Nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds at risk of not being counted in the census


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (WLNS) – Forty-five percent of young adults don’t live at home and are considered less likely to respond to the census.

These 18- to 24-year-olds are living on their own or with roommates, and tend to be unmarried and renters.

Many have moved so frequently that surveys and mailings from the Census Bureau may never reach them.

Additionally, when census takers attempt to reach them in person, the buildings can be difficult to access because of locked gates or lobbies. If census takers do reach their front doors, often the young people who live there may not be home.

The “young and mobile” population is made up of the youngest Millennials born at the tail end of their generation but includes the oldest members of Generation Z born after 1996. More than 39 percent say they’re not familiar with the 2020 Census and more than 18 percent say they’re unlikely to respond, according to the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes and Motivators Study.

Some were too young to take the last census or understand why it’s important, but young adults should participate because their answers will help shape their futures. The count helps distribute billions of dollars a year in federal funding for student-aid programs, urban development, and public transit. Additionally, it will determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“By filling in the census, you are participating in a democracy,” said Cecilia Clarke, member of the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee. “Your voice matters and that voice can be an engine to make things better in this country.”

The census has been a cornerstone of American democracy since the first national count in 1790.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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