Gov. Edwards says not enough Louisianans have filled out 2020 Census

Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 9:26 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards is urging Louisiana residents to fill out the 2020 Census if they have not done so already.

The governor’s office says right now, the state has a 55.7% response rate, compared to the national average of 61.4%. About 1.3 million households have filled out the census, but Louisiana ranks 44th in the country for response rate and last in the deep south.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of filling out the Census form,” said Gov. Edwards. “Funding for many resources that our communities and state rely on are at stake, and we need every single person in Louisiana from the young to the young at heart to be included. No one is too young or too old. This opportunity only happens once every 10 years. For the next 10 years, the federal government will rely on the information collected in 2020 to help guide distribution of approximately $1.5 trillion in annual spending across 316 federal programs. These programs include Medicaid, direct student loans, highway construction grants, low income tax credits and loans, and even adoption assistance programs. In addition, the numbers help determine boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts. That’s why participation is imperative.”

Here are some of the local programs that rely on the Census numbers for funding:

  • Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies, which provide financial assistance to schools and school districts with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet state academic standards
  • Community Development Block Grants Entitlement Program, which provides annual grants to cities and counties with sufficient populations (over 50,000 for cities and over 200,000 for counties) to help provide decent housing and suitable living conditions, and to expand economic opportunities, primarily for people with low and moderate income
  • Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Programs for Dislocated Workers, Adults, and Youths, which provide financial support for employment and training services including job searching, career counseling, placement assistance, and relocation assistance

Click here to fill out the Census online. Call 1-844-330-2020 for more information, or to request a form by mail.

The governor’s office says due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to respond has been extended. The non-response followup will begin in August and end Oct. 31.

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