Census Bureau calls for more rural participation


FILE – this April 5, 2020 file photo, shows An envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. A federal judge on Thursday, May 21, 2020, agreed to impose financial sanctions against the Trump administration for failing to produce hundreds of documents during litigation over whether a citizenship question could be added to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – It’s something that takes 5 minutes  but affects you for 10 years. The U.S. Census is happening once again and West Texas must fill it out in order to get an accurate population count.  

“It’s for critical services that are provided and funded. There are billions, hundreds of billions of dollars every year that flow down to the local level based on a complete and accurate count,” said Michael Cook, the Division Chief of the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Currently at the national level we have 60% of the households that have responded. Right there in the Midland-Odessa area your hovering around 54%,” said Cook. A big concern is rural areas and making sure they participate also.

He said, “We concentrate on rural households, these are households that don’t get mail where they reside they go to a PO box. It’s important for schools, we want to see how populations are shifting, if there are more kids there needs to be provisions made for them. If it’s older adults there needs to be provisions for them so it’s making it so that people who are making decisions, informed decisions that can impact your life, that they know who you are and where you are.”

It’s never been easier to fill out the census, it can be done  by mail, on-line, or over the phone.  If more rural areas don’t respond to the census they will send out census takers to conduct them in person.

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