Photo: City of North Port

North Port Touts Early Lead in Census Form Response

Posted on March 25, 2020 by Earle Kimel, Herald-Tribune Media Group
Census response can impact distribution of state and federal funding.

NORTH PORT — The city of North Port is touting a 35.5% self-response rate to the 2020 Census as one of the top return rates in the state of Florida, as of March 23.

"We're off to a great start, but we need to keep up," a city Facebook post read. "North Port has no shortage of community pride, and we want to be #1.

"We will count!"

Among other things, U.S. Census data is used for redistricting but also in determining distribution of funding such as proceeds from gas and sales taxes.

Overall, the state of Florida's response rate is 23.4%. In 2010, the final self-response rate was 63%.

Self-response rates account for people who respond to the survey by phone, mail, or online.

Response rates from around the country can be found at

The current response rate for the entire country is 23.6%.

In a more detailed email, North Port Communications Manager Josh Taylor compared the city's response rate to communities, including Punta Gorda, 31.9%; Venice, 30.8%, Cape Coral, 27.7%; St. Petersburg, 26.8%, and the city of Sarasota, 24.4%.

Taylor later added that while the city has roughly 30 signs up around town to encourage census participation, it also has hosted a public forum on the census and had invited census representatives to city newcomers days and the Atlanta Braves rally.

The city also put reminders in the more than 23,000 water bills it sent out, as well as a quarterly newsletter sent to every resident, as well as posting frequent reminders on social media.

All told, the effort has cost $1,229.52, with $725 attributed to the water bill fliers, while the remainder is attributed to signs and banners.

Expanding beyond the figures supplied by North Port, Sarasota County has an overall response rate of 29.8%; Charlotte County 29.1%; Manatee County 25.4%; Lee County 24.3 %; Collier County 22.2% and DeSoto County 20.1%.

Other municipality response rates in Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota counties include Palmetto, 27.9%; Bradenton, 24.4%; Longboat Key, 16.8%; Holmes Beach, 14.2%; Bradenton Beach, 8.6%; and Anna Maria, 0.7%.

To fill out the 2020 census, visit:

Census 2020 special coverage comes from Aspirations Journalism, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group to inform, inspire, and engage the community.

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