There’s still time to fill out the U.S. Census


FILE – This Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau has spent much of the past year defending itself against allegations that its duties have been overtaken by politics. With a failed attempt by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question, the hiring of three political appointees with limited experience to top positions, a sped-up schedule and a directive from President Donald Trump to exclude undocumented residents from the process of redrawing congressional districts, the 2020 census has descended into a high-stakes partisan battle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — You still have time to fill out the U.S. Census. It’s an important survey that determines a lot of what goes on in a community.

The majority of Arkansans have responded to the census. As of Wednesday (September 16), about 96% of people statewide have completed the survey, which is higher than the national average of almost 93%.

The census determines several things including how billions of dollars will be used toward funding emergency services, school lunch programs, and highway and road grants for the next ten years.

“We don’t want to undercount in Arkansas,” said Virginia Hyer with the U.S Census Bureau. “We want to count everyone so you all receive the school lunch programs that you need, the highways and roads that you need, along with those emergency services. Those are so important for your community.”

Hyer said the U.S. Census Bureau takes about ten minutes to complete. About 400,000 census takers have been out in the community knocking on doors of people who have not yet responded.

As a way to keep themselves and the public safe, they have all been provided with PPE and are trained in social distancing. They will conduct the interview from at least six feet away.

If someone does come to your door, make sure they identify themselves as a census worker, that they’re wearing a mask, and that they have a census identification card.

Representatives are also calling places that are harder to get to, but it’s important to be able to recognize when you’re being scammed.

“The Census Bureau will not ask about a political party, we will not ask about your social security number, and we will not ask about financial information,” Hyer said.

Instead, representatives will only ask questions that are actually on the census like your age, your sex, and whether you rent or own your home. There are different ways to respond to the census, including by mail, by phone, or online.

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

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