BRYAN COUNTY, GA – July 21, 2020 – Georgia’s Complete Count Committee continues its push to get the state’s residents to respond to the Census2020. Currently, Bryan County’s response rate of 61 percent is 3 percent above Georgia’s response rate of 58 percent, but it is below the national response rate of 62.2 percent.
Earlier this month, U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Lauren Lewis, who is based in the Atlanta Field Office, visited Bryan County and gave a brief presentation for the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill. According to Lewis, the Count Committee is still urging Georgians to go online and fill out their Census forms at 2020census.gov. However, they have now identified Aug. 11 as the day they will begin going door-to-door to conduct in-person counts with those who have yet to respond.
“Bryan County is over the projected amount of where we thought we were going to be right now. So that says a lot of good things about your community. It certainly says that people respond and do well here,” Lewis said. “Where we could use some help is in Pembroke and the northern areas. There are some places we need assistance to really make sure the people there feel confident about taking the Census, which, certainly is confidential.”
Enumerators from the U.S. Census Bureau were supposed to start visiting all non-responsive households starting May 13, but that was pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Bureau announced in late April that it would extend the overall deadline to Oct. 31, when self-response and door-to-door data collection will cease.
When a worker collecting information for the 2020 Census visits a home, residents are encouraged to check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.
Census data is used by 316 programs to direct federal funding. These include Medicare and Medicaid, school lunches, health centers, and programs like WIC and SNAP – programs that thousands of people benefit from. When Census participation rates lag and communities do not claim their share of federal funds, the cost of these critical services will be borne with state and local resources.
Census data is also used to adjust political boundaries such as congressional districts as well as state house and senate districts. As the 2010 Census demonstrated, this does matter. Following the last official count, five rural state house districts and two rural state senate districts became urban districts because of population shifts. To ensure appropriate representation after Census 2020, residents must be counted to preserve their political voice.
For more information on the Census in Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org/residents/united-states-census-2020. For more information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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