The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), in conjunction with Alabama Counts, announced on Tuesday the Census Bureau had extended the 2020 Census until Oct. 5 nationwide.
What this means for Alabama is there is still time to be counted. According to data provided by 2020census.gov, Alabama is still trailing behind with a 63.1% self-response rate and DeKalb County contributing with a 53.5% response rate.
Although DeKalb County’s self-response has increased by 1.6% since the beginning of September, it's still considered among one of the counties with a low self-response rate.
Tuesday's announcements came from the U.S Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. He said the extension gave people the opportunity to self-respond to the Census questionnaire or the door-to-door census takers.
“This extension will give Census Bureau field workers more time to follow up with Alabama households that have not yet responded to the census,” said ADECA Director and Alabama Counts Chairman Kenneth Boswell.
As the household response percentage continues to “trek upward,” Boswell said they hope to see additional increases in response throughout the upcoming week.
For the next few days, those who have not already participated in the 2020 Census are encouraged to do so by self-responding online at www.my2020census.gov, by phone toll-free at 844-330-2020, by returning the mailed paper form or by providing your household’s information to the door-to-door census takers.
The Census asks the following basic information about the people living in or staying in your household on April 1, 2020.
• How many people are living or staying in your household and the relationship of each person.
• Whether the home is owned or rented.
• About the age and sex of each person in your home.
• About the race of each person in your home and specifically whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.
The information is used to create estimates about families, households, and other groups for planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone. These responses help create statistics about ethnic groups needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions.
According to the 2020census.gov, any information given in the 2020 Census is protected by strict federal law. There are no citizenship questions and you do not have to provide your social security number, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.
Although the deadline has been extended, Alabama still stands to lose billions of dollars in community funding if there is no change in the response rate.
“We ask that you take action for generations to come here in Alabama by completing the 2020 Census,” Boswell said. “It takes a matter of minutes to determine the future of our state. Let’s use this time to cement our tally and influence all that depends on this final count.”
Individuals with questions about the 2020 Census can text “COUNT” to 205-304-5505.