Counting the entire population of the country is no easy task, and reaching residents in remote and rural areas is especially challenging.
As of Tuesday, only 45.9% of Calaveras County residents have self-responded to the 2020 Census, while the state as a whole has a self-response rate of 64.3%.
“When people aren’t counted, communities can lose out on federal funding for critical public services like schools and education programs, hospitals and health insurance, transportation funding for public transportation and roads and bridges, and emergency response,” a press release from the U.S. Census Bureau states. “Responses to the 2020 Census also determine how many seats a state may gain or lose in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the census on Aug. 11.
“Responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and never shared with any government agencies including law enforcement,” the press release states. “When people respond on their own, it’s less likely that a census taker will need to visit to help ensure they are counted.”
For each local resident missed in the count, the county expects to lose about $20,000 in federal program funding over the next ten years.
The U.S. Census Bureau is strongly encouraging residents to respond to the census online at my2020Census.gov. Residents can also respond via telephone at (844) 330-2020, or by mailing back their census forms.