XENIA — Greene County residents can still respond to the 2020 Census by mail, by phone, or online, without meeting a census taker.
Census Day, April 1, has come and gone. This date is not a deadline; rather, it is used as a day to determine who is counted and where.
Greene County Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission is encouraging individuals to self-respond to the census as soon as possible, and to remind their family and friends, too. Residents are asked to record where they’re living and who is living in their home as of April 1. The reference date helps ensure that everyone is counted just once, even if they are moving or live in multiple homes.
As of April 1, 52.3 percent of households in Greene County had self-responded to the census. This compares to the statewide and nationwide response rate, 45.1 percent and 41.3 percent, respectively.
“While some operations have been delayed, the 2020 Census is underway, and it is safe, easy and important to respond,” U.S. Census Bureau officials said.
Based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities, the U.S. Census Bureau suspended census field operations for two additional weeks to April 15 to protect the health and safety of the public, employees, and temporary census takers. The revised schedule for census takers to follow up in-person with households that have not responded in any way is now May 28 through Aug. 14.
By now, most homes should have received an invitation to participate in the census.
Residents can respond online at 2020Census.gov, over the phone by calling the number provided in their invitation or 844-330-2020, and by paper through the mail by mailing back the paper questionnaire sent to their home. The self-response phase has been extended to Aug. 14.
The census not only counts population, but also shapes the future of communities.
“Responding to the census actually means something. It means our fair share of funding helps everyone in one way or another,” Devon Shoemaker, executive director of Greene County Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission, said at the launch of Greene County’s Complete Count Committee (CCC) in July.
Census data determines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as redistricting of the state legislatures, county and city councils and voting districts. Federal and state dollars are allocated based on population.
“Every uncounted person at a minimum means a loss of $1,200 that would otherwise go to vital services and projects for our county,” Shoemaker said. “And in most cases it means a loss of services to our most vulnerable populations.”
An accurate population count also helps officials forecast transportation and housing needs, plan for emergency response and natural disasters, determine where to build hospitals, clinics, businesses and factories, and design facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, children and students.
The census is confidential and protected.
For more information on responding to the census, visit 2020Census.gov.