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With Census Count Deadline Looming, Richmond Lags Behind

people
The U.S. Census will cease counting on September 30. (Photo: Pixaby)

The United States Census wraps up counting in just over a month. Virginia is doing slightly better than other states in responses. However when it comes to regional numbers, Richmond is lagging behind and could lose federal money if people aren’t counted.

Currently, Census responses in Richmond hover at just over 59 percent. That’s lower than both the state and national numbers which clock in the mid-to-upper 60 range. 

And Richmond’s numbers are almost 15-percent less than both Henrico and Chesterfield Counties, which are in the low 70s arena.

Ron Brown, field representative of the U.S. Census said educational programs could be affected if people don’t fill out forms. 

“You look at Headstart programs. You look at daycare programs--all of those are impacted by those federal dollars that would be coming back into communities,” Brown said. 

Brown said for every person missed, $20,000 would be lost over a decade. And he added that it's important to make sure children are included. 

“Across this country in 2010, approximately one million children were missed or not counted,” Brown said.

Any child born by April first of this year should be counted, he said. And  their numbers will have an impact on how federal dollars get distributed.

He said all data collected is confidential and no federal agencies, such as social services, the I.R.S. or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office will have access to people’s information.

The bureau is still hiring counters, Brown said, and will continue going door-to-door in the city. 

Counting ends on September 30--a month earlier than previously scheduled due to a decision from President Donald Trump.

People can fill out the Census at 2020Census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020.

 

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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