Iowa Census “Key to the Future” Challenge

Iowa Census Complete Count Committee launches “Key to the Future” challenge to increase 2020 Census response rates

Wed, 05/27/2020 – 12:15

The State of Iowa’s 2020 U.S. Census Complete Count Committee, formed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, chaired by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and vice-chaired by Secretary of State Paul Pate, is launching a “Key to the Future” response rate challenge for all of Iowa’s 942 cities and 99 counties to boost their 2020 Census response rates.

“From disaster relief to representation in Congress, the Census plays an important role in protecting Iowa’s future,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Iowans take our civic responsibility seriously and I hope everyone will do their part and participate in the 2020 Census.”

The challenge is based on the 2020 Census Response Rate Map (2020Census.gov/response-rates(link is external)), which tracks self-response rates of households at the national, state, and local levels. As of May 25, 2020, Iowa has a response rate of 66.9 percent, with about 990,000 households responding. Iowa ranks No. 3, behind Minnesota (70 percent) and Wisconsin (67.4 percent) and just ahead of Michigan (66.7 percent) and Nebraska (66.5 percent).

“We are challenging every one of our cities and counties to help Iowa become No. 1 in response rates in the nation,” said Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. “We want to count everyone in Iowa because the 2020 Census shapes our future. Census data impacts how we plan and how we make decisions every day.”

Census results inform how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services. The 2020 Census results will impact Iowa for the next 10 years.

Secretary of State Pate said, “Participating in the Census only takes a few minutes and it benefits your local community and the entire state of Iowa. Everybody wins by taking this challenge.”

Self-response rates measure households responding in one of three ways: Online at 2020Census.gov, by phone (1-844-330-2020), by mailing in paper questionnaires.

Iowa cities and counties are being challenged to meet these goals:

Tier 1 Cities: Populations up to 5,000 – to reach 100 percent count of households

Tier 2 Cities: Populations 5,001 to 50,000 – reach 2010 response rates PLUS 10 percent

Tier 3 Cities: Populations 50,001 and larger – reach 2010 response rates PLUS 10 percent

Iowa counties: Reach 2010 response rates PLUS 10 percent

The State of Iowa Complete Count Committee will recognize each city and county that joins the challenge to boost self-response rates of households in their city. The first city in each of the three tiers and the first county to reach their goals will be recognized with Key to the Future plaques. Each city and county that reaches its goal will receive recognition in news and social media announcements by the State of Iowa Complete Count Committee.

More information on the “Key to the Future” response rate challenge can be found by clicking here.