Yadkin County is ranked 17 out of 100 counties for the 2020 Census response rate in North Carolina, but Assistant County Manager Drew Hinkle said he hopes that more households will respond.
“While this is good, we aim to make it higher,” Hinkle said.
Hinkle said the local Census coordinator reports that things are on track for the Census to resume operations as of June 1.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person Census works will likely operate under different protocols, but those specifics have not yet been released. The Census is looking to hire additional part-time employees and hiring is expected to resume on June 1.
”All of their hiring is conducted online and through the Census website at 2020census.gov/jobs. Individuals can still apply online, however they may not hear form the Census until June 1, or later,” explained Hinkle.
Though the official Census Day has come and gone, responses may still be submitted.
“The goal of the census is to get an accurate count of where people physically reside,” explained Hinkle. “You hear that April 1 is Census Day, what the census is referring to is where you are living, how many people are in the home as of April 1.”
Mailers regarding the 2020 Census were mailed out on March 12 which include a reference code that can be used to begin the Census online. However, a code is not needed if residents want to take the Census without it by visiting 2020census.gov.
“The disruption in everyone’s lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the importance of completing this questionnaire,” said Hinkle. “Responses to the U.S. Census affect our public health and disaster preparedness efforts across the county. Data collected from the Census will be used to allocate federal funding. Each person counted amounts to approximately $2,000 in funding annually for Yadkin County. This money is critical to the continuity of services and quality of services provided by the County.”
The county relies on federal funding for a number of areas including the school system and therefore having an accurate count of the number of people living in the county is important, Hinkle said. The 2020 Census is particularly important statewide as North Carolina could potentially gain additional representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“North Carolina is positioned to potentially gain an additional House seat. If our population has grown, we could get additional representation in congress which is huge,” Hinkle said.
“It’s important to get an accurate count, to make sure that the federal government recognizes that we have X number of people in Yadkin County that we need that funding for.
The census data is completely confidential, Hinkle added. The census should be completed by each household and will include basic data including names of those living in the home, the type of home, age, date of birth, race and relationship to the primary respondent.
“They’re not going to ask for your Social Security number, for money or donations, not going to ask anything on political party, not going to ask for bank or credit card numbers,” Hinkle said. “Do not fill out any forms asking for that type of information.”
“We don’t want anyone to be scared to take the census,” Hinkle added. “It is very important that we get a count from everyone, no matter the demographic or age group. We want an accurate count.”
“This is the first time the Census can be completed online at 2020census.gov. Please take the time to complete the questionnaire today. Your response can have a real impact on Yadkin County and the future of our community,” Hinkle added.
For more information on the 2020 Census, or to complete the Census, visit 2020census.gov.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.