2020 Census deadline approaching

Lake County response rate low

LAKE COUNTY -- The deadline for responding to the 2020 Census is fast approaching.

On Aug.4, Census Bureau director Steve Dillingham announced that the deadline for when households can complete the census survey was moved up to Sept. 30.

The deadline had previously been extended to Oct. 31, due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing delays in field operations by census takers.

According to a report from the website, 2020census.gov, overall, Michigan is showing a 68.8 percent reporting rate. Lake County, however, is at just a 28.8 percent response rate.

Households have multiple options for responding to the 2020 Census, including completing the survey online at my2020census.gov, completing and returning the mail in survey, or calling (844) 330-2020.

Results from the 2020 Census will shape how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to communities for critical public services such as healthcare, education, infrastructure and public safety.

Census statistics aren't just about which state or city has grown the most over the last 10 years. Statistics compiled from census responses help businesses, researchers and communities make decisions about funding for everything from school buildings and lunches and new bridges or roads, to fire departments, rural assistance programs and more.

Knowing who lives throughout the nation means that communities can better support programs and services benefitting people aged 65 and older, low-income people, veterans, children and newborns.

2020 Census statistics also help federal and local lawmakers allocate funding for the next 10 years for critical public services - including how to prepare for, respond to and rebuild after disasters and crisis (such as COVID-19) for things such as unemployment insurance, emergency food assistance, shelter grants and temporary assistance for needy families.

Statistics provided by the 2020 Census helps in the allocation of federal funds for things such as:

• Unemployment insurance

• Low-Income Home Energy Assistance

• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

• State Children's Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

• School Breakfast Program

• Head Start, nutrition assistance and the Children's Health Insurance Program, among many others.

• Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

• Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program

• Critical public services such as emergency response, hospitals and healthcare, water and waste disposal systems for rural communities

• Rural Business Development Grants and Rural Development Housing Preservation Grants

• Transportation services including maintenance and construction of roads and bridges through the Highway Planning and Construction Program

• Federal Transit Capital Investment Grants that can be used for Water Pollution Control Grants as well as public transportation

• Emergency Watershed Protection Program, Hazardous Waste Management State Program Support and the Wildlife Restoration Program

• Critical public services including hospitals, schools, roads and bridges, which in turn generate opportunities for private sector businesses

• Health clinics or senior citizen centers

• Home-delivered meals and job training for those 65+

• Federal Pell Grants for college students, adult education grants and agriculture / science / engineering education

• Programs focused on school safety, mental health services and student wellness