Get counted McCreary
County lagging in Census
By Greg Bird
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Census goes on unabated.
The U.S. Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. It is dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America’s people, places, and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all individual responses the Census Bureau collects.
The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade the bureau takes a count of America’s population. The census provides vital information about communities. It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools, and emergency services. And each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on Census Bureau data.
Connie Ross, the Census Recruiting Assistant for McCreary County has been working hard to encourage residents to complete the census, highlighting the benefits for the community of higher participation.
“Who will that effect in our county? Every single one of us,” she stated. “Grants, all assistance programs, schools, library, courthouse, fire departments, highway departments. It is important that you respond and as a citizen get other people to respond. These numbers are by the 2010 census count so if we have grown in population that means even more money we will lose.”
According to the most recent data from the bureau, McCreary County is showing a 30.3 percent response rate – one of the lowest in the state. Kentucky, as a whole, shows a 53.9 percent rate, and nationwide 51 percent of Americans have completed the survey.
Most people will receive a census form in the mail that can be filled out and returned to the Census Bureau. Those with post office boxes as a primary address will not get a form, but will have to wait for a representative from the census to visit their home. With the health crisis, census workers have not been able to begin their task.
But residents do not need to wait for their Census questionnaire or a visit from a worker to arrive in the mail to be counted. The Census Bureau has implemented the ability for citizens to complete their census data online via www.2020census.gov.
Filling out the form online takes only a few short minutes.