ATLANTA - With less than a week until the deadline, Gov. Brian Kemp urged Georgians Thursday to fill out the 2020 Census.
"Literally, the stakes could not be higher," explained Gov. Kemp.
The U.S. Constitution dictates the federal government must count everyone in the country, including the five U.S. Territories, every 10 years. That population information determines each state's representation in Congress, as well as how many federal dollars states receive for things like education and infrastructure.
"This is your once-in-a-decade chance to affect your roads, your schools, your healthcare," said Anna Miller, co-chair of the state's Complete Count Committee. "There are 316 different federal-funded programs that are based off this that every Georgian interacts with every single day."
The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Georgia has one of the lowest response rates in the country. The state is ranked 47th out of 52 in overall response because the list includes Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Gov. Kemp said the COVID-19 pandemic pulled people's attention away from the Census, but the virus highlights the need for people to participate.
"As we continue to move forward in our fight with COVID-19 and to revive our economy, it is abundantly critical that Georgia has every available resource and by taking out just a few minutes of your time to fill out the Census before next week's deadline, Georgians can help us secure a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for our great state," said Kemp.
Georgians can participate in the 2020 Census by completing it online, returning the form mailed out earlier this year, answering the door when a Census worker stops by in person, or by calling 844-330-2020.
The deadline to complete the Census is midnight on September 30, 2020.
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