2020 Census: Wyoming One Of The Worst States In The Nation For Responding

This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily

By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Although the results of last year’s census aren’t expected to be released until the end of April, there are a few things we do know about the state’s standing in the national count of Americans.

First, we’re only so-so at responding on our own to requests for information. 

And second, residents of the state’s northwestern corner seem more hesitant than most in the Cowboy State to answer questions from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Figures released by the Census Bureau show that 61.1% of Wyoming’s residents responded on their own to the bureau’s request for information. 

The remaining 38.8% of those counted were approached by Census Bureau workers during the count that extended through the mid-October last year.

The self-response rate puts Wyoming 13th from the bottom of a list of all the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico had the lowest self-response rate at 35.8%, followed by Alaska at 54.7%.

Minnesota had the highest rate at 75.1%. Nationally, the self-response rate averaged 67%.

Among the state’s counties, Laramie County residents did the best job of responding on their own to the Census Bureau’s requests, with 71.9% doing so, followed by Sheridan County at 68.3%.

Teton County had the lowest rate in the state at 39.5%, followed very closely by Sublette County at 39.6%.

Census numbers are used to determine the distribution of federal funding to the states. As a result, Gov. Mark Gordon in March encouraged all Wyoming residents to respond to the census.

“If you care about safe roads, good schools, health care, public safety — it’s important that everyone in Wyoming be counted,” he said in April.

Work on the 2020 census began in January 2020 and efforts to collect data in-person, delayed several times by the coronavirus, ended in October.

The Census Bureau has announced the results should be released by April 30.

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