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Oxford Still Lagging in 2020 US Census Response

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Despite a strong social media push to get more Oxford residents to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census, the city is still falling behind most Mississippi cities.

Last month Oxford had a 34-percent response rate. Almost three weeks later, Oxford still only has a 38-percent response rate. The average response rate for Mississippi as a whole is 54.1 percent.

Oxford ranked 197 out of 298 Mississippi cities. In cities with 15,000 to 50,000 population, Oxford ranks 24 out of 24 in response rates.

“Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding our community receives,” stated Jon Maynard CEO of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation. “It is very easy to fill out the form taking less than five minutes. Those five minutes could bring millions to our community.”

The deadline for the 2020 Census has been moved to August.

The census occurs every 10 years.

In 2010, more than 265,000 Mississippi residents were not counted which resulted in more than $13 billion dollars the state missed out on from federal sources.

Mississippi could possibly lose an average of $2,780 per year for every child not counted in the 2020 Census.

According to Maynard, businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors.

“Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone,” Maynard said. “When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.”

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The household count should include anyone living at the residence on April 1, 2020, and include all adults, children, babies, foster children and non-relatives.

This is the first year that U.S. Citizens can fill out the Census online. Census forms were mailed out to each household in March. The Census can also be completed by phone by calling 844-330-2020.

For more information, visit https://mscensus2020.org/.


 

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