PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla (WMBB)– In Panama City Beach, city officials are urging residents to fill out the 2020 census as the response for the area has been low.
“We’re sitting at just 28%, nationally the return participation rate has been 66%, I believe in Bay county, it’s hovering at around 60%, so we’re way behind,” City Manager, Tony O’Rourke, said.
O’Rourke said in order to get an accurate proportion of federal dollars, a strong census return is needed.
The federal census deadline is September 30th, but that date is important for another reason. It’s also the last day to complete the city’s community survey.
The community survey is comprised of a series of questions aimed at seeing how the city council could improve the quality of life for residents.
While many of the residents agree the census is important, not all have gotten around to filling it out.
“I haven’t filled it out, I’m not sure why, I just didn’t get around to doing it,” Panama City Beach resident, Tim Pattison said.
And of those who filled out the census, not all got around to filling out the community survey.
Resident, Melanie Driggers, said she did not receive a copy of the community survey in the mail.
“Now that I know about the community survey, I will definitely be filling it out online and giving my feedback,” Driggers said.
The community survey was sent to 1,700 homes in the area to receive truly randomized feedback.
Of those 1700 sent out, 554 were returned and labeled as undeliverable, so the city sent out 2,000 more, to which they had 300 responses.
They have also made the survey available online. It can be found here.
The city did say they are pleased that the community survey has a 26% response rate, they would love to see more community involvement