A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

U.S. Census forms coming to mailbox; fill it out — every person counts, our state needs accurate count

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Gov. Andy Beshear is encouraging Kentuckians to participate in the U.S. Census, which takes place every 10 years, with everyone getting a notification to participate coming in the mail over the next week or so.

Beshear told reporters why it’s so important to get counted.

“The U.S. government distributes more than $675 billion in federal funding, based on the census results.  For example, Kentucky currently receives about $15.8 billion per year in federal funding, based on the 2010 census.  If we don’t count every Kentuckian, we will lose critical funding for programs that help our families.”

He said the census doesn’t just impact federal funding. 

“Companies use the results to help decide which communities they will invest in,” the governor said. “The results also determine Kentuckians’ representation in federal, state and local government.”

That includes the number of seats Kentucky has in the U.S. House of Representatives, which currently stands at six.

Beshear says you can fill out the census form online or over the telephone. 

If you do not participate in April, a paper form will be mailed to you to fill out and return.

“This survey should take you no more than 10 minutes,” Beshear said. “By law, all responses to the U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential; and they cannot be used against you in any way.”

He added there are no citizenship questions and responses also cannot impact any receipt of public assistance benefits.

Acting Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander noted it is the Constitutional duty of all Americans to answer the census, and that there are lots of undercounted populations.

“If you have a child under five, they count,” Friedlander said. “African-American males, please answer the census. Those who are in this country such as immigrants, refugees, answer the census, we need to know who is residing in Kentucky. College students from out-of-state, don’t go on your parents, you spend most of your time in Kentucky.”

He also said that the Census Bureau still needs workers, and if you are receiving assistance from CHFS Census wages do not count against those benefits.

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