WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a press release regarding community participation in the census, the U.S. Census Bureau states Florida has a response rate of 54.1%, and the national average is 56.3%. Palm Beach County has a 54.9% response rate and ranks 23rd out of 67 counties. Okeechobee ranks number 52 with a response rate of 39%. Hendry County is number 60 with a response rate of 33.4%, and Glades County is number 64 with a rate of only 26.4%.
The United States Census Bureau states, “Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
“Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.”
If you choose not to complete the census or just forget to take five minutes to fill it out, you are robbing your county of the federal money it needs in order to operate efficiently. The more people who are counted in your county, the more funds available to that county in the form of federal programs.
If you have not completed the census yet, you can do so by going online to 2020census.gov. If you received a code in the mail, use it when you sign in, but if you did not get the card with a code on it, you can still fill it out without one.
You can also complete the census by phone or by mail. If you would like to respond by telephone, the number is 844-330-2020.
The deadline for self-reporting has been extended to Oct. 31.