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Census Day: Local update on survey and COVID-19 impact

Updated: April 01, 2020 06:37 PM

April 1 is Census Day, which is a important reminder to get your 2020 Census done since it helps bring needed federal funding to the local community.

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Census Day is also helpful to people who split their time evenly at home, so on this day, people count themselves based on where they are on Census Day.

So far, 40 percent of Duluth residents have completed the Census survey. With many of us cooped up at home, Census workers say now is a good time to get it done, so we can get an accurate count and get important funding in our communities.

"It's important especially for historically marginalized and undercounted populations to be giving information like your race because that way we can help more equitably direct resources," said Kathy Wilson, the Duluth Census coordinator.

Wilson says the Census helps with getting billions of dollars of federal funding for things like housing, food, education, and transportation to name a few. It also determines our voting districts.

"The funding we get from the federal government in Minnesota is about $2800 per person per year. So over the course of 10 years, that's $28,000 we might miss out on per person if people don't take their Census," said Wilson.

The Census Bureau is seeing affects from the coronavirus pandemic. They suspended field operations. This has affected the hiring process for Census takers too.

"Their original plan was to start doing door to door follow up beginning in May, but right now we are not sure when that's going to happen because obviously the Census Bureau wants to be safe," said Wilson.

The Census Bureau is not sure when training and field operations will start again but are asking workers to be patient and hope to have more answers soon.

"Census does still at this point intend to hire all those folks and have people go out and follow up with households when it is safe to do so," said Wilson.

The Census is a mandate in the constitution and is required to get done. Wilson said it takes a few minutes and asks for basic information that is easy to fill out. For those concerned about their information getting released, Wilson said Census employees are sworn to protect your personal information for 72 years. 

The website to do the survey online is https://my2020census.gov/

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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