Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice said it is important for the 2020 Census figures to be accurate, so that the county can get the federal funding it needs for services, like food assistance programs, childcare and hospitals.
“We’ve got 33%, a third of the people, not yet in the count,” Rice said. “Getting an accurate count is absolutely vital. It brings about $18,000 per person to our community. We want to make sure we get our count up.”
Dayton, with a 51% response rate, ranks 775 out of 928 Ohio cities for the percentage of residents who have responded to the census.
Some Miami Valley communities, like Bellbrook, Springboro, Centerville and Tipp City, have response rates of over 80%. Three quarters of Huber Heights residents have responded to the census.
Miller said she and the complete count committee are now focused on local communities with response rates lower than 60%, like Trotwood and Harrison Twp. According to Census Bureau data, Trotwood currently has a 55% response rate. Trotwood has held census drives to get the city’s number up.
Census workers started knocking on doors locally on Aug. 11, Miller said. They will be out counting people until Sept. 30. Sept. 30 is also the last day to fill out the census questionnaire online and over the phone.
Miller said, in an effort to count as many people as possible, the Dayton-Montgomery Complete Count committee will be at the Montgomery County Job Center, 1111 Edwin C. Moses Boulevard, on Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help residents fill out the 2020 Census online.
The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is now offering free day passes to people who complete their 2020 Census at the station. Miller, who is also an RTA employee, said census workers will be out front of the platform with laptops to help people fill out their 2020 Census from noon to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
Miller said agencies, like RTA, that get federal funding depend on the census to have an accurate count of the people who use their service. The number of representatives Ohio will get in Congress also depends on census data.
“We need all hands on deck,” Miller said. “We have to live with these numbers for the next 10 years.”
Rice encouraged Miami Valley residents to fill out the 2020 Census.
“Take the 10 minutes,” she said. “Don’t be afraid. It is so vital.”
How to fill out the 2020 Census:
Call (844) 330-2020
Go to my2020census.gov