The 2020 Census is underway, and less than half of the households in Grady County have responded so far, a worry for many local leaders.
According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.9 percent of Grady County residents have self-responded. That’s lower than the statewide response rate, which is 56.2 percent, the Census Bureau reports.
It is estimated that in the last census in 2010, 61.9 percent of local residents self-responded.
Grady countians may supply their census information online, by telephone, or by mail.
In Grady County, 23.1 percent have utilized the internet to submit their answers.
Residents in the City of Cairo have responded at the same rate as the county, 46.9 percent, while only 36.8 percent of Whigham residents have responded.
Of the City of Cairo respondents, 20.2 percent have used the internet, and in Whigham, 31.2 percent have used the internet to submit their answers.
The census provides vital information for individuals and their communities. It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. The census statistics help communities plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools and emergency services. Businesses use census data to determine where to open places to shop. Each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on Census Bureau data.
Grady County school superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard sent out an alert to teachers and parents urging them to respond to the Census, if they had not already.
“It is absolutely critical that our state has an accurate census count. The data collection from this will be the basis for all levels of legislative representation for the next decade and determines the amount of federal funding that will be distributed to programs in our community. The funding from the 2020 Census impacts programs that we use every day; such as Title I Grants, the National School Lunch Program, the Special Education Grant Program (IDEA), and many more,” Dr. Gilliard said.
He added, “There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a series of challenges to our community. However, this means that it is more important than ever that we remain unified and do our best to help and serve our children and remain dedicated to their education.”
The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade a count, or a census, is made of America’s population.
It is easier than ever to respond to the 2020 Census. Georgians can do it from the safety of their homes in one of three ways: online at my2020census.gov, over the phone at 1-844-330-2020, or by mail using the paper questionnaire each household received via the U.S. Postal Service.