Residents not filling out census could cost county money

Residents not filling out census could cost county money

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The 224th US Census will be conducted in 2020. The first of them dates back to the late 1700s.

And there's new changes this year, giving people more options on how they complete it.

Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton says if they want to attract more businesses, they have to provide those accurate census numbers. But it goes beyond that.

Federal and state grants are dependent on those numbers. Mandated by law, a census must be conducted every 10 years.

For the first time, residents will have the option to fill it out online where 12 different languages will be available.

That is in addition to traditional methods, such as by paper questionnaire or over the telephone where 59 different languages will be offered. The census is about 10 questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

There’s roughly $675 billion worth of federal funds given out based on census counts.

John Washington University did a study and found about $972/year are missed out on by communities for every person not counted.

“Lets do some easy math and round that number up to 1000: If a household of five people choose not to complete their census form, that’s $5,000 the community potentially misses out on for one year," explains Crystal Boyett, Partnership specialist with the US Census Bureau. "We don’t a census every year, we do them every 10 years. So now multiple that $5,000 by 10.”

Census data is to only be released after 72 years. Releases up until then are on in statistical format, meaning no identifiable information.

If a household does not complete their census questionnaire, a census taker will be by next April and into the summer months to convince them to fill it out.

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