Why the Census is so important

The United States Census 2020 is a count of every person in the United States of America and it’s five territories, according to their website. As it is mandated in the U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, the reason the Census exists isn’t just to count the population, but it can be used to help determine where and how the government should spend money on communities, especially in smaller areas like Greene County.

“The Census helps determine how much money we get for various programs in our community,” Larry Marshall, director of Waynesburg Prosperous and Beautiful, said. “Census affects all parts of everyday life in our community like highway planning, and determines whether new businesses and restaurants will open in our area.”

Every 10 years the Census is counted and great amounts of data are collected and used by the government in decision making processes that affect entire communities. Completion of the 2020 Census also goes as far as congressional representation, which has the power to influence national elections.

According to Marshall, “if we apply for grants from [the Department of Community and Economic Development], the amount of money available is from state and federal funds determined by the Census.”

As the month of September comes to a near end, a Sept. 25 Census Bureau news release states, “the Census Bureau has continued to make steady progress as 97.0 percent of all households have been enumerated.”

COVID-19 presented some difficulties in the acquisition of vital household information,

“Since the suspension of field operations in mid-March, the Census Bureau has continually assessed our operational plans, taking into account federal, state and local guidance, and the status of COVID-19 cases to ensure that we can safely fulfill our mission,” the site explained.

The Census Bureau staff restarted in May with a phased approach, according to their website, and applied for an extension which was granted to complete the research gathering. The deadline for completion is now Sep. 30. Citizens can respond to the Census today at 2020Census.gov.