Though originally scheduled for October 5, the 2020 Census count will continue through October 30 according to a recent release from the Census Bureau. The constitutionally mandated task of counting the people in the nation takes place every 10 years and is a massive operation of infrastructure and personnel. The Census dictates the representation in the US House as well as a wide variety of funding avenues from both federal and state opportunities for local communities. With the most recent self-report data, Grundy County shows only slightly more than 48 percent of its population counted based on previous trends. Several local municipalities show low turnout for such an important factor for the county. The US Census Bureau has stiff penalties for workers that share information gathered even to other government entities. There are several ways that residents can make sure that Grundy “gets its due” by way of multiple outlets to be counted.
According to the US Constitution, and the US Code since 1954, the federal government is tasked with counting for every person in the country. Neither the constitution nor the US Code explicitly spells out how the count is to be completed which gives the US Census Bureau the latitude to operate taking advantage of new technologies as it becomes available. During the 2010 Census, 635,000 people were employed to take the national count.
Though the overall number of representatives in the US House was capped at 435 in 1929, who was represented was based on the apportionment of the population. In other words, this decade the state of California may have had 53 US House representative districts but if there was a shift of the population that moved from California to Tennessee one might see the number of total seats in Tennessee rise and California’s seat decline based on the Census. Hundreds, if not thousands, of various grant and low interest loan programs backed by the federal government are tied to the Census count. Those might include low-income housing, education, and infrastructure revenues just to name a few.
As it stands with the most recent data available, Grundy County shows the self-report numbers for various towns to be low for this stage of the count. Coalmont, Tracy City, and Gruetli-Laager all report less than half of their residents have self-reported. Altamont and Palmer report 50.5 percent and 51.1 percent, respectively, for their residents’ self-report numbers. However, pursuant to the same information database the statewide total percentage enumerated as above 99 percent. Residents are still encouraged to report if they have not already submitted their household. Residents can either fill their household information online at URL https://my2020census.gov/app/intro/state or call, toll-free, 844-330-2020. The county certainly needs a most complete count to avail the county and the various towns to several of the federal programs.