Census deadline quickly approaching

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The deadline to complete the 2020 Census is quickly approaching.

The national average of self response rates for the census is 66% per state. Alabama comes in just below that at 62%.

Huntsville City Planner James Vandiver says the census is our one chance every ten years to get the data right.

“It affects everyone when it comes to schools, transportation, healthcare, all of that is affected by census,” says Vandiver.

Census data also decides how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs including medicaid, head start, and the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as SNAP.

“In fact over 675 billion dollars in terms of federal funding every year is tied to census data,” says Vandiver.

Census data determines the number of seats each state has in the house of representatives. The data is also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

“It determines our representation in congress. We could lose a seat if everyone is not counted,” says Madison City Administrator Marc Jacobson.

City planners say ten minutes of time spent filling out the 2020 census will have a ten-year impact on the future quality of life for citizens.

“Its never been easier to fill out the census. This time around you can do it online” says Vandiver.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential.

“There are no privacy issues. Theres no data that goes into the census that could cause anyone any problems so it shouldn’t be a trust issue,” says Jacobson.

To make sure you’re counted you can respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail all without having to meet a census taker. The 2020 Census deadline is September 30th.

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