20 Percent of Virginians Haven’t Submitted Their Census. As A Result, The State Could Lose Millions.

20 percent of Virginians still haven't filled out this year's U.S. Census.

By Arianna Coghill

September 2, 2020

The clock is ticking. All of Virginia’s census forms have to be turned in by Sept. 30.

RICHMOND-More than one million Virginia residents still haven’t completed their U.S. Census form. That was the news handed down from Richmond this week, as Gov. Ralph Northam asked people to get that information in.

The reason is that Virginia’s census deadline is Sept. 30. Failing to complete all census forms means that Virginia could miss out on potentially millions of dollars in federal funding during a time when people need it the most. 

Speaking during a Tuesday press conference, Northam said Virginia ranked seventh in the nation in terms of census completion. And while that should be celebrated, Northam said it’s still important the remaining 20 percent of Virginians turn in their form before the end of the month. 

“The deadline is September 30. We only have 30 days to get this done,” Northam said during the conference. 

Here is everything you need to know about turning your census form before Sept. 30 comes around. 

What is the Census and Why is it Important? 

Conducted every 10 years, the U.S. census accounts for every household across the country. 

The census provides important data that impacts aspects of people’s daily lives including federal funding for schools, redistricting and business decisions. States gain or lose congressional representation, for example, based on the number of people living there. 

During a global health crisis where federal funding is necessary to keep struggling people and businesses afloat, the census is more important now than ever. 

“(The census) determines everything Virginia gets from food security to health to education and more. When you fill out the forms, more money comes to Virginia for services that we all depend on. And that’s a good thing,” Northam said. “When you don’t fill out the form, you’re sending our money to our neighboring states.” 

According to Northam, it’s estimated that Virginia will lose $2,000 a year for each person who fails to complete a census form. 

How Do I Complete The Census? 

The census can be completed online, through the mail or over the phone. It’s available in 13 different languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese.

Census takers in Virginia are supposed to be canvassing door to door to help others complete their census paperwork. For further information, the U.S. Census Bureau website hosts a wealth of information.

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