SNOW HILL – Local participation in the 2020 Census is expected to be on target with response rates from previous years.
Officials said this week Worcester County’s response rates were near what they were in 2010. Kelly Henry, coordinator of Worcester County’s Complete Count Committee, said people have until Oct. 31, 2020, to complete their survey.
“Worcester County is 2% away from hitting the 2010 self response rate, so yes we are on target,” Henry said. “In a year where economics, education and health care have been the focus of concern, making sure that everyone gets counted is even more vitally important.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census deadline has been extended to Oct. 31. While citizens can complete their survey any time between now and then, those who haven’t completed it by mid-August will likely have their homes visited by Census workers.
“If they want to avoid having someone knock at their door, then they should fill the Census survey out prior to mid-August,” Henry said.
She stressed that the survey took less than 10 minutes to complete but would help determine how much funding the state received for the next 10 years.
“The statistical data gathered from a census is used to determine amount and distribution of federal funding, legislative boundaries, marketing studies, grants, etc.,” she said. “In almost every aspect of your life whether young or old, rich or poor, that Census data has impacted decision making for a period of a decade.”
She said the current health situation highlighted the importance of Census figures.
“Everyone wants to return to normal as quickly as possible,” Henry said. “In doing so our health care system needs to have an accurate count of people within the community to make sure that when a vaccine is available there is enough for everyone.”
Though Worcester County has the lowest response rate in the state of Maryland, Henry said the rates shown on the Census reporting website were the self-response rates and that those figures would increase after enumerators began visiting homes. She said Worcester County’s rate was low primarily because of the large number of second homes in the county. She encourages property owners not to ignore the Census survey at their vacation homes but rather to visit the link provided and confirm that no one lived at the property. The Census can be completed online, by phone or by mail. For more information visit 2020census.gov.