Arkansas Falls to No. 38 in Census Response

More Arkansans are participating in the 2020 census, but the number is people providing the information that’s so critical to the state is growing more rapidly elsewhere, a government website shows.

The Arkansas self-response rate of 44.8% compares to a 48.1% national rate. The state’s self-response rate ranks No. 38; down from No. 35 last week.

Powhatan, a city in northeastern Arkansas, continues to lead the state’s self-response at 65.6%

Five Northwest Arkansas communities rank among the 25 best-responding cities in the state: No. 2 Bella Vista (65.5%), No. 10 Farmington (57.4%), No. 11 Cave Springs (57.1%), No. 17 Lowell (55.5%) and No. 23 Elkins (54.7%).

The Census, which is conducted once a decade, is an important factor in determining how many federal dollars are sent to states and many of those dollars flow to school districts, counties, cities and for other purposes. States that have more people receive more funding, and that’s why the census is so important.

A 2020 census webpage, maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows 690,000 Arkansas households had self-responded to the census online, by mail or by telephone as of April 12.

The census is used by the federal government to determine how many millions of dollars flow to cities, counties and states for a decade.

The Northwest Arkansas Council and EngageNWA have prioritized obtaining a full and accurate count of the region’s population.

Much of the EngageNWA work has focused on getting large Northwest Arkansas companies to encourage their employees to participate in the census and in working directly with the region’s growing Hispanic/Latinx, Asian and Marshallese populations. Counting children, diverse populations and seniors is considered especially challenging, making it important that the region focus on those populations.

Those who do respond to the census online, by mail or by phone increase the safety of census takers, who will begin visiting households to collect information, starting in late May. Those workers won’t visit households that have already responded to the census, decreasing the workers’ and the households’ chances of COVID-19 exposure.

The self-response rates in other Northwest Arkansas cities as of April 12 were:

  • Avoca, 44.1%

  • Bentonville, 50.4%

  • Bethel Heights, 48.9%

  • Cave Springs 57.1%

  • Centerton, 47.9%

  • Decatur, 31.4%

  • Elkins, 54.7%

  • Elm Springs, 47.7%

  • Farmington, 57.4%

  • Fayetteville, 47.7%

  • Garfield, 47.3%

  • Gateway, 38.6%

  • Gentry, 37.5%

  • Goshen, 50.9%

  • Gravette, 47.2%

  • Greenland, 46%

  • Highfill, 49.5%

  • Johnson, 49.3%

  • Lincoln, 37.9%

  • Little Flock, 49.8%

  • Lowell, 55.5%

  • Pea Ridge, 51.3%

  • Prairie Grove, 53.6%

  • Rogers, 51.9%

  • Siloam Springs, 47.8%

  • Springdale, 49.7%

  • Tontitown, 53.2%

  • West Fork, 50.7%