The deadline for the 2020 Census is nearing, and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service continues to play an active role in ensuring communities across Arkansas can thrive over the next decade.
Arkansas has achieved a response rate of 64.6 percent but many counties have response rates well below our state and national averages. Currently, Lawrence County has a response rate of 58.1 percent.
To help increase community participation in the 2020 Census, the Lawrence County Extension Office is participating in the 2020 Response Rate Challenge. Periodically, the Lawrence County Extension Office will post the county’s 2020 Census response rate on social media to track response rate progress and to motivate community members to participate in the 2020 Census.
To track the progress of the state and each county or to see how Lawrence County measures up against up against other counties in Arkansas visit https://2020census .gov/en/response-rates.html.
Anyone who has not received 2020 Census information via mail or at their door should complete the survey online at my2020 census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020.
Individuals may also encounter a Census Taker at their door if they have not completed the 2020 Census. They will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit. All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
A complete count of Arkansas is crucial. Data gathered by the census provides statistics on how much the country has grown and provides a snapshot of just who lives in America: age, race, gender. The statistics collected by the 2020 Census decide how over $675 billion is dispersed to states through programs like the National School Lunch Program and other programs integral to rural development.
Census data also impacts everything from the boundaries of congressional seats to funding for public safety, education and housing programs. Census data is used for emergency preparedness and disaster response. Businesses also use Census data to make decisions about whether to invest in a community.
Learn more about the 2020 Census by visiting https://www.uaex.edu/ business-communities/census/ default.aspx.
The deadline to complete the 2020 census is Sept. 30. For more information, contact the Lawrence County Extension Office at 886-3741.