Shelby County maintains highest census rate in Alabama

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

As the nationwide Census approaches the end of its count, Shelby County currently sits at the top of the list for response rates in the state of Alabama.

Shelby County currently has a 75.4 percent response rate, which is higher than both the national rate of 63.9 percent and the state rate of 61.2 percent, and represents a nearly 10-percent increase since May.

Getting the highest possible census completion rate is very important as it determines the amount of federal funding the state receives for schools and infrastructure as well as determining the number of representatives in congress

“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.

Four cities and towns in Shelby County are currently ranked in the top 10 for response rates, including Indian Springs Village, Helena, Chelsea and Pelham.

Indian Springs Village is currently ranked No. 1 in the state with a response rate of 86.6 percent, Helena is No. 3 with an 84 percent response rate, Chelsea is No. 6 at 81.2 percent and Pelham sits at No. 10 with a response rate of 79.4 percent. All of these cities represent a rate higher than the county itself.

There are several other cities in the county with a response rate higher than 70 percent including Alabaster at 79.1 percent, Hoover at 75.5 percent, Calera at 75.4 percent and Westover at 72.8 percent.

Shelby County cities with more than 60 percent response rate include Montevallo, Wilsonville, Harpersville, Columbiana and Wilton.

In 2010, Shelby county had an 80 percent response rate, according to Holloway. With only a few weeks left before the final census numbers are collected, the county could still surpass that rate.

The State of Alabama’s rate is just below the national response rate of 63.9 percent, and still well below the 2010 completion rate of 72 percent.