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Census is important, so get counted before it’s too late

Regardless of when the U.S. Census gathering ends — either September or October, at this point — the clock is ticking to get your information filled out and submitted.

Why is that important?

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in the region are at stake over the next 10 years if the area is under-counted. The census numbers will be used as the basis for any potential grant funding coming back to a government entity.

Thus, it is imperative everyone is counted.

Census gathering in the field was to end Oct. 31, but Census officials moved it up to Sept. 30 because, according to them, it was the only way to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to have all the information compiled. Since then, several government entities have brought litigation against the government to reinstate the original Oct. 31 date. That litigation is pending in court right now.

Compared nationally, Michigan has the fourth-highest rate of return in census numbers.

U.S. Census officials outline a number of reasons why the statistic-gathering is important.

According to their website:

“The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation — who we are, where we live, and so much more.

“The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

“Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

“The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.”

Be counted this year!

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