Have you responded to the 2020 Census? It only takes about ten minutes, and it is important to the state of Alabama as well as your local community. Take the time and be counted. You have exactly one week from today to respond with the September 30 deadline fast approaching.

Households that do not respond can expect a visit or call from the Census Bureau. They will attempt to do an enumerated response. This has already begun. The final numbers will be turned over to the President on Jan. 1.  

Alabama is dead last in response with 88.4% of households counted so far. This is nearly 10% less than the national count of 90.1%.

Jackson County currently has a self-response rate of 63%. In 2010, the county had a 63.1% response rate. Neighboring Dekalb County has a self-response rate of 53.1%, and they had a 56.4% response rate in 2010.

Why is this so important? It is about qualifying for the most federal money your county, city, and state can get. It’s about having these funds to improve our way of life and affects everything from schools to your fire department and hospital.

Alabama received more than 13 billion dollars in 2010.  This money was distributed to 55 federal programs across the state.  For every person who completed the 2010 Census, we received almost $1,600 per response.

Programs that benefit from this money include our roads and highway infrastructure, emergency response programs, SNAP, public assistance, wildlife preservation, and the school lunch program just to name a few. 

It does make a difference in your life, so please take the time to be counted.  You can go to www.2020census.gov and complete your information.  Should you need assistance, you may contact Brad Dudley at Northeast Alabama Community College at 256-638-4418 ext. 2330 or dudleyb@nacc.edu.  He will be glad to help you.

It is estimated that per 100 people not counted in the Census roughly $1.2 million of federal funds is lost for your community. Do your part to make sure this does not happen and encourage your friends to complete the census.

This is not about politics, but it does affect your representation in the U.S. House of Representatives which is determined by population. It also determines how the congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. Less response could lead to the loss of representation. Once the President receives the numbers, any redistricting or reshuffling of representation will begin in the spring of 2021.

Idaho and West Virginia are the top responding states at 99.8% followed by Hawaii and Maine. The U.S. average response rate is 95.4%. 

Mississippi has an 82.1% rate, Louisiana has 82.7%, Montana has 82.3%, and South Carolina has an 83.2% rate. Make your household count and lift Alabama out of the bottom response ranking.

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