Alabama still has worst census response rate; deadline approaching

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Our state is dead last for responding to the census, but we have until the end of the month to change that.

There is a lot on the line for Alabama when it comes to the census, from congress, to healthcare.

Right now we have a 62.7 response rate for the Census.

“If we don’t get the census data up in the next year, two years, our federal money will be cut and we won’t have enough of these supplies for everybody that needs them. We won’t have enough vaccines for everybody that needs them,” Judy Smith said.

Judy Smith with the Alabama Department of Public Health says your response is critical. She says responding to the census will help ensure ADPH receives necessary funding for health programs.

Congressman Robert Aderholt says the next 10 years are at stake.

“This is not just for two years. This is for a 10 year cycle, so it’s important that we get those numbers straight,” Aderholt said.

The federal government relies on census data to help distribute more than a trillion dollars in spending across federal programs every year. A spokesman in Aderholt’s office says Alabama receives $1,600 for every person, each year.

“We want to get all that we’re entitled to. We want to make sure we get our fair share,” Aderholt said.

The money goes toward health care, highway construction grants, education, and school lunch programs. The census also divides the number of U.S. representatives among states by population.

“We’ve had seven since the 1960s so our goal is to make sure we get everyone that we’re entitled to,” Aderholt said.

You have until the end of the month to fill out the census, click here to respond.

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