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Extension Service set to help as Census count begins

Every 10 years, the United States undertakes a census to determine how many people live in this country.  The results of the census will touch every facet of Americans lives.

Beginning March 12th everyone in the U.S. will be able to participate in the census. It’s easy and should only take about 10 minutes to complete – online, by phone, or by mailing in the form. The U.S. Census Bureau will mail an initial invitation to complete the census along with reminders. Af-ter a few reminders, U.S. Census Bureau representatives will go door to door to help people take the census. The census is just that important, said Abby Peters, Pike County extension coordinator.

“Programs funded by federal dollars are often allocated by population,” Peters said. “From 2010-2019, Alabama received $13 billion in federal funds. Every Alabamian counted in the 2010 Cen-sus brought $16,000 back to Alabama in the form of federal programs, including school lunches, Pell grants, SNAP-Ed, educational programs and grants, senior programs, Head Start, and roads and bridges.”

Peters said it is important for people to know that they will not be asked to provide their social se-curity number, citizenship status, or any income information on the census form.

“The information you provide will help the Census Bureau understand the demographics of your community to help federal, state, and local leaders plan and allocate resources for the future.” Pe-ters said. “The information provided is secure and is required by law to be kept confidential by the U.S. Census Bureau for 72 years.”

In addition, census data is also used to determine how many seats Alabama has in the U.S. House of Representatives. If Alabamians participate at the same level as in 2010, the state is at serious risk of losing one, maybe two, representatives. It is critical for people living in Alabama to take the census and be counted.

The Pike County Extension Office has a computer available to take the census for those who would like to complete to form online. Alabama Extension will also be promoting the census at various locations throughout the community as well. If you have any questions about the census, visit census.gov or call the Pike County Extension Office at 334-566-0985.

Federal funding for state over the next 10 years will be shaped in large part by how many of peo-ple are counted in this census. Take the census and be counted. Your participation is critical to ensuring the brightest future possible for our communities, county, and state.