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March 11, 2020
Think about your community ten or twenty years ago. It is very likely that the population and demographics around you have shifted. In South Carolina, our population continues to grow and the age demographics are shifting as seniors live longer and the baby boomers reach their retirement years. The 2010 census revealed this shift and undoubtedly the trends have continued.
Census Day is fast approaching on April 1, 2020, and on this day every person in the United States is to be counted. In just a few days, the US Census Bureau will be mailing to every household a post card for you to complete the census online, over the phone, or through the mail. Those who do not promptly return the information can expect a census worker to knock on your door soon thereafter. It is an amazingly large task and one that is mandated by the constitution. But this is more than an administrative task.
Census data provides the evidence for how senior services are delivered in our communities. Federal dollars are distributed to nearly all of Senior Resources’ programs based on the demographics of the community reported through the census. Eligibility programs are derived from poverty and other indicators in the census. Businesses and corporations decide to relocate their organizations based on community data, and their charitable contributions often follow. Private foundations use census data to research communities that would most benefit from their funding and innovative new programs. And in recent news as we look at the spread of COVID-19, the emergency response and public health plans are based on population data.
In reality, an accurate and complete census is critical in making the mission of agencies like Senior Resources possible. Seniors and low-income populations are specifically highlighted as at-risk for under-reporting. Under-reporting will mean that those who often need the services the most will not have opportunity to receive it, because in the data they do not exist.
Getting out the count to make sure each one of our seniors is counted is vital and it will take a community effort. Check on your elderly neighbors and family to help them complete the census. Bring up the census at church and make sure the senior group knows how important it is. Contact your local Complete Count Committee for details on how you help in your community. (Richland County – http://www.richlandcountysc.gov/richlandcounts, City of Columbia – https://sccountmein.censuscloud.com/?fbclid=IwAR0-TH4BCYkt5k3CPHtLb7cjBxyAbu5_VtIGh0rHx8EDCSBObwqJimn3A64)
The census matters. Join us and do your part to make sure everyone is counted.
For more information on the census visit https://www.census.gov/Back to All News & Blog