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Census deadline shortened by one month

The United States Census Bureau made an announcement that they would be shortening the census deadline by one month on Monday, Aug. 3.

The census deadline has been shortened by one month, ending  Sept. 30 instead of the original deadline of Oct 31.

The Census Bureau made the decision in order to expedite the process of data collection to meet the end-of-year deadline. The decision will remove 31 days from the timeline needed to improve self-response and conduct non-response follow-up (NRFU).

“Currently, the City of Oxford has the lowest response rate in Mississippi of cites over 5,000 people and 63rd out of 63 cities,” Mark Levy said “Lafayette County has the lowest response rate of all counties in the 22 county Northern Congressional District and is 63rd out of 82 counties in the state.”

The loss of one month could mean billions of dollars to Mississippi. States like Mississippi have a higher percentage of hard-to-count areas and populations, which benefit from in-person follow-up.

“We have been working to get the message out through social media, print media, text, and phone,” Levy said. “Oxford School District, Lafayette School District, and Lafayette County Emergency Management have been tremendous partners.”

The Census Bureau has planned for bureau employees to knock on doors to follow-up with people who have not responded to the census. This will begin August 11 and end on Oct. 31.

“We have no control over the Census deadline, but are making a strong last effort to get the message out,” Levy said. “Please don’t wait. The Census survey takes 10-minutes and can result in up to $5,000 funding per person. The Census may be completed online, mail, or telephone.”

The 2020 Census marked the first time a questionnaire has been completed online. The low level broadband internet subscriptions has negatively impacted Mississippians.

The high levels of poverty that persist in Mississippi as well as education, health and our overall infrastructure needs have been exacerbated thanks to COVID. According to Giles Ward, a former state senator, the low response rate of the 2020 census will impact the state for the next decade if not more.

For more information about the Census or to respond to the Census visit https://my2020census.gov/.