Accurate Count

Deadline nearing to get counted in census

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The deadline is nearing to get counted in the census.

Census takers have until Sept. 30 to finish knocking on doors following up with households who haven’t self-responded to the once-in-a-decade tally.

“We’re working very hard to have a complete and accurate count,” said U.S. Census Bureau spokesman Tim Swarens, who was confident that field workers could finish counting by the deadline.

The cutoff date, which was first confirmed by NPR, is a month sooner than the agency previously announced. Officials say they moved up the deadline in order to deliver the count to the president by the end of the year, as required by law. Critics say the agency should go back to the extended schedule to ensure accurate results.

Workers in many of Indiana’s field offices began following up with non-respondents in July, a month earlier than most of the rest of the country, Swarens said.

About nine-out-of-10 Hoosiers had been counted as of last week, according to statistics posted on the bureau’s website.

In Montgomery County, more than two thirds of residents have self-responded to the census, statistics show, matching the state average.

The final self-response rate in 2010 was 69.5%.

The south central side of Montgomery County currently leads in response rates. The southeastern portion of the county has the lowest response. Households had the option of completing the census online, by paper or over the phone this year.

Daily updates of response data are available at 2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html.

Census data help determine how much funding states receive for federal programs, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The 16 largest federal programs allocating funds based mainly on the census have distributed more than $11 billion to Indiana, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

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