San Marcos’ Census Response Rate Far Behind Texas, Other Hays County Cities

Mountain City leads in response rates

Hays County, San Marcos, TX – Response rates among Hays County residents for the 2020 Census are generally above the Texas average, and several are slightly above the national level. Comparing cities across the county, more than 84 percent of Mountain City residents have completed the 2020 Census.

That figure is more than 20 percent higher than most other cities in the County, though the Village of Bear Creek currently shows a response rate of 72.5 percent.

The population of Mountain City is about 670, according to Mayor Ralph McClendon. The small town is between Kyle and Buda along FM 2770.

Regarding his city’s higher than average participation, McClendon said in a statement, “Mountain City has taken efforts to increase participation in the completion of the census. We have sent out various electronic communications and videos to our citizens. We also update them on our current percentage of completion and encourage them to complete their census.”

He said they’ve also used testimonials about how easy it is to complete.

Participation in the U.S. Census is set out in law and everyone who was living in this country on April 1, 2020, should be counted. For the first time ever, people can take the Census online. The survey can also be completed by phone or mail.

“Hays County residents were undercounted in 2010,” said Debbie Ingalsbe, Hays County Commissioner Pct. 1. “That means we missed out on funding for critical programs, including roads, schools, and public services.”

Ingalsbe, a Co-Chair of the Hays County Census Complete Count Committee, said she would like to see everyone living in Hays County take part in the 2020 Census.

“Our goal is to reach out to everyone in all part of Hays, including those areas with traditionally hard to count populations,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be counted.”

At the National level, 2020 Census response rates are currently at 59.1 percent. The response rate for Texas is at 53.7 percent.

Response rates for Hays County cities are as follows (as of May 14, 2020):

Buda 67.6%

San Marcos 40.2%

Dripping Springs 57.7%

Uhland 50.4%

Hays 68.8%

Village of Bear Creek 72.5%

Kyle 60.7%

Woodcreek 57.0%

Mountain City 84.6%

Wimberley 52.1%

Niederwald 48.2%

 

For comparison, the response rates for nearby cities are currently:

Austin 57.6%

New Braunfels 61.7%

Bastrop 54.9%

San Antonio 55.9%

What is the impact of Census data at the local level?

In addition to congressional districting, Census statistics will help lawmakers, business owners, and many others to make critical decisions about where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

And while everyone is required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect the answers; responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information. In addition, the survey does not ask any citizenship questions.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, also a Co-Chair of the Hays County Complete Count Committee, is encouraging all who live in Hays County to take the Census.

“Getting an accurate count has never been more important,” he said. “Our county will need our fair share of the billions of dollars of federal funding, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. But, if only 50 percent of our residents are being counted, we will only get half of what we are entitled to if we don’t keep pushing for a higher count.”

The Complete Count Committee is planning several PSAs, social media posts, and additional outreach efforts to engage hard to count segments of the county.

Information about the Census and answers to frequently asked questions are on the website, which is available in multiple languages, including English and Spanish: https://2020census.gov/en.html https://2020census.gov/es.html

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