$1,086,418,20041.2%$761,231,800
Benton50.6%$208,952,70049.4%$203,997,300
Calhoun48.2%$346,100,10051.8%$371,949,900
Chickasaw58.3%$498,552,45041.7%$356,597,550
Itawamba60.5%$707,547,50039.5%$461,952,500
Lafayette48.2%$1,301,857,90051.8%$1,399,092,100
Lee61.5%$2,627,157,00038.5%$1,644,643,000
Marshall57.7%$1,018,231,90042.3%$746,468,100
Monroe58.7%$1,034,646,20041.3%$727,953,800
Pontotoc58.6%$942,698,20041.4%$666,001,800
Prentiss60.0%$753,780,00040.0%$502,520,000
Tippah55.2%$607,614,00044.8%$493,136,000
Tishomingo49.5%$479,729,25050.5%$489,420,750
Union62.2%$896,146,50037.8%$544,603,500
*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**
Abbeville45.9%$9,707,85054.1%$11,442,150
Aberdeen53.1%$138,192,75046.9%$122,057,250
Algoma52.3%$18,017,35047.7%$16,432,650
Amory64.1%$217,747,70035.9%$121,952,300
Ashland59.8%$15,518,10040.2%$10,431,900
Baldwyn59.2%$96,732,80040.8%$66,667,200
Belmont53.2%$52,880,80046.8%$46,519,200
Blue Mountain47.0%$22,278,00053.0%$25,122,000
Booneville61.2%$260,008,20038.8%$164,841,800
Bruce39.0%$35,451,00061.0%$55,449,000
Burnsville42.1%$19,660,70057.9%$27,039,300
Byhalia50.4%$30,492,00049.6%$30,008,000
Calhoun City43.3%$36,112,20056.7%$47,287,800
Corinth57.8%$418,240,80042.2%$305,359,200
Derma34.8%$16,947,60065.2%$31,752,400
Dumas58.5%$13,338,00041.5%$9,462,000
Ecru53.4%$27,687,90046.6%$24,162,100
Falkner57.8%$14,132,10042.2%$10,317,900
Farmington63.6%$68,529,00036.4%$39,221,000
Fulton56.7%$112,833,00043.3%$86,167,000
Glen54.1%$11,198,70045.9%$9,501,300
Guntown66.0%$92,136,00034.0%$47,464,000
Hatley74.7%$17,181,00025.3%$5,819,000
Hickory Flat46.4%$12,760,00053.6%$14,740,000
Holly Springs55.2%$215,224,80044.8%$174,675,200
Houston61.7%$105,722,95038.3%$65,627,050
Iuka56.3%$82,676,55043.7%$64,173,450
Jumpertown58.2%$14,200,80041.8%$10,199,200
Mantachie63.2%$35,107,60036.8%$20,442,400
Marietta43.8%$5,584,50056.2%$7,165,500
Myrtle48.3%$12,026,70051.7%$12,873,300
Nettleton53.4%$51,237,30046.6%$44,712,700
New Albany60.1%$263,027,65039.9%$174,622,350
New Houlka45.1%$13,687,85054.9%$16,662,150
Okolona56.1%$72,677,55043.9%$56,872,450
Oxford40.5%$569,470,50059.5%$836,629,500
Plantersville51.7%$29,391,45048.3%$27,458,550
Pontotoc62.9%$194,015,05037.1%$114,434,950
Potts Camp44.6%$10,414,10055.4%$12,935,900
Rienzi53.7%$8,269,80046.3%$7,130,200
Ripley57.8%$152,389,70042.2%$111,260,300
Saltillo64.0%$161,984,00036.0%$91,116,000
Shannon47.1%$41,518,65052.9%$46,631,350
Sherman50.2%$17,670,40049.8%$17,529,600
Smithville50.4%$18,572,40049.6%$18,277,600
Snow Lake Shores46.0%$6,647,00054.0%$7,803,000
Taylor46.4%$10,300,80053.6%$11,899,200
Thaxton64.1%$21,986,30035.9%$12,313,700
Tishomingo43.3%$7,707,40056.7%$10,092,600
Toccopola48.4%$6,243,60051.6%$6,656,400
Tremont43.9%$10,162,85056.1%$12,987,150
Tupelo64.7%$1,239,393,20035.3%$676,206,800
Vardaman49.4%$31,591,30050.6%$32,358,700
Verona38.4%$62,054,40061.6%$99,545,600
Walnut51.3%$19,340,10048.7%$18,359,900
*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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