A Census 2020 car parade organized by Puente Latino Association traveled through North Long Beach on Census Day. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Huckeba.

With a fast-approaching deadline of Sept. 30, Long Beach is averaging a 66.9% self-response rate to the 2020 U.S. Census, which is almost as high as the state’s overall response rate.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the national self-response rate is 65.9%, or about 97.4 million households. In 2010, the last time the census was circulated, the final response time was 66.5%.

The bureau added that 68.4%, or about 10.3 million, of California households have responded to the 2020 Census online either by phone or mail. In 2010, California’s self-response rate was 68.2%.

Long Beach still has less than two weeks to beat out its 2010 response rate, which was 68.3%.

“Leaders said it was the decision to invest resources in reaching hard-to-count Californians that paid dividends, noting that the state’s success with people who are traditionally harder-to-count was a result of a comprehensive multilingual and multicultural campaign that has been underway since the beginning of the year,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Long Beach, community nonprofits and organizations led many of the efforts to count hard-to-reach places in the city–from car caravans to socially distant registration events events.

The Deforest Park Neighborhood Association in North Long Beach recently hosted a census-registration event with free giveaways. The sudden rescheduling of the census deadline from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30 prompted hurried responses from community groups to increase census outreach operations.

California is the hardest-to-count state in the nation, census officials stated, with a large, diverse population, and a high number of recent immigrants, people who lack high-speed Internet access and people with limited English proficiency.