The 2020 Census is approaching and the goal of the U.S. Census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. During the 2010 census, nearly 20% of the Whitley County residents were not counted.
As a constitutional mandate, a headcount is required every 10 years of everyone residing in the United States. The importance of counting all Whitley County residents determines legislative representation and federal funding dollars. In 2010, nearly 3,4074 residents were not counted, which left more than $25 million in federal funding on the table. The census officials say each man, woman and child make up $2,700 per person in the $675 billion in federal funds distributed.
The US Census Bureau Response Outreach Area Map (ROAM) is an interactive web application that shows each census tract. It provides the predicted mail non-response rates, based on an assigned low response score (LRS) for the upcoming 2020 Census. (ROAM may be accessed at https://www.census.gov/roam.)
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is encouraging stakeholders including government officials, business leaders, educators, social service organizations, libraries, childcare providers, and any interested citizens to consider acting as partners in the 2020 Census to help mitigate the risk of missing essential federal funding and other opportunities.
Becoming a 2020 Census Partner means joining local efforts by spreading the word about the importance of a complete count, helping citizens understand the benefits of participating and busting myths about privacy or confidentiality that may cause concern. Any individual, agency, entity, or organization can become a 2020 Census Partner by participating in serval activities.
In addition to the monetary reasons to facilitate a complete count, it is also a matter of law. The U.S. Constitution mandates a census every 10 years. This means that only once every 10 years can seats in the House of Representatives be reapportioned. State officials also redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts based on the census. If people are not counted, fair representation is at risk.
Census takers are currently being sought for Whitley County and the pay rate of more than $18 per hour plus mileage. Anyone interested in applying for a variety of census jobs can find more information and apply at census.gov/jos.
Adapted from Lori Gagan, Noble County EDC