INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Dave Wolkins is urging residents to participate in the 2020 Census.
Census responses are critical to future federal funding in local communities, and Hoosiers should respond now if they have not already done so, Wolkins said in a news release.
Door-to-door visits by Census workers was set to begin in some areas around Kosciusko Country as early as Monday, July 20.
Wolkins said Indiana is currently tied for tenth in the nation for response rate, with nearly two-thirds of Hoosier census forms submitted.
“With its nonresponse rate at 41 percent, Kosciusko County lags behind the state average and all six of its surrounding counties,” Wolkins said. “That’s a bit concerning as so much federal funding relies heavily on the collected data. The good news is there is still plenty of time for households to submit their responses, and it takes very little time to do so.”
Wolkins encourages residents to visit 2020Census.gov to fill out the census online. Hoosiers can also call 844-330-2020 or mail back the questionnaire sent to households.
Census takers will begin visiting nonresponding households in northern Indiana from Aug. 11 to Oct. 31 to ensure every resident is counted. Outside of Kosciusko County, Wolkins said about one-third of households in Northeast Indiana counties still need to respond to the 2020 Census, including Grant, Miami and Wabash counties.
Census workers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit households. All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing, and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
Wolkins said everyone is required to fill out the census every 10 years by law, and the information is kept confidential. Personal information cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court.
According to Wolkins, billions of dollars in federal funding to support education, housing, health and public safety are on the line as this data impacts strategic planning decisions about statewide job training, locations of new businesses and public transportation projects.
Self-responses are due by Oct. 31.