Is it too late to fill out your 2020 census?

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The federal government will use census data to distribute almost a trillion dollars in grants and loans. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Is it too late to fill out your 2020 census?

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 2, 2020
The federal government will use census data to distribute almost a trillion dollars in grants and loans. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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The census is about political representation, and it’s in large part about who gets government money in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau has an update on the census taking place during this pandemic: It says about 60% of U.S. households have responded. But it’s still working at getting people to participate.

If you haven’t yet respondend, and you’re not counted, your local community won’t get as much federal money for things like student loans and education, highway construction, housing loans, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

That’s because the federal government relies on census data to decide how to distribute that funding. Take Medicaid, which provides health care to people with lower incomes. If the census undercounts a state’s population, it overstates how much income state residents have, and doesn’t give Medicaid as much money.

The federal government will use census data to distribute almost a trillion dollars in grants and loans. The deadline for responding has been extended a bit because of the coronavirus pandemic. You now have until mid-August.

But the U.S. Census Bureau says fill out the form as soon as you can, so it doesn’t have to send someone to knock on your door and remind you this summer.

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