By Jessie Wagoner
The clock is ticking and time is quickly running out to make sure you are counted in the 2020 Census. Census responses must be received by Sept. 30 and McPherson County still has quite a ways to go to get every resident counted.
Currently, Kansas has a 69.1 percent response rate to the 2020 Census. McPherson County is sitting at 74 percent of residents responding, leaving 24 percent of residents still uncounted. As a result, McPherson city officials are increasing their efforts to ensure everyone is counted.
“An opportunity has come up with the Department of Commerce,” City Administrator Nick Gregory said. “They are printing door hangers for us to encourage individuals in the community to hopefully get the census completed.”
Gregory explains there are three census tracts that cover McPherson. One tract is almost entirely in McPherson. Currently, that tract is at a 62 percent self-response rate. During the 2010 census, the same tract finished with a 75 percent self-response rate.
“We can see we are a little bit behind the eight ball this year getting self-responses,” Gregory said. “It is absolutely critical that we get as many people counted as we can. That is our biggest challenge area and where we would like to focus on with the door hangers.”
The Department of Commerce has printed the door hangers and are making them available to communities who would like to utilize them. Gregory has requested close to 10,000 of them in English and Spanish to help push the word out about completing the census. The city is establishing a team of people to distribute the door hangers.
Mayor Tom Brown has spoken at several city commission meetings about the importance of completing the 2020 Census. Census results influence road and bridge construction, grants for public transportation, funding for schools, funding for programs in rural areas and how money is allocated during a natural disaster or federal emergency. Currently, census data from the 2010 census is being used to determine how much federal support McPherson County receives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we don’t do this census as accurately as possible, we are only short-changing ourselves,” Mayor Tom Brown said. “Please, send it in, talk to your friends about sending it in. We need to count every person.”
Responding to the census can be done in three ways. Through Sept. 30, you can respond by:
- Going online to www.my202 0census.gov – this is the fastest, safest and easiest way to respond to the census.
- Give them a call at 844-330-2020 – or you can call in one of 12 non-English official languages.
- Drop it in the mail – if you have a paper questionnaire at home, you can mail that back and it will be counted if it’s postmarked by Sept. 30.
The McPherson Public Library will be hosting Census Day on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24 at the library. They will have computers available so residents can come to the library and complete the census online.
- Everyone Counts
- Census Data is important.
- Taking part is your civic duty.
- Your information is confidential.