Special Report: Getting Arkansans counted for the 2020 Census


The Census Bureau will end data collection on Sept. 30

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Where were you ten years ago? How have your fiances changed since then? Has your family grown? What about your needs and wants?
This info of what has changed in our live can make a big difference in how our cities change in the future.

“It’s a big hit to the city if you are not counted…financially for the schools, roads,” Kurt Maddox said

Maddox is the Mayor of Gravette. The city’s population in 2010, just a little more than 2,300.

“Our total participation rate 10 years ago was right at 68%,” Maddox said. “We’re already just under 64% – 63.3%.”

This year, he wants more of his community counted. Using fund from a grant, kiosks have been purchased and set up around the city to give locals easy ability to respond. There’s a kiosk at City Hall, the Gravette Library and a mobile one that gets moved around town.

“We do know that because of a low count Arkansas is at risk of losing more representation,” Erika Aguirre said.

Erika Aguirre is a census coordinator for Arkansas. She says they’re working with city leaders and consulates to reach minority communities and let people know they’re information is protected by law. She says if you haven’t completed it yet – Covid-19 or not – census takers will come knocking.

“But our census takers are taking precautions they also have to take a training prior to going out to the field,” Aguirre said.

If you’d rather avoid the face-to-face contact, you can still send in your paper for but the deadline is approaching. The Census Bureau will end data collection by Sept. 30th and self response options will also close on that date with the goal of accelerating data collection and apportionment counts by the Dec. 31st deadline.

Aguirre said you can still fill out the census even if you misplaced the code the was given to you.

“Do it for your kids they’re going to need the emergency services, they’re going to need those hospitals, roads,” Aguirre said.

Here’s a few date response rates from cities in our area as of Aug 31st:

Gravette – 64%
Bentonville – 67.3%
Fayetteville – 65.2%
Fort Smith – 63.5%

If you haven’t completed the census yet, you can fill it out on the website. You can also call 844-330-2020 if you have any questions.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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