COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- April 1st is United States Census Day. By now most of you should have received your census survey via the mail. And during times of need like right now responding to the coronavirus, that data collected is extremely important.
The census is a way for the federal government to get a detailed glimpse of South Carolina’s population. That information is used to determine how the federal government will divide up it’s $60 billion state budget.
Officials across the country are encouraging people to fill out the census survey. You take just a few minutes to answer questions that determine how billions of dollars are spent on the state.
“More money for our elders and aging program that comes from the federal government grants and funds, for children in DSS, for schools,” explained Lt. Governor Pamela Evette.
The census also determines the number of congressional districts each state gets. In 2010 South Carolina gained a district based on census information.
Marilyn Stephens the regional coordinator for the US Census Bureau outlined the importance of having accurate representation in Congress. “The more congressional district representation you have the bigger your voice.”
The 2020 census is different from other surveys conducted in years before. The numbers will still represent the state’s population for a period of 10 years, but how that data is collected has changed.
“This is the census of options, you can go online, you can call our center, or you can send back your paper questionnaire,” added Stephens.
Coronavirus concerns pushed back the collection deadline 2 weeks from July 31st to August 14th.
Lt. Governor Evette continued on the census’ importance. “Upwards of $60 billion is sitting at the federal level waiting to come down for much needed programs and if we’re not counted, it’s just going to another state.”
The states are expected to submit their census numbers to the federal government by December 31. Right now there is not an extension for the census, in order for that to happen Congress would have the say so.
So far 34% of South Carolina households have completed the census. Complete your census HERE.