Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday said the COVID-19 pandemic and devastation it’s had on the state’s economy has made the need for all Alabamians to fill out the 2020 census even more important.
“It really brings home the importance of the $13 billion in federal funding that comes to the state each year, and the critical importance of maintaining our current level of congressional representation in Washington,” Ivey said during a web conference with reporters Tuesday.
Oct. 31 is the last day to fill out the 2020 census. To fill out the 10-question census visit www.my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2010.
Alabama’s participation in the 2020 census so far is at about 59.8 percent, which is about 2.5 percentage points behind the national average, Ivey said.
“To put it plainly, 60 percent just won’t get it. Self-response at that level just will not cut the mustard. We remain at serious risk of losing representation and critical federal funding if we don’t achieve maximum participation,” Ivey said.
Low participation in the 2020 census could cost the state federal funding for education, housing assistance, road and infrastructure projects and health care, Ivey said. Many federal grant programs use population estimates from the census to determine funding levels.
Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and chairman of the Alabama Counts committee, said during the press briefing that COVID-19 has had an impact on the state’s census drive, but that officials are renewing the emphasis this summer and fall.