There is still time to complete the 2020 Census without being paid a visit at your home.

McMinn County Mayor John Gentry gave an update on the county’s progress with the Census during Monday night’s meeting.

“The virus has really taken attention away from the 2020 Census,” he said. “We’ve really got to get folks to respond.”

According to Gentry, less than 60% of McMinn County households have “self-reported” a response to the Census. The state average is about 61%.

“We need to be above the state average,” said Gentry. “That’s something simple we can do.

“We’re trying to tell folks this is about the most patriotic thing you can do … to determine how we’re represented in Congress,” he continued. “The private sector uses it for data when they look at investing in your community. Folks who want certain restaurants and things, it’s driven by population.”

The Census, which is conducted every 10 years, is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It counts the population in the United States and its five territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2020 Census marks the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

Census results determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The Census also provides data that helps lawmakers and others provide services, products and support for communities. Census data helps to determine how federal funding is allocated for hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and other projects and entities.

Each U.S. household should have received an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire in March. Responses can be submitted online, by phone or by mail. When completing the Census, respondents will include everyone living in their household on April 1, 2020.

Between Aug. 11 and Oct. 31, Census takers will interview households that have not already responded to the 2020 Census to ensure everyone is counted. If someone visits a home to collect information for the 2020 Census, residents should make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

Visit to complete the Census.

Email: andy.brusseau

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