Reston, VA

Fairfax County has one of the highest response rates to the U.S. Census in Virginia.

As of today (Aug. 3), the national response rate is 62.8%, while Virginia is 67.5%, according to the U.S. Census.

Fairfax County currently has a 76.6% response rate, surpassing its 2010 response rate of 75.3%. By the time the count ends this year, the county might jump above its 80% total in 2000.

At the end of March, Virginia’s response rate was 37% response rate.

While the pandemic at first extended the submission deadline, the Census Bureau plans to cut short its door-knocking efforts, moving the deadline from Halloween until Sept. 30, The Hill reported last week.

It’s unclear yet how much the door knocking will boost the response rate. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that four-in-ten residents who have not yet responded do not want to answer their door.

People who haven’t responded to the Census can complete it by filling it out online, returning the form mailed in March or calling 844-330-2020.

Map via U.S. Census

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While little more than half of the country has responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, Fairfax County’s response rate is already past 70% and is one of the highest in the state.

As of Friday (May 9), Fairfax County’s self-response rate is 72.7% — well above Virginia’s overall rate of 63.5%, according to census data.

Other counties and cities in Virginia with high response rates include:

  1. James City: 73.1%
  2. Roanoke: 73.6%
  3. Powhatan: 74.1%
  4. Loudoun: 74.1%
  5. Hanover: 74.5%
  6. Falls Church: 75.5%
  7. Poquoson: 75.8%
  8. Fairfax City: 76.3%

Previously, Fairfax County’s response rates have fluctuated from the mid-70s-80%, according to census data.

“For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade,” according to Fairfax County’s website.

Households have until Aug. 14 to complete the census.

Map via U.S. Census

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With more Fairfax County residents social distancing in their home, the 2020 census is expected to see higher response rates than usual in the county.

So far, nearly 43 percent of households have completed the questionnaire, up from the statewide response rate of 37 percent.

In the past, Fairfax County boasted a high response rate in the 2000 count. The county, which had a population of roughly 945,717 people,  had an 80 percent response rate, up from the 76 percent response rate in 1990.

The county trailed behind Macomb, Count, Mich., which had the highest response rate of 81 percent, data show.

With more people at home, the nationwide response rate could see an increase. In the last count, roughly 67 percent of all respondents completed the 2000 questionnaire. That was the first time in history the response rate improved over the preview census.

County officials are urging residents to take part in the census. “For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade,” according to the county’s government website.

Residents should expect an invitation to participate in the census. Responses can be completed online, by phone or email.

The COVID-19 outbreak pushed the U.S. Census Bureau to alters its operation schedule. The deadline for self-response rates was extended through August 14, along with a number of changes.

Image via U.S. Census Bureau

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The U.S. Census count is underway, the enormous effort happens once every 10 years to count every person living in the United States regardless of age or immigration status.

The census helps determine how much funding Fairfax County receives from money allocated by the federal government to improve transportation, provide education, healthcare, affordable housing and prepare for emergencies. It also determines how many representatives are sent to Richmond and Washington D.C to advocate for the county.

According to the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade for each person who does not respond to the census.

In March, the U.S. Census Bureau began mailing every household an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire about who lives at their address on April 1. People can respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.

The census will ask for names, age, sex, race and the relation of everyone living in each household. Federal law keeps those responses safe, secure and confidential.

Everyone should be counted to ensure Fairfax County receives its fair share of federal funds and representation.

Learn more at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/census.

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Friday Morning Notes

Smoking in Bed Causes Reston Townhouse Fire — A townhouse fire on Wednesday night was caused by “smoking while in bed,” according to fire investigators. The fire happened on the 2300 block of Antiqua Court. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Robert Simon Jr. Children’s Center Marks 30 Years — “This month, The Robert E. Simon Jr. Children’s Center marks thirty years serving area families with high-quality childcare. Named for Reston’s founder, the nonprofit Simon Center provides families throughout Northern Virginia with a warm, responsive and caring environment for children to learn and grow.” [Reston Patch]

Census Begins on April 1 — A Census invitation is heading to your mailbox next month. [U.S. Census Bureau]

Local Students Earn Scholastic Art Awards — “The 2020 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has recognized 372 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students in grades 7-12 with 571 awards including Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention awards, and American Visions Nominations.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Since the first United States Census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has recorded the mean center of the population as it moves west and south.

Baltimore-based artist Nate Larson’s explores these centroid towns in the next chapter of his project. The upcoming exhibit, “Centroid Towns: Like a Passing Shadow,” features the town of Waterford, Va., the centroid town of 1810. The exhibit will run from September 28 through January 4.

GRACE wrote the following about Larson:

Nate Larson works with photographic media, artist books, and digital video. His projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including WiredThe Guardian, NPR, HyperallergicNew York TimesThe Washington Post, and Art Papers. His artwork is included in the permanent collections of the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. Larson is currently serving as Chair of the Photography Department at MICA / Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Larson’s previous work featured communities like Ellicott City, Md., Bloomington, In., and Mascoutah, Ill.

The exhibit is supported by Virginia McGehee Friend.

The opening reception is set for September 28 from 5-7 p.m. at Reston Community Center. Larson and GRACE’s executive director and curator Lily Siegel will discuss the exhibit. Creative responses are set for October 3 and 24 at 7 p.m.

Photo via Nate Larson/GRACE

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Girl Power! book club meets tonight — Younger readers between the ages of 10 to 13 can head to Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center to discuss the graphic novel “Be Prepared.” The book club starts at 7 p.m. tonight and will include trivia and games. [Scrawl Books]

The Rotary Club of Reston joins Reston Chamber of Commerce — The club held a luncheon earlier this week with an update from Mark Ingrao, the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. The club recently joined as a not-for-profit member. [Rotary Club of Reston Facebook]

Making sure everyone counts — On Tuesday, 40 people gathered in Richmond to figure out some ways to encourage Virginians to answer their U.S. Census Bureau questionnaires in 2020. The responses help determine the distribution of federal funding, which, historically, has been lower than the actual population. [The Virginian-Pilot]

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County remains among the richest — the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Fairfax County ranks second as the richest county from 2013 to 2017, following Loudoun County. [U.S. Census Bureau]

It’s snow joke — With snow predictions looming, the Virginia Department of Transportation wants residents to stay safe by looking over its 2018-2019 “snow facts.” [VDOT]

Fine arts photography collection — The “La Lumiere DuBois VII” exhibit by Michael DuBois, who highlights his love of nature, opens today at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The exhibit is open until  Jan. 6. [Reston Community Center]

“She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition” — Watch students from the Herndon High School perform a contemporary dramatic comedy tonight at 7 p.m. Parental guidance is recommended. [Herndon High School Theatre]

Photo by Susan Berger

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Monday Morning Notes

County Remains Among Richest — U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2015 have Fairfax County’s median household income at $112,844, more than twice the national figure. The county trails only Loudoun County ($125,900) and the independent City of Falls Church ($122,092) in the national rankings. [WTOP]

Reston P&Z Committee Meets Tonight — The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee’s monthly meeting will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). Matters to be discussed include JBG/EYA’s project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. [Reston P&Z Committee]

Wanted: School Bus Drivers — Fairfax County Public Schools has 85 openings for bus drivers. A job fair will be held Friday, Aug. 11, at Stonecroft Transportation Center (4641 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly). [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Connolly Plans Telephone Town Hall Tonight — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will answer questions by phone tonight beginning at 8 p.m. [Rep. Gerry Connolly/Twitter]

Gas Grill Safety Tips — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants citizens to be safe when they fire up the grill to make summer meals. With that in mind, they shared a video from the National Fire Protection Association that includes tips on where to place the grill, how to turn it on safely and more. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

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Morning Notes - Winter

Reston Association Board Candidate Info Session Tomorrow — Anyone considering running for one of the four seats on the Reston Association Board of Directors is invited to attend a candidate information session Wednesday evening. Terms will begin in April. All candidate forms and applications for those wishing to be on the ballot must be turned in by Jan. 27. [Reston Now]

My, How You’ve Grown, Reston! — The U.S. Census Bureau has released five years’ worth of data about Reston and its residents, and the numbers show just how much the planned community has grown. Among the highlights in the information is a 7,000-person increase in population and a median household income that has surpassed $100,000. [Reston Patch]

Herndon Man Dies After NYE Hotel Roof Fall — A 23-year-old Herndon man died shortly after midnight on New Year’s in an incident on the roof of his Dupont Circle hotel. Reports indicate John Leonard was on the roof of his hotel when he fell into a boiler shaft and plummeted 10 stories. [Washington Post]

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Reston signReston is affluent when compared with the rest of Virginia, has a growing population and a median age of 38.6.

Those are some of the findings of the Five-Year American Community Survey, which was released last week.

The American Community Survey is an ongoing survey by the United States Census that provides data every year — giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services.

Here are some of the basics the ACS Found. To see much more data, visit the ACS Website.

Reston By the Numbers 2009-2013

Population: 59,388 (up from 58,404 in 2010 Census)

Race

43,061 White (72.5 percent)

6,373 Asian (10.7 percent)

6,028 Black (10.2 percent)

8,555 Latino (14 percent)

Of note: While the White, Black and Asian percentages populations have stayed about the same since 2010, the Latino population has grown by 2 percent (the 2010 Census counted 7,479 Latinos or 12 percent of the population).

Income

Reston’s Median Household Income is $107,962 (Virginia median is $63, 907)

7.9 percent of individuals live at or below the poverty line (Virginia average is 11.9 percent)

The mean travel time to work is 29.9 minutes — but 6.8 percent of Restonians say they work at home.

Housing

Reston has 26,859 housing units. Sixty-two percent (16,594) of those are owned rather than rented. Median value is $436,200.

Fun fact: 161 residents say they purchased the home in which they lived in 1969 or before.

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