State, county lag behind in Census

Published 7:55 pm Friday, May 1, 2020

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Pike County and Alabama are trending behind the nation in response to the 2020 Census.

As Census 2020 numbers continue to roll in, the latest results as reported via show that as of April 28, Pike County is at 52.6 percent overall; Brundidge is at 43.9 percent, Banks at 26.4 percent and Troy at 42.5 percent.

Overall, Alabama is reporting a 50.3 percent response rate – well below the 62.5 percent total self-response rate in 2010.

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“Come on folks, we’ve got to get these numbers up,” said Alabama Counts! Chairman Kenneth Boswell. “We’ve got work to do in each county, especially in those like Pike County.”

Boswell said it’s time for strong leadership to rally the troops and let them know the far-reaching importance of the 2020 census.

“The 2020 census is heavy on  my mind because it will determine whether life is tougher or better for my grandchildren over the next 10 years, Boswell said. “I’m looking out for them, too, because, if we don’t take the five minutes it takes to fill out the 2020 census form, life will be tougher on our grandchildren, on all of us.”

The 2020 Census form takes less time to fill out than a credit card application and asks simply for names and ages and does not include any questions related to finances.

“Children are the most unaccounted for in the census,” Boswell said. “It is important that every person, children included, is counted. So, when in doubt— count! And children count!”

The 2020 Census makes dollars and “sense” for every individual in every hamlet, every town and every city. 

So, Boswell said it’s up to the individual cities and towns to make their citizens aware of what could be down the bumpy road for them if they fail to be counted.

“We all want good, safe roads and bridges to drive and ride on,” he said. “We want good schools for our children and for them— for all of us — to have good health care. That’s what is riding on the 2020 Census. So, the leadership in each town or city needs to take the responsibility of letting their citizens know what is at stake. If you think COVID-19 is devastating, imagine what a low 2020 Census count would mean for all of us.”

Boswell said the 2020 Census is the most critical this country has participated in because of what is stake and just as critical for Alabama.

Alabama must exceed its 2010 Census count to keep its current number of federal representative and ensure that it is provided the more than $13 billion in census-derived funding at stake and for it to continue to be considered for new and expanding economic development opportunities moving forward.

“It will be much tougher on cities and counties if their sales tax dollars are not multiplied on the federal level,” Boswell said. He pointed to the dollars that have come to businesses and cities during COVID-19 that are providing much needed assistance to businesses and workers during the pandemic. 

Boswell said, too often, the representatives in Washington are regarded as out of sight out of mind.

“But, think about the CARES Act and the assistance to individual workers and small business that are keeping this country moving during this unprecedented time.”

A low census will cost on an individual level because taxes will have to be raised to help local counties and municipalities offset the loss of revenue, therefore, those federal dollars are most important.

Boswell said the 2020 Census is most importance to the City of Brundidge, which will be classified as a township rather than as a city if its population, falls below the 2,000 mark. The 2010 Census had Brundidge at 2,076.

As a township, Brundidge could be restricted to certain matching grant programs and the schools could be impacted. Most often, more dollars are available to cities than townships.

Boswell said everyone is encouraged to fill out and send in their 2020 Census forms. The form can also be filled out on line. Google 2020 Census Form.

Those who do not respond will be contact by a Census worker before the deadline for the submission of the 2020 Census forms.