While pouring myself a cup of coffee this morning a story on the radio caught my attention. The number of census respondents who identified with more than one racial group increased 276% from the last census. The NPR story noted three main factors behind this substantial increase. More children are being born to parents who identify with different racial/ethnic groups. For 2020 if you responded Hispanic or Latino your answer was classified as “some other race.” And people may be thinking differently about what they tell the government about their identities than they did ten years ago. The story even suggested that the interest in at-home DNA testing may have something to do with this.

If you were conscientious about accurately identifying your race/ethnicity on the Census, did that incentivize you to complete the census form on your own? The census reports data on self-response rates (no nonresponse followup) for the census. This map shows those rates for Coachella Valley. The national average for self-response was 67%. The dark green areas show census tracts where the response rate was at or above the national average. Orange and red areas show low self-response rates. Areas with low self-response rates have the possibility of being undercounted and therefore underserved by Federal and State programs and support.