Birmingham is behind neighboring cities in 2020 Census response. Can we catch-up? Yes.

census Birmingham is behind neighboring cities in 2020 Census response. Can we catch-up? Yes.
I responded to my 2020 Census letter, you can too! Birmingham is counting on you. Photo of Bham Now Content Director Pat Byington by Bham Now

Maybe it is life without my beloved Birmingham Legion, F.C., but when I saw the latest 2020 U.S. Census response rate broken down, city by city in the Birmingham metro area, my blood boiled and I felt a little competitive.

Here’s why..

According to the 2020 Census Response Rate website, by April 1st – 41.6% of Alabamians have self-responded to the 2020 Census. Our state is just ahead of the national rate which is 41.3%.

What is the city of Birmingham’s response rate? 37.7%

That’s not too terrible, but compared to our neighboring communities, we are being trounced. How badly? Here are the stats:

  • Bessemer – 38.2%
  • Center Point – 44.0%
  • Fairfield – 44.1%
  • Hueytown – 45.5%
  • Fultondale – 46.0%
  • Homewood – 46.2%
  • Pinson – 47.0%
  • Midfield – 47.4%
  • Hoover – 52.1%
  • Vestavia Hills – 55.0%
  • Pelham – 55.2%
  • Mountain Brook – 55.7%
  • Trussville – 57.0

2020 Census is Serious Business

Birmingham, 2020 Census
Participate in the 2020 Census. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Why does the 2020 Census matter?

If we do not count everyone, it could potentially have a devastating impact on Birmingham and our state.

How so? Here are the facts:

  • Each year, $13 billion dollars comes to Alabama through 55 federal programs guided by the census. If we don’t count everyone, our portion of federal funding could be reduced, unnecessarily stretching vital services thin.
  • Census data will be used over the coming decade to decide where to place parks, roads and hospitals. Insufficient data hinders these projects.
  • The census determines funding for local projects that benefit people of all ages, including housing assistance, mass transit, emergency preparedness efforts and economic development. A full and complete accurate count helps us expand transportation options, creates jobs and keeps us safe.
  • Alabama may lose a seat in the U.S. Congress. That means instead of seven congressional seats, we will have six representatives.
Montgomery Alabama
The Alabama State Capitol. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Go Online or Call

It is comeback time Birmingham.

Most everyone should have gotten an invitation to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census a couple of weeks ago.

The invitation provides you a Census ID and encourages you to go online to complete the census. If you have problems completing the 2020 Census questionnaire online, call 1.844.330.2020 for assistance.

Huntsville & Mobile Could Pass Birmingham

Bham Now Facebook
Photo courtesy of the City of Huntsville

Let’s do this Birmingham. Heaven forbid, if we undercount our population, Huntsville and Mobile may topple us as the Alabama’s most populous city. A lot is on the line. Filling out the 2020 Census literally takes 6 minutes.

I challenge the Magic City to beat Homewood, Mountain Brook, Center Point, Midfield and Trussville in response to the Census! Call your friends and relatives. We can do it!

On a more serious note, we don’t have sports at this moment to root for, so let’s cheer for Birmingham, our neighboring communities and Alabama to get counted..

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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