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Low census response rates could cost Louisiana

Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says there are only a few more days to take part in the 2020 Census.
Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says there are only a few more days to take part in the 2020 Census.(WAGM)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 9:53 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Only 59 percent of households in Louisiana have responded to the U.S. Census causing State Officials to sound the alarm.

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser says this percentage is dangerously low when compared to the national average of 65 percent.

“It’s really important. We get about $15 billion from the federal government based on those census numbers. And if you remember after Hurricane Katrina, we lost a congressional seat.”

The U.S. Census Bureau says Louisiana has the third lowest count and third-worst self-response rate for the 2020 census.

Even after census takers followed up with non-responsive households, Louisiana’s total percentage of households counted is only 90.4 percent, while the national average is 95.8 percent.

“We don’t have as many people going door to door, something that usually inspires people when they knock on the door to fill out that form,” Nungesser said.

For every 1 percent of our population that complete the census, Louisiana can expect to receive an additional $120 million in important federal funding.

Lt. Gov. Nungesser says a lack of response could cost the state over the next ten years, affecting every aspect of our daily lives.

“We want to make sure we’re not lagging behind other states that everybody encouraged everybody to sign up and make sure we get our numbers counted.”

You only have until the extended Sept. 30 deadline to be counted in the U.S. census and this year is the first time you will be able to answer the census online (www.my2020census.gov), by phone (844-330-2020) or by mail.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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