There is only one week left to fill out the US Census

Wayne County officials are scrambling to get every dollar they can as coronavirus pummels local budgets.

 They risk losing even more if they fail to get more residents to participate in the census. 

With only a week to go, residents are sorely behind in responding to the U.S. Census, which could lead to Wayne County missing out on millions in federal dollars.

“It’s 2100 dollars over ten years lost because of people who don’t respond. “

As of today, only 48 percent of residents have filled out the form, either online, by phone or by mail.

“I would have like to see us to match the numbers at least of 2010 which were higher “

That’s alarming for Craig Rickard, given the once-in-a-decade head count ends October 1st - a month sooner than previously anticipated.

“I truly believe that the pandemic didn’t help at all, but we need this to get done, it’s a federal law. “

But the slow response rate doesn’t tell the full story..

“We have 11-thousand housing units that would be considered seasonal or recreational use. “

Well over one-third of the homes in the county are seasonal, which Commissioner, Brian Smith, explains they do not count.

“So when you break down the numbers, in reality 48 percent translates to 83 percent of the people who actually filled out the census. “

And with the deadline looming, Smith says the consequences of an undercount could be severe – leading to a drop in federal aid that could force major spending cuts.

“It translates to a huge amount of money for us, for our services, for the elderly, for our constituents, so people really need to fill the census out. “

The deadline to fill out the census is October 1st.