CLEARFIELD – The U.S. Constitution provides for a national census to be taken every 10 years. The next scheduled federal census is in spring of 2020.
Clearfield County Commissioner John A. Sobel, chairman, spoke about the importance of the U.S. Census at Tuesday’s commissioners’ workshop meeting.
The federal census is important, he explained, because it determines representation in Congress, so it’s very important for county residents to respond.
According to a previous GANT News report, due to the results of the census in 2000, Pennsylvania lost two seats in the House of Representatives, and lost one seat after the 2010 census.
Sobel also said the census impacts how the federal government allocates funds to states as well as local governments and communities for the next 10 years.
“These federal funds support programs in our communities that impact housing, education, transportation, employment, healthcare and public policy,” he said.
“It’s particularly important to Clearfield County that’s in a region with a serious drug problem. A lot of monies are being made available now on the part of the federal government.”
He said this time any resident who has Internet access can respond electronically. But as in the past, he said residents can still choose to respond by mail.
According to the previous report, in March of 2020, residents will receive an invitation to participate in the census. The deadline is April 1 to respond.
About two weeks after the initial invitation, paper forms will be sent to anyone who hasn’t already responded. After April 1, the bureau will send out hired census takers to go door to door.
Sobel asked residents to please cooperate by completing the census questionnaires once received electronically or via mail and then returning the forms promptly.
He said in the coming months, representatives from entities supported by federal funds will be invited to speak at commissioners’ meetings about the importance of the census.
Sobel said if sufficient community interest exists, the commissioners will consider creating a complete count committee to raise awareness of the census and to target outreach efforts.