Governor urges 2020 Census participation

Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon is urging residents to participate in the 2020 Census. The census is a constitutionally mandated count of residents in the United States.

“Wyoming statewide is running a little behind the national rate,” Governor Gordon said addressing the self-reporting rate in Wyoming, which he said was about 45 percent.

Gordon pointed out that numbers collected by the census are used to determine the distribution in billions of dollars worth of federal funding.

“These are vital for our community programs and services,” Gordon said. “If you care about safe roads, good schools, healthcare, public safety- it’s important that everyone in Wyoming be counted. The data that is collected will impact our communities for the next decade.”

Wyoming citizens who have not yet participated in the 2020 Census are asked to visit the census website and do so there.

The U.S. Census also provided the following information:

  • Use this MAP to track response rates for your local community and the entire state.
  • The 2020 Census is important because it will determine how of billions of dollars in federal funding is distributed, and will provide data that will impact Wyoming communities for the next decade.
  • Responding to the 2020 Census is safe and secure. Individual responses are confidential and protected by law.
  • The Census Bureau is currently taking steps to reactivate field data collection operations after June 1, 2020.
  • Later this year, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to send census takers to visit households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census to help them complete questionnaires.
  • The current deadline to respond to the 2020 Census is October 31, 2020.

The Wyoming Census Office recently reported that one of the biggest challenges facing response rates in Wyoming is the fact that approximately 23 percent of residents live in an area designated as “Update Leave.”

“Update Leave” areas are part of a special operation for the Census Bureau and encompass rural locations that have city-style addresses but may use P.O. boxes to receive their mail, or it can include homes that contain rural route or highway contract route addresses.

“These locations have not yet received a formal 2020 Census invitation or paper questionnaire, which is contributing to the lower statewide self-response numbers,” an April 15 press release said.

People who live in homes with a city-style address, but use a P.O. box to get their mail are encouraged to go online to complete your census questionnaire.

The Census is asking Wyoming residents with non city-style addresses, like rural routes or highway contract routes, to please wait for their Census packet with ID to be dropped off at their home due to the complexity of these types of rural addresses.

The update leave operation is currently slated to resume in mid-June 2020 but is subject to change.

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