|Urban Institute chart based on analysis of return rates from 2010 Census|
Gold and Yipeng recommend that rural leaders take these steps to ensure a higher local count:
- Become a census partner to help increase awareness of the importance of an accurate count. That means working with community leaders who can influence others, such as pastors or business owners. The Census Bureau has some tips for increasing community engagement in a Community Outreach Toolkit.
- Use data to understand your community and how vulnerable it is to undercounting, including this interactive map of hard-to-count areas.
- Provide safe, secure internet access in community spaces like libraries or post offices so people without home internet access can fill out the census.
- Partner with schools and employers to reach hard-to-count populations so they can respond to the census on-site, possibly with translators.