With millions in federal funding at stake, city and community leaders in Edinburg have spent the last few months imploring residents to complete the Census. According to new data from the Census Bureau this week, Edinburg has reached a 65% self-response rate.
City leaders set a goal to reach a 65% self-response rate by September 30, which would surpass the state’s 61.8% rate, approach the U.S. rate of 66.1%, and improve significantly compared to Edinburg’s 2010 self-response rate of 59%.
Edinburg achieved the 65% self-response rate goal due to a series of activities coordinated by the City, such as a Census Self Response Center, the Census Ice Cream Mobile Machine, a Census Self-Response Rally, an entrance to a raffle, and response stations at City Hall and the local library.
“The creative strategies of the SPARC gift card and the ice cream truck worked to perfection. I am proud of the staff and community for pulling together to meet an objective that will be beneficial to all,” said Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina.
The Census Ice Cream Mobile Machine circulates Monday-Saturday, targeting areas with a low self-response rate and will continue until September 30, the last day to respond. The Census Self Response Center operated for two weeks in August. It gave residents the opportunity to complete the Census and receive a $100 SPARC gift card to use at local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such initiatives have allowed residents to receive assistance from staff to fill out the Census.
Among cities in Texas with 100,000 or more residents, Edinburg’s self-response rate of 65% ranks in the top-twenty and exceeds the response rates in other large cities in the Rio Grande Valley by a significant margin.
“Given how much of a priority the Census is for our community, I’m very proud of the City’s continuous innovation and adaptation towards reaching this important milestone,” added Edinburg’s City Manager Ron Garza.
The results of the 2020 Census help determine how much federal funding our community gets every year for the next 10 years, and the City of Edinburg will continue with the community engagement initiatives until September 30th, to ensure every resident is counted.