By SHERRY DIGMON
Officials have asked, begged, cajoled, done everything but get on bended knee. And they might do that if they thought it would motivate people to fill out their census forms.
If you think the census data doesn’t matter, it does. It affects federal funding –healthcare, education resources, transportation, housing – and representation in Congress, and more.
Most recent information shows that Alabama ranks dead last in the country for the response to the 2020 U.S. Census – with Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia also in the bottom five – as officials warn that a low response rate could lead to the loss of federal funds and even a congressional seat. [al.com, September 14]
According to Gov. Kay Ivey’s office, Alabama’s current self-response rate is 62.1 percent — 0.4 percent short of the self-response rate recorded in 2010, or 62.5 percent, according to information provided by the Census Bureau. When added with responses generated to date by Census field workers, a total of 78.5 percent of Alabama households have responded. Governor Ivey is targeting an 80 percent or higher total response rate by September 30.
“I’ve said it since our March kick-off, and I will say it again: Alabama stands to lose too much if we do not reach our goal of maximum participation,” Gov. Ivey said. “This isn’t just money for our state — it’s money for our small communities, for our educational systems, for our roads and for our children. There is simply too much community funding at stake here to disregard this final call.”
It takes only six minutes to complete the census.
“These integral six minutes will determine what our communities will look like, what our children’s education will be, and even what our healthcare can provide throughout the next decade,” Gov. Ivey said.
Alabamians can fill out the 10-question Census online at my2020Census.gov, or by phone at 1-844-330-2020, or by traditional paper form.
Socially distanced door-to-door Census takers are also targeting households statewide that have been identified as current non-participants. Any information given in the 2020 Census is protected by strict federal law.
For more information, please visit alabama2020census.com.