ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — If you haven’t filled out your 2020 U.S. Census yet, it’s not to late.
The U.S. Census is a short questionnaire that counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories. After the data is collected, local, state, and federal officials use the statistics to determine where funds will go and how much funding communities receive.
The census is done every 10 years.
Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Census suspended field operations in April, and workers stopped going door-to-door to help residents fill out the form.
“Had we not had the option to respond on the internet, we would be in a much different place,” Assistant Director for Communications Stephen Buckner said. “We are right where we thought we would be. Given the pandemic and the fact that every household doesn’t respond, we have to follow up and knock on their doors. We’d rather get that rate up higher if we can.”
This year, more than half of Hoosiers responded to the Census Bureau via the internet. Indiana is ranked 10th in the country for returning the census forms. So far, 66 percent of Fort Wayne residents have responded to the census, which is higher than the national response rate.
There is room for improvement, though.
Census workers will start following up with residents door-to-door starting in August.
“We’ve made it as easy as possible this time around to be counted and that your community gets a fair share of representation and funding that comes along with census population count,” Buckner said. “It’s really important and everybody wins when you respond to the census.”
For students attending college and living on campus during the time the virus hits, the campus housing authority will count you. But if you live in off-campus housing, you are asked to fill out the form.
Residents are encouraged to respond by phone, online, or by mailing back the census form.