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LA, Arkansas Among States With Lowest Census Participation

Courtesy: MyCensus2020.gov

CENSUS DEADLINE LOOMING - Millions of Americans still need to be counted before the U-S Census ends field operations on its extended deadline of October 5th.  And for the state of Texas --so far, about 86 percent of households in the state have been tallied either through people self-responding to the survey or census workers following up in-person, the latter method has had to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic as people were reluctant to respond person-to-person.  Katie Martin Lightfoot  is the  Census Community Engagement Coordinator with a public policy  group called “Every Texan". She explains one of the consequences of an inaccurate count.

​In Texas, if we have an undercount of just one percent, a conservative estimate is that we will use 300 million dollars per year for the next ten years," Martin explained.

"We in fact lost congressional seat in the 2010 census and we believe there was an undercount of our population, we do not want that to happen again." Mayor Lo Walker, Bossier City, LA

And there’s more at stake to getting an accurate Census  than just qualifying for more federal dollars.  A higher population count for a state means more political clout in Washington D.C.  During a recent press conference,  Mayor Lo Walker of Bossier City, Louisiana explained how a Census undercount can reduce a state’s legislative influence.

"It affects the number of congressional seats we have," Walker said. "We in fact lost congressional seat in the 2010 census and we believe there was an undercount of our population, we do not want that to happen again."

Credit Courtesy: Bossier City Mayor-YouTube
Courtesy: Bossier City Mayor-YouTube
UNDERCOUNT COST SEAT - Mayor Lo Walker of Bossier City said during a Covid-19 update that the 2010 Census undercount cost Louisiana a congressional seat. 09.24.20

Other  things affected by the Census include:  federal funding and grants for local schools,  hospitals, and roads,  as well as food security and other community needs. According to online data, Louisiana's self-response rate to the 2020 Census is currently 59.7 percent, which ranks No. 47th nationally, falling below Arkansas at 43rd.  There’s still time to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census,  the deadline is October 5th.  So to be counted, you can do it over the phone by calling toll free: (844)-330-2020  or online at MyCensus2020.gov.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.