Only one-third of Hubbard County has filled out census
As we stay at home to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, here’s a productive use of time: Fill out your census.
Mailings of the census went out a few weeks ago. It contained detailed information about how to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census online, by phone or by mail.
April 1 was Census Day, a key reference date for the census, but not a deadline. The U.S. Census Bureau uses that day to determine who is counted and where. When you respond, you’ll be telling the Census Bureau where you lived, as of April 1, 2020, and include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home.
The Census Bureau encourages people to respond to the census as soon as they can.
Why it matters to us
This isn’t just paperwork or a way for the government to get information about you. The census count has long-term impacts at the local, state and federal levels.
Data collected by the census is used to redraw legislative districts and reallocate seats across states in the U.S. House of Representatives. Based on projections, the state of Minnesota is on the cusp of losing a House seat, according to Janna Johnson, an economic demographer and a member of a U.S. Census Bureau advisory committee.
Census figures will determine how the government spends $800 billion in federal funding, and over $15 billion in Minnesota. That funding affects our healthcare, infrastructure, employment, food assistance, public safety, small business, family services, Section 8 Housing assistance, environment, etc.
The census is also helpful for businesses as they can use the information to determine where to open a new branch or focus their marketing, Johnson said.
Minnesota is leading the nation in responding to the census, said Jeffrey D. Wigren, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Chicago region.
As of April 9, the national response rate was 46.7 percent, but 56.2 percent of Minnesotan households have self-reported that they filled out the form. The Hubbard County rate is currently 33.9 percent.
You can visit the 2020 Census response rate map to see how cities and townships across the country and Hubbard County are responding.
A new improvement for this year’s census is that people can fill out census forms online at my2020census.gov – a safe option is this time of social distancing. The deadline is Aug. 14.
However, if someone doesn’t have access to the internet or prefers to fill it out in other ways, they can still respond by phone (844-330-2020) or through the mail.
When it is safe to resume field operations, census takers will also go door-to-door to ensure people who haven’t responded do so. The bureau is still recruiting applicants for census jobs in Hubbard County. Eighty-seven of the 240 positions need to be filled.