With deadline approaching, here’s how Pa. counties are doing with their Census response rates | Thursday Morning Coffee

September 3, 2020 7:13 am

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

As we’ve mentioned before, the U.S. Census is a very big deal, indeed. The decennial head count of everyone living in the United States impacts everything from federal assistance to the states to representation on Capitol Hill. So, with the count set to end on September 30, the Pennsylvania State Data Center has an update on how the Keystone State’s 67 counties are faring in that effort.

As of Aug. 27, the counties with the highest response rates were:  Bucks (77.0 percent), Chester (76.4 percent), Lancaster (76.4 percent), Montgomery (76.1 percent), and Cumberland County (75.7 percent), according to the Data Center.

In 2010, the counties with the highest response rates included Cumberland (77.3 percent), Lancaster (77.2 percent), York (76.9 percent), Adams (76.7 percent), and Northampton County (76.5 percent), data showed.

While Lehigh County has done well with Census response, some of the region’s biggest cities are still lagging, the Morning Call reported this week.

“I’m really disappointed about the low participation across the city,” Allentown City Council member Julio Guridy told the newspaper. “We need to do something dramatic fast in order to not lose so much money over the next decade.”

Of the region’s Big Three cities, Bethlehem has the highest response rate at 69 percent, though that’s lower than the city’s 75 percent response last census. Allentown so far has a 62 percent response rate. In Easton, only 60 percent have completed their forms, the newspaper reported.

(Pennsylvania State Data Center)

The state’s lowest-ranking counties for the 2020 count were: Forest (26.4 percent), Sullivan (31.4 percent), Pike (39.6 percent), Cameron (42.6 percent), and Wayne County (46.6 percent). Those same counties also had the lowest response rates in 2010; Forest (22.1 percent), Pike (30.9 percent), Sullivan (36.1 percent), Wayne (50.4 percent), and Cameron County (53.0 percent) data showed.

One more trivia point, according to researchers: “A majority of counties (55) had lower response rates as of August 27, 2020 when compared to their 2010 Census response rate. A dozen counties had differences of 5 percentage points or greater, including: Cameron, Clinton, Jefferson, Luzerne, Montour, Philadelphia, Potter, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming [counties]. Of those, Cameron, Jefferson, and Montour [counties] had rates that were 10 percentage points lower than their 2010 response rate,” researchers found.

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
Elizabeth Hardison
 has what you need to know about a new eviction ban, likely taking effect Friday, issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

An IT glitch temporarily derailed the first meeting in months by the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Hardison also reports.

The state House had a busy day on Wednesday. It voted along party lines to send an election reform bill to the state Senate. And a little bit later, it failed to muster the votes to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a resolution seeking to overturn his COVID-19 emergency declaration. Your humble newsletter author has both stories.

Activists and W.Pa. lawmakers have called on Allegheny Co. officials to increase access to the ballot boxPittsburgh Correspondent Tom Lisi reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning, an expert from the University of Maryland’s Baltimore County campus wonders if a new, 15-minute COVID-19 test will solve the nation’s testing woes.

There’s no such thing as systemic racism and Black deaths have been sensationalizedU.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, actually said in the real world Wednesday. The York Dispatch has the story.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise at Temple University, the Inquirer reports.
Gov. Tom Wolf has lifted a ban on spectators at interscholastic sports, the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive’s John Baer has some thoughts on the 15th Senate District race between Democrat George Scott and GOP incumbent Sen. John DiSanto.
A new Monmouth University poll shows the race in Pennsylvania between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump has tightened.
The first day of school in the Greater Nanticoke schools in Luzerne County has been pushed back to Tuesday, the Citizens-Voice reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

Evictions are proceeding in Philadelphia even as the CDC and city officials work to halt them, WHYY-FM reports.
Centre County has seen its largest, one-day increase in COVID-19 cases, WPSU-FM reports.
Exotic dancers at an establishment in Erie have claimed one club ‘stripped’ them of wages, GoErie reports.
It’s 49-45 percent for Biden in Pennsylvania, according to a new Morning Consult poll (via PoliticsPA).
You will not be shocked to learn that police stop Black motorists more often than whites. explains what’s behind these so-called ‘pretext’ stops — and why some state lawmakers are calling for them to end.
Politico explains how Pa. Dems are ‘scrambling to avoid a fiasco’ on Election Day results.

They Said It.
“The crisis part of the coronavirus is behind us. It is in the rearview mirror. There is a crisis in Pennsylvania. It is a crisis of fear.” — state Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, during floor debate Wednesday on an attempted override of Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill seeking to overturn his COVID-19 emergency declaration.

What Goes On.
Gov. Tom Wolf 
and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman hold a 1:30 p.m. news conference at PEMA HQ in suburban Harrisburg to pitch their plan to legalize recreational cannabis.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
4 p.m.: 
Online reception for Rep. Ed Neilson
5 p.m.: 
Reception for Rep. Keith Greiner
Hit both events, and give at the max, and you’re out a mere $5,000 today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to LancasterOnline reporter, Sean Sauro, who celebrates today. Congrats and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
We’ve been a little obsessed by rockers The Allah-La’s. And though fall will soon be upon us, here’s an entire playlist of their summer-y music to power you through your Thursday.

Thursday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
Tom Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher, who led the ‘Miracle Mets‘ to victory, has died, aged 75, from Lewy Body Dementia and complications from COVID-19. The New York Times has the story on the baseball great known as ‘Tom Terrific.’

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.