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2020 Census deadline and its impact on Northeast Louisiana

October 15 is the last day to complete the 2020 census, but just how important is it for Northeast Louisiana?
October 15 is the last day to complete the 2020 census, but just how important is it for Northeast Louisiana?(Source: KSLA)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:05 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - October 15 is the last day to complete the 2020 census.

Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Local officials say this is critical for Northeast Louisiana.

“The implications of not filling out the census are all negative for us here in Monroe, Ouachita Parish and the state of Louisiana,” said Shane Smiley, Ouachita Parish Police Jury President.

If people don’t fill out the census, this could impact resources such as the Ouachita Parish Transportation Fund, Medicaid, SNAP and other federally funded programs.

“Say for instance is 20,000 people lived in a certain area and only 5,000 are accounted for then you would have federal funds that are being allocated for 5,000 people versus 20,000 people.”

The impact doesn’t stop there.

The government relies on the census count to determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

“On a much larger level the 5th congressional district could even be affected because they’ll look at those numbers and that could dictate how many congressional seats we need in the state of Louisiana,” said Smiley.

Filling it out is quick and simple, and all answers are kept anonymous.

“It really takes about 5 minutes. So if people still have time today I would encourage them to fill that out and send it in,” said Smiley.

For more information, you can visit www.my2020census.gov.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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