Governor Requests Extension to the 2020 Census Deadline

Governor Requests Extension to the 2020 Census Deadline

Governor Requests Extension to the 2020 Census Deadline Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 25 August 2020 18:20

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Census is mandated every 10 years to count the population in all 50 States and their local districts. Counting the population on a local level serves as a basis for dealing out federal funding for expenses such as schools, public transit, road improvements, and other projects such as infrastructure improvements.
The more people that participate, the more federal funding a city and county will likely be able to obtain.

The 2020 Census count will inform where and how billions of dollars in federal funding are spent, the political representation for North Carolina, and data used to make decisions for the next decade. An accurate count of all citizens and households in New Hanover County will help ensure the community receives support for public safety, education, family support services, healthcare, human services, environmental protections, economic development, emergency response, public transportation, and more.

While the Census began in March, participation has been low. Largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a delay in Census workers visiting area residences.

On August 24th, Governor Roy Cooper joined a bipartisan coalition of governors from Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington to urge the US Census Bureau to extend the Census through October 31 to help ensure a complete count. In a signed letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, Governor Cooper and the other governors outline concerns about the decision to end 2020 Census Count operations a month early, which could jeopardize efforts to get a complete and accurate population count as required by the U.S. Constitution every 10 years.
“Your recent announcement calls into question how millions of Americans who have yet to fill out their 2020 Census will be counted. It is surprising to hear how optimistic the Census Bureau is about being able to reach 100% in less than 60 days, given the current daily self-response rate and the fact that, as of the writing of this letter, only 63% of the country has responded to the 2020 Census,” Gov. Cooper and the other governors wrote in the letter. “By your own calculations made when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the October 31 date is crucial for the Census Bureau to be able to meet its constitutional obligation and do it in a way that does not jeopardize the public health."

North Carolinians who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census can do so by going to www.MY2020CENSUS.GOV , by calling 1-844-330-2020, or by mailing in their Census form if they received one in the mail.

Because the 2020 Census was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ending count efforts early would make it especially difficult to get a complete count and ensure full federal funding and representation for North Carolina. As of July 31, 41 percent of North Carolina households – an estimated 4 million residents – had not yet completed the 2020 Census. A potential undercount could put North Carolina at risk of losing $7.4 billion per year for health care, education, highways, community services, economic development, disaster recovery and more over the next decade.

North Carolinians most at risk of being undercounted live in rural counties, which make up approximately 80 percent of the state. This includes military families, eastern counties impacted by recent natural disasters and communities with already limited access to health care.

A complete and accurate Census count could bring $1,823 per person per year in federal and state funds back to North Carolina communities, helping our most vulnerable populations including the elderly and communities of color. An undercount could also jeopardize North Carolina adding another seat in the US House of Representatives to represent the people of our state’s interests.

What is the census?
• Think of it as a head count that includes every individual living in the U.S.
• Every ten years, each household nationwide is asked to fill out a brief questionnaire about all the people living in your home. This means everyone. Babies, children, aunts, grandparents, cousins, friends – anyone who resides in your home as of April 1, 2020.
• Questions include the number of people in your household, basic information about these individuals like age or race, and how they are related to you.
• You will not be asked to provide a social security number, political affiliation, or proof of citizenship.
• Information you submit is 100% confidential and protected by federal law from use by ANY law enforcement agency.

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