Which Shelby County cities have the highest census response rate?

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020 census is underway in Alabama. The state currently has a response rate of 54.8 percent and Shelby County is beating this average at 68.8 percent.

That number currently has the county as the top county in the state when it comes to the census response rate.

For Alabama, the census has major implications for future elections. A lack of response could have serious consequences as Alabama is one of the few states who stands to lose a congressional seat due to slow population growth. This would mean one less representative in Washington D.C. and one less vote in the Electoral College.

“The census is extremely important to us, it impacts the federal funding we receive for schools, transportation, roads and bridges, highway construction, congressional representation, children’s health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, disaster relief and more,” said Shelby County Community Services Manager Reggie Holloway.

Holloway said that in 2010 Shelby County had an 80 percent response rate, which was one of the highest in the state. This time he hopes that the county can reach 90 percent.

Three cities in Shelby County currently have a response rate above 70 percent.

Indian Springs Village has shown the highest response rate of local cities throughout the county, which continued in the latest census response rate numbers with an 81 percent response rate.

Just behind Indian Springs are two of the faster growing cities in the county, including Helena and Chelsea. The city of Helena has had a response rate of 75.9 percent, while Chelsea has a high response rate of 74.7 percent.

Alabaster and Pelham have also recently surpassed 70 percent with Pelham now at a 73.3 percent response rate and Alabaster at a 72 percent response rate.

There are also several cities in the county with more than a 60 percent response rate, including Calera, Hoover and Westover, all between 66.7 percent and 69 percent.

Hoover currently has the highest rate of that group at 69 percent, while Calera is at 67.6 percent and Westover is at 66.7 percent. That gives the county eight cities with a 66 percent response rate or higher with plenty of time left to fill out the 2020 Census.

Montevallo (58.3 percent), Columbiana (57.1 percent), Wilsonville (56.1 percent), Harpersville (53.7 percent) and Vincent (52.9 percent) are are all above 50 percent, while Wilton is at 49 percent and Birmingham is at 45.4 percent.

The state is currently sitting at a 51.7 percent response rate, which is just below the national average of 53.4 percent and much lower than the state’s 72 percent response rate from 2010. However, this could still be made up, as the census count lasts through the end of October.