Created: July 11, 2020 10:01 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The state's progress on getting responses to the census isn't going as well as officials had hoped, and the pandemic is making things even more difficult.
From personal protective equipment to funding for technology in schools, federal funding is heavily tied to things like the census.
"Now we're dealing with a national pandemic and so knowing and having that data and information about your community," said Brandale Mills, a US Census Bureau Media Specialist. "How many community members might fall within a demographic that might be high risk is certainly important when it comes to preparing for situations like this, and so we encourage everyone to make sure that they're counted because who knows when we might be experiencing something like this in the future and that data can help us plan and help us have that funding to take care of our community members."
The good news is that people can respond to the census online using the code that was mailed to each household a few months ago.The bad news? Nearly half of all New Mexicans have yet to respond.
"We definitely have made adjustments according to the COVID-19 pandemic recommendations, and so with that we've adjusted the timeline a bit," Mills said. "Originally the census was scheduled to end at the end of July. Now we've pushed it back to the end of October, in hopes of making sure that we get everyone counted, because we know that people are dealing with a lot of things right now. Job loss, working from home with family members at home, and so we want to give them that extra time to complete their census forms because this is very important."
The bottom line is that census responses matter.
"This information will be used for the next 10 years, and it's essential in forecasting and funding for the next 10 years," Mills said.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company