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County: Census Response Low in Arlington’s Minority Communities

As Arlington County continues to push locals to respond to the census, the County has highlighted areas where significant portions of the local population remain uncounted.

A map published by the County last week showed low census response — less than 61.5% responding — from the western end of Columbia Pike and throughout Crystal City.

The County noted that the areas with the lowest number of responses comprise an estimated 20% of Arlington’s total population, but represent 40.7% of Arlington’s black population, roughly 33% of the Hispanic or Latino population, and 27.4% of the Asian population.

The County also noted that areas with low census response also represent 31.3 percent of Arlingtonians living below the poverty level.

“I know I’m not the only one to observe this, but clearly the folks that we’re needing to support for food and the folks that are going to need help getting COVID testing, it’s pretty much the same population,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a meeting on May 19. “I believe we’ve been doing some outreach for the census in terms of food distribution. It could be that as we get more into this pandemic… that will really boost the effort on the census as well.”

Arlington County has a vested interest in trying to see as many Arlingtonians fill out their census forms as possible, with census data being used to allocate funding and resources to localities, as well as being used to determine congressional representation.

“We encourage everyone who has not taken the Census to take 10 minutes and take it today,” the County said in a press release. “And if you have already taken it, please help us spread the word and encourage friends, relatives and other people in your network to take the Census. Everyone counts!”

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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