Census officials urge residents to respond amid pandemic

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Although in-person counting has temporarily stopped due to COVID-19, census officials urge residents to help them in data collection efforts.

The 2020 Census can still be filled out online, on the physical forms which were mailed out, or over the phone.

Thurmond Tillman, a partnership coordinator with the U.S. Census Bureau, says what matters most is that people participate and that they make sure those they know participate as well.

“If you’re living and breathing on American soil, we need you to participate in the census,” he said.

According to Tillman, the census data is used to help determine the areas of the country that need the most federal funding, among other things.

“The money follows the numbers,” he said. “When you’re doing grants, when you have a community development block grant, anything that comes through, it’s all based upon the numbers, not necessarily the need.”

The number one thing Tillman says they need help with is reminding others to fill out the census.

The Census Bureau has been using what they called “trusted voices” in the community who can form a network of people to get the word out about filling out the census.

Tillman also says all census data is confidential and held for 72 years until it is made public.

A census worker can face jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if that person is found guilty of giving out census data.

Learn more about how census data is used by visiting the 2020 Census website.

Information about the census in Spanish can also be found here.

La información del censo está aquí.

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