Sluggish Census response could hurt RBC

Counties most in need of accurate population and demographic data to be considered for state and federal funding are the counties that have been slowest to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census this year, including Rio Blanco County. 

As of July 1, Front Range counties were leading the state in response rates with Douglas County topping the list with 76.8% responding. Mesa County was the only Western Slope county in the top 10 with 69.4%. Rio Blanco County’s “self-response” rate is at 42.4% overall. 

With budget cuts looming, having an accurate population count is more important than ever. Taking a count of all persons living in the United States every 10 years is mandated by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2). Census data are used for planning and funding for schools, infrastructure, healthcare, eligibility for grant funding, and more, as well as determining districting for government representation from the local all the way to the federal level. The results of the 2020 Census will impact our communities for the next 10 years.

Because census responses are connected to a physical address, individuals who only have a P.O. box do not receive census invitations, and hand delivery of census packets to the 10% of Coloradans who receive mail at a P.O. box was delayed by the pandemic. Exactly when census takers will be allowed to begin visiting households that have yet to respond is still to be determined. 

This year, you can also respond to the census online at or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).