ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With just 15 days until the deadline to respond to the 2020 census, officials with the U.S. Census Bureau said they still have a lot of work to do by Sept. 30.
“Just to give you a context in Orange County, we have 64,000 total addresses remaining to count over the next couple of weeks,” said Tim Olson, associate director for field operations for the U.S. Census Bureau.
In an effort to make sure no one is left out of the 2020 census, census takers have been knocking on doors and will keep doing so during the next two weeks.
“Since over the last month -- a little more than a month -- we’ve been following up with households that did not respond,” Olson said. “We have in Florida over 15,000 census takers that are actively following up with individual addresses that we haven’t heard from. They’re being very successful, but it is a lot of work to meet what our requirements are.”
According to Olson, as of Tuesday, more than 92% of households have responded the 2020 census nationwide. Florida is at a total response rate of 87.4%.
The U.S. Census Bureau said the federal government will be allocating $675 billion each year for communities across the country -- money that will go toward public transportation, schools and housing programs.
If a household is unaccounted for, that could potentially jeopardize the amount of money a community will receive over the next 10 years.
“Wherever we live, Florida, Washington D.C., Minnesota, California, Texas -- our lives are directly affected, our quality of life is directly affected by that resource that comes in,” Olson said. “When I talk about the $675 billion in federal money, that covers the work of many, many federal agencies.”
Public cooperation is key because those allocated funds depend on the information provided by the census, which can affect programs such as housing programs.
“I know HUD, Housing and Urban Development, uses census data in their various programs for low-income housing, housing rehabilitation. All of the things they do and so yeah, the count will affect the money that does come back into the community,” Olson said.
If you haven’t responded you can still do so online at 2020census.gov.