With just six weeks to go before the U.S. Census wraps up, about one-third of American households have still not responded to pleas to fill out the questionnaire online (2020census.gov), by mail, over the phone or by interview by a census-taker.
According to a provision in the U.S. Constitution, the decennial census is an exercise whose goal is to count every person living in the United States and its five territories. This is a legal requirement, not an option.
This also is a daunting task even under the best of circumstances, but this census is being conducted in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. In addition, the deadline for gathering the data has been moved up a month, from Oct. 31 until Sept. 30, further underscoring the urgency to get moving.
Starting in July, field workers started attempting to contact householders who had not yet responded to requests to fill out information or to return the questionnaire that they received in the mail or could not be reached by phone.
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, determine hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding, and provide important data and statistics that will be of major importance to communities for the next decade.
Just some of the scores of things that are determined by the Census count are infrastructure funding, support for firefighters and families in need and the school lunch program.
The Census asks some basic questions about you and those living in your household as of April 1 of this year. There are no questions about citizenship.
The U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to keep your responses strictly confidential. Each employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.
The Census Bureau will never ask you for your Social Security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party or your bank or credit card account numbers.
To verify the authenticity of a visiting census-taker, make sure that he or she has a valid ID badge with photograph and a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you have questions, call 844-330-2020 or for Spanish-speaking residents, 844-468-2020.
The percentage of households counted in the five-county Times News area is 63.6%, just about one percentage point better than a month ago; in the U.S. overall, it’s also 63.6%, while in Pennsylvania, it’s 66.6%.
Northampton County leads the way locally with 73.8% of households responding; Lehigh, 72.9%; Schuylkill, 62.4%; Carbon, 58.1%; and Monroe, 50.8%.
Here are community counts as of Aug. 15:
Carbon: Franklin Township, 76.9%; Towamensing Township, 76.7%; East Penn Township, 75.4%; Packer Township, 73.8%; Lower Towamensing Township, 72.5%; Palmerton, 72.1%; Lehigh Township, 70.7%; Summit Hill, 69.9%; Lausanne Township, 69.6%; Lehighton, 69.2%; Mahoning Township, 68.7%; Weatherly, 67.8%; Jim Thorpe, 63.4%; Bowmanstown, 63%; Nesquehoning, 61.6%; Weissport, 56.6%; Lansford, 55%; East Side, 54.9%; Banks Township, 48.8%; Beaver Meadows, 46.7%; Penn Forest Township, 43%; Parryville, 42.7%, and Kidder Township, 15.4%.
Schuylkill: West Penn Township, 76%; Ryan Township, 74.8%; Rush Township, 72.5%; Schuylkill Township, 66.8%; Tamaqua, 61.2%; Coaldale, 59.4%, and New Philadelphia, 57.9%.
Monroe: Ross Township, 68.5%; Chestnuthill Township, 54.1%; Eldred Township, 62.6%, and Polk Township, 58.8%.
Northampton: Lehigh Township, 78.2%; and Walnutport, 75%.
Lehigh: Lowhill Township, 85.8%; Weisenberg Township, 81.4%; Washington Township, 80.3%; Heidelberg Township, 79.8%; Lynn Township, 78.5%; and Slatington, 69.8%
By Bruce Frassinelli | firstname.lastname@example.org