Leaders stress the importance taking part in the 2020 census

Lauren Andrego is joined by two local census experts, Molly Westman, a planning coordinator in...
Lauren Andrego is joined by two local census experts, Molly Westman, a planning coordinator in the Community Development division of the City of Mankato, and Harbi Hassan, a community liaison specialist with the Mankato Community Education, on KEYC News Now at 6:30 to learn more about what the census is and why your participation is so important to several groups and organizations in our community.(Associated Press (custom credit) | AP)
Updated: Mar. 5, 2020 at 6:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Leaders with the county’s Complete Count Committee met Thursday to discuss the importance of counting every individual for the 2020 census.

“Every ten years, a decennial survey is taken and it counts every person in our country,” said Demorrio Thomas with the U.S. Census Bureau.

County leaders believe there are 230,000 citizens in our community and say it’s crucial to get the most accurate count possible of women, men and children.

“It’s really all about money. There are so many federal dollars at stake. Right down to our public schools, funding for road projects, our hospital and for the Department of Social Services when it comes down to child abuse and elder abuse, and those types of things,” said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr.

Accurate census numbers also dictate political representation in areas.

“The census determines how many congressional seats there are, it also determines the makeup of our congressional districts and local districts,” Thomas said.

There are challenges to having accurate numbers because of hard to count populations.

“First it’s going to be our most under counted population of individuals and that’s our children aged 0-5. We want to spread the word that all children count. If they are born, and living and breathing by April 1, then they should be counted during this decennial survey.”

Elderly individuals, non-English speaking people, and people who rent homes are among those who are determined to be other hard to count populations.

Starting March 12, everyone can start filling out the census survey online. All libraries around New Hanover County will have stations where people can fill it out. Citizens can also fill out the survey by telephone or mail.

Census leaders stress the importance of answering all questions on the survey as accurately as possible.

You have until July 31 to take part in the 2020 census. For more information about how to make sure your counted, click here.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.