Neighbors still have time to complete 2020 census

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The U.S. Census Bureau is pleased with its response rate to the 2020 census, but many folks in our hometowns still need to fill out their information.

In Roanoke County, the Complete County Committee is still actively working to get people to complete their census.

Tuesday, the committee’s chair, Toni Cox, and several others set up a tent to answer questions and provide resources.

“Just talk to people, activate their network so people know how important it is to do their census,” Cox said.

This would have been the final push before a September 30 deadline, but pending litigation could give folks more time to fill out their forms.

But either way, the goal is to make sure everyone completes the census.

“Everyone that lives in Roanoke County really needs to be counted,” Cox said.

The information from the census can make sure there is funding for all different types of things, like the resources in Roanoke County’s libraries or schools.

“Every person that we miss would be a $20,000 loss in federal funding in Roanoke County,” Cox said.

It isn’t just about Roanoke County. If you don’t fill out the census, your hometown is missing out on thousands of federal dollars for things like funding emergency resources, road repairs and other items.

“Please respond to the census as soon as possible,” U.S. Census Bureau Media Specialist Tasha Chambers said.

Despite the pandemic, Chambers said they are pleased with the numbers they’re seeing across the country.

“Things are going extremely well. 95.4 percent of households have responded,” Chambers said.

But here in our hometowns there is some work that still needs to be done.

As of Tuesday, Roanoke County has a 79 percent response rate, while other localities like Roanoke City and Rocky Mount are sitting at just 65 percent.

There are several ways to complete the census; you can take it online, you can respond by phone at 844-330-2020 or mail in your questionnaire.

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