Lee County Complete Count Committee Urges Public Participation in 2020 Census
On Tuesday, February 25, the Lee County Complete Count Committee met at the Enrichment Center to discuss plans to increase public participation in the upcoming 2020 Census.
What is the census?
The Census is a population count mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.
The 2020 Census will count the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
Census data will determine representation in the United States House of Representatives and the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding for housing, emergency services, healthcare, education, roads, and many other programs and services.
How does the census affect our community?
Community funding is a driving motivator for the Lee County Complete Count Committee.
Currently, the Lee County community receives an estimated $1860/person annually in census data driven funding. This means the community lost approximately $18,600/person over the last decade for every person that did not get counted in the 2010 Census.
According to Census Bureau staff, Lee County had a 60% response rate in the 2000 Census and 74% in the 2010 Census. The committee hopes Lee County can achieve a minimum of 84% response rate in 2020.
Lee County needs a complete count
Lee County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Amy Dalrymple
leads the Lee County Complete Count Committee.
“Ensuring we have a complete count in Lee County is essential to the future of our community,” said Dalrymple. “There is a lot of confusion over what the Census is and what will be done with the information. The job of the committee is to help educate the community so they know this is a population count, not a residency questionnaire; and that data gathered is confidential and for analysis and information only."
"Most importantly," Dalrymple says, "the public needs to understand this is our opportunity to get our population numbers correct so that we have fair representation and funding that will support our community for the next decade. If we get it wrong, it stays wrong for the next ten years.”
What to expect and how to participate
Invitations for the 2020 Census will be mailed to households beginning in March.
The Lee County Complete Count Committee is sponsoring Lee County Census Week from March 28 through April 4.
Lee County Census Day is March 28 and National Census Day scheduled for April 1.
The committee is working on increasing public access points for computers to allow people with limited access to internet the opportunity to complete their Census online.
Lee County Government has created a Lee County NC Census Week event page
and the Lee County Complete Count Committee will be sharing information through various channels to ensure everyone counts in the 2020 Census.
For additional information and questions, contact the Lee County Manager’s Office at 919-718-4605 or visit 2020census.gov
.*This information was published by Lee County Government. The City of Sanford is a member of the Lee County Complete Count Committee.