NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Johns Creek residents lead the pack in the race among major North Fulton cities to complete the 2020 census. Johns Creek recently passed Milton, who carried a lead since tracking began in late March, for the top spot.
The U.S. Constitution requires an actual count of every person residing in the United States every 10 years, and local governments depend on accurate counts for access to millions in federal and state dollars.
Steven Wardrup, GIS manager with the City of Alpharetta, said an inaccurate count could cost the city an estimated $20 million in federal and state funding over the next 10 years. Population is a key factor, he said, in determining allocations of federal and state grants.
A 2015 national survey showed that local communities lost $1,091 in federal dollars for each person uncounted in the 2010 Census.
Like most cities, Alpharetta is using a census tract map that shows the predicted response rate for different areas within the city. The predictions are based partly on the response rate recorded during the last census.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, cities and counties are pushing advertising and social media sources to encourage residents to participate. Public workshops and speaking engagements originally planned for this spring have been suspended.
Wardrup said that in addition to social media, Alpharetta is pursuing spreading the word through local churches and through local newspaper ads. He said another option is sign placement in low-response areas.