Are You Being Counted?
The US decennial census kicked off in the spring and the count will finish up by October 2020. Census data collected this year will be used for important forecasting and allocations for the next ten years, including Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) designations and more.
There is no denying the impact of COVID-19 on the effort of organizers and community leaders to make the public aware of the ongoing importance of the Census. Census takers will be starting door-to-door response collection in August, which is later than expected, and every employee takes an oath to protect personal information for life.
The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect every household’s answers and keep them strictly confidential.
As of June 26, 2020, Appalachian counties in Ohio are falling behind the state average for Census return rates. Among OVRDC counties, only Clermont County and Brown County are on track with the rest of Ohio’s self-response rates. All other OVRDC counties are well below the state average and in danger of being undercounted. Scioto, Pike, and Vinton counties show, so far, among the lowest response rates in the state.