The 2020 Census reported that Dallas County, Texas, is home to one of the fastest growing and largest cities in the United States: Dallas. Between 2010 and 2020, Dallas’ total population increased by 15.7%. With this fast growth and large geographic size, Complete Count Committees (CCC) want tools that can help them identify where “Get Out the Count” investments had the most impact and where to direct efforts in 2030.
What the CCAT Found
The 2020 Census County Assessment Tool (CCAT) helps identify any divergences between previous Census estimates and the 2020 Census count. After selecting Dallas County on the map, divergence may be examined by total population. This examination reveals Dallas County’s population count was close to estimates, but about 1% lower than previous estimates. In numeric terms, Dallas’ reported total population count is 24,204 below expectation. The 2020 CCAT allows for the examination of other similar counties, like Harris County, Texas, which only experienced a count of 3,247 people below estimates despite being home to Houston, Texas, a city twice as large as Dallas.
The 2020 CCAT also allows for the examination of other demographic categories, which could suggest where future outreach efforts should be concentrated. Harris County’s Hispanic population was highly divergent from expectation while Dallas County’s Black, non-Hispanic population was slightly divergent from expectation. This could point to where the hardest-to-count communities in these respective counties may be, and to help identify where CCC and local funds should go in the next decade.
How to Fix It
After using the 2020 CCAT to compare differences in outcome, the next step is to look at how Harris County approached the census differently and if those policies could be adopted in Dallas County. Harris County made significant efforts in a “Get Out the Count”campaign in 2019 and 2020. This campaign was a city-county coordinated effort that engaged communities, elected officials, and nonprofits. Harris County and the city of Houston invested over $5 million together, while Dallas County and the city of Dallas invested about $1.9 million total.
A CCC could take this knowledge along with the differential counts between demographic groups to make informed decisions about how to invest in census outreach and which dollars go the farthest.