MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – U.S. Census data shows, less than 32% of Myrtle Beach residents have submitted their 2020 Census response, lagging almost 15% behind the rest of South Carolina.
About 46% of South Carolinians have sent in their Census data; information State leaders say plays a huge role in federal funding for South Carolina and its cities.
The Census impacts everything we do. It helps the state get money to repair our roads, educate our children, and support our elderly among other things,” South Carolina State Treasurer, Curtis Loftis said.
City leaders in Myrtle Beach agree and hope the response rate increases.
“Those numbers equal dollars so it’s essential that people get counted so in the future we get those resources and that funding to be able to do great things in our local community, ” Chapin Memorial Library Director, Jennifer Nassar said.
Nassar says census information is a requirement for most grant applications so it can greatly impact how much money local organizations have to work with.
Some of these grants the City has recieved in the past has gone to hiring more police officers and fire fighters to serve the growing population in Myrtle Beach.
“For the last three years we’re the second fasted growing MSA in the country so it would really be nice if the census numbers would reflect that, ” spokesman for the City of Myrtle Beach, Mark Kruea said.
Kruea and Nassar both say, operating a tourist town is an added challenge when it comes to census numbers.
“We’re already at a disadvantage because we’re a tourist community,” Nassar said. “So we’re only focusing here on our permanent population, but as all of us know, we serve this blooming population every year of people who part time live here or are our tourists or our visitors.”
“You figure our population is 30-35,000 and on a busy weekend in the summer, we could have 10 times as many people here, Kruea explained. “So we need to be prepared to serve at the peak levels and at the lower end of that scale. So it is a real challenge when it comes to budgeting, when it comes to having the number of staff on board.”
If you’ve misplaced your census paperwork, there are other ways to submit your information, which Nassar says is protected.
“I think there is a bit of a misconception people have about their information and how it can be used, but there are federal regulations in place that protect their responses and that information is sealed for 72 years,” Nassar explained.
To submit your census by phone call, 844-330-2020 for English and 844-468-2020 for Spanish.
Below are the reporting percentages for all Pee Dee counties:
Chesterfield County – 41.6%
Clarendon County – 37.2%
Darlington County – 41.3%
Dillon County – 34.5%
Florence County – 41.6%
Georgetown County – 37.4%
Horry County – 37.7%
Lee County – 42.6%
Marion County – 41.6%
Marlboro County – 41.7%
Sumter County – 46.6%
Williamsburg County – 37.2%