The United States Census Bureau announced today is the last day to be counted in the 2020 Census.
Participation in the U.S. Census isn’t just to ensure residents are part of a head count to sort demographical information such as the age, sex and race – it affects congressional representation and federal funding to the state and county, as well. Census data is used to divide seats in Congress and allocate approximately $1.5 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years.
“Filling out your census is essential for our region to secure state representation and secure state and federal funding that is based on population sizes,” said Mayor Gabe Carroll. “Anyone who fails to fill out census is costing their fellow citizens money and representation.”
The Census Bureau said that 99.9% of households have been counted but experts have raised concerns that this year’s count won’t be accurate, especially in communities that are harder to reach due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While 99% of households in Iowa were enumerated, or counted, only 71.4% of Iowans self-reported, which means Census counters in the field were more likely to rely on information from neighbors or other ways of filling in the gaps for the roughly 30% of households in the state that didn’t respond.
Completing the census questionaire is quick – there are only nine questions which ask basic questions about who lives in the household, their relation to eachother, their ages, sex and race; whether they own or rent and their phone number. A sample census questionnaire is online at 2020census.gov.
The 2020 Census is still accepting responses online at 2020Census.gov, by calling 1-800-923-8282, or by mail — as long as it’s postmarked by Oct. 15.