Since the kickoff of the 2020 U.S. Census this spring, almost 60 percent of households in Clark County have filled out their Census forms, which is consistent with the national average.
"I want to thank residents who have gone online or called the Census Bureau to fill out their Census forms," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "As we work to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, I can't stress how important it is for everyone to be counted in this year's Census. It means more federal funding for our state and our community over the next 10 years, and we want to get every dollar we deserve."
Clark County's participation rate is 59.4 percent compared with the national average of 59.6 percent. Nevada's participation rate is 58.7 percent, which leads the nation in beating the expected response rate for this point in the Census process, according to officials with the Southern Nevada Counts "Win the Census" campaign. This week the U.S. Census Bureau is dropping off 2020 Census questionnaire packets to the front doors of households across the country that do not receive mail at their physical addresses, including about 50,000 households in Nevada.
"One of the best things our residents can do to help our community weather the pandemic is to fill out this year's Census," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly. "Data collected from the Census means funding for schools, roads, health care and other community needs over the next 10 years. We need everyone who lives here to be counted so we get our fair share of funding."
The Census form can be filled out online over the U.S. Census Bureau's website at www.2020Census.gov or by phone or mail. The results of the Census, taken every 10 years, help decide how billions of dollars in funding is distributed to states and communities over the next decade, and are used to determine how many Congressional seats get allocated to each state. Nevada stands to receive more than $6 billion each year over the next 10 years based on 2020 Census data. The funding helps pay for transportation projects, Medicare and Medicaid assistance, emergency services, job training, and a variety of programs for children including school lunches, health insurance, foster care and federal Pell Grants for college students.
Officials say in the 2010 Census, Nevada's population was undercounted with only about 60 percent of households participating. Children under 5 tend to be the most undercounted of all Nevadans.
"It is great news for our community that Nevada's participation rate in this year's Census is ahead of where we were this time 10 years ago, but we need to keep up the good work," said Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, chairman of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, which initiated the Southern Nevada Counts effort. "We need anyone who hasn't participated yet to get online or call the Census Bureau to be counted. The results of this year's Census will inform federal funding decisions in our community over the next 10 years, which is a long time for a growing community like ours."
The Census Bureau is operating toll-free language assistance lines in multiple languages including the three most common spoken in Southern Nevada: English (844) 330-2020; Spanish (844) 468-2020; and Tagalog (844) 478-2020. The Census Bureau also is offering American Sign Language support and has a toll-free Telephone Display Device (TDD) number of (844) 467-2020. Information about the Census is available on the Southern Nevada Counts website at www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com.
One person per household fills out the questionnaire on behalf of everyone who lives at the address as of Census Day on April 1, 2020. The questions ask for names, ages, birthdates and races of residents, and whether the home is owned or rented. By law, information provided for the Census is confidential and not allowed to be shared with immigration or law enforcement agencies or the courts. Households that don't respond online or by phone will receive a paper questionnaire from the Census Bureau that they can return by mail. Due to the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau is extending the participation period for this year's census from July 31 to Oct. 31.