The 2020 Census count is underway and residents of Thomas County and Thomasville are doing their part to be counted. The City of Thomasville reminds residents that Census Day is observed nationwide on Wednesday, April 1st. Residents should count themselves where they live as of April 1, 2020.
‘To date, Thomas County has a 32.1% self-response rate,” said Sherri Nix, City of Thomasville Public Outreach Manager. “Thomasville residents have really done a great job in the early weeks of the count but we need to encourage our friends and families to fill out their forms to make sure everyone in their home is counted. Each person counted equals $2,300 in federal funds that Thomas County will receive. If everyone fills out their forms that can mean $102.2 million for Thomas County.”
Residents of Thomas County began receiving their census forms in the mail on March 12th. For the first time, citizens are able to enter their census information online. “Our high early response rate has shown that our residents have taken advantage of the convenient online response option,” says Nix. “We need residents to keep the momentum going, their participation will help improve our community by ensuring that our funding for the next ten years is in line with our population.” Nix reminds residents that in addition to funding, Census data is used to determine how district lines are drawn for Congressional and state legislative districts and to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives.
In this time of uncertainty, due to COVID-19, the Census Bureau is encouraging residents to take preventative measures and take advantage of technology in order to submit their response without having to meet a census taker. “Many households have turned the online census response into a family event,” said Nix. “Some parents have made this an educational opportunity for the kids by including them in the process of submitting their form.”
Nix also reminds residents that although most local college students have returned to their residences within Thomas County, they should not be counted within their local household. “These delicate times have caused some confusion in counting college students that live away from home,” said Nix. “As a rule of thumb, our local college students living away from Thomas County should still be counted where they live and sleep most of the time.”
Residents that cannot submit their 2020 Census questionnaire form online, can submit their form by mail or by phone. “Mail response forms for homes that have not responded online are expected to arrive in households on approximately April 15th,” said Nix. Census forms provide instructions for responding by phone and is available in English along with 12 additional languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.
“As a reminder, this is our chance to impact our community through funds to support things such as housing grants, infrastructure projects, health care and disaster response,” said Nix. “We should take pride in this opportunity to fulfill our civic duty. Remember, Every. One. Counts.”