Vermont Census response rate among the lowest in the country, officials urge participation

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Vermont officials want you to know those census postcards cards are not junk mail. The state has one of the lowest census response rates in the country and government officials want Vermonters to help change that.

Jason Broughton is the state librarian and the complete count committee chair for the 2020 u-s census. He said Vermont has work to do. Before March 3rd, Vermont was around 32% participation. Now, Vermont is around 54.5%. Broughton said he thanks social media for the increase since March. However, some census operations did have to shut down due to the pandemic.

“Our field operations had to stop. Numerators couldn’t go out to do in person check ins. The schools, the universities also get counted a certain way,” said Broughton.

The U.S Census happens every ten years and counts every living person. The count helps figure out how federal funding should be allocated to each state.

“We could have loss of representation in some of our areas if we are not very careful, and of course that would mean reduced funding at a time we might need it most,” said Broughton.

Census data helps determine how much funding Vermont receives for more than 50 different government programs. The Governor said Vermonters participation is essential in restoring the economy after the pandemic.

“Making sure we get every dollar of federal relief we can is so important to our recovery, and it’s not just for disaster relief. It’s infrastructure projects, school lunch programs, and so much more,” said Governor Scott.

You can fill out the 2020 Census online by going to 2020census.gov.  You can also mail in a census form, request a form to fill out in person, or you can call the number on the website. 

“It can be done in anywhere from 5-10 minutes if you do it online,” said Broughton.

The census count typically wraps up around August, but Broughton says congress is working to extend the deadline to October.

For more information, click here.

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