Census officials urging Massachusetts residents to count themselves

BOSTON — Officials with the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau are urging Massachusetts residents to count themselves.

“It will make a huge difference for your community, for your county, for you state; for the next 10 years,” said Jeff Behler, Director for the U.S. Census Bureau New York region.

Behler oversees Massachusetts as well, he said although many residents have mailed in their form or returned it online, so many still have yet to be accounted for. He said often times, citizens don’t realize how important it is for the government to receive this data.

Behler said billions of dollars in federal funds are on the line and counting yourself and your family members can funnel the money into the right place.

“I can’t think of a more important time. It’s an easy way to support your community, your hospital, your health professionals. Just by filling out your census, because the funding for hospitals and the decisions on what number of vaccines, or do we need to expand healthcare for the elderly, those decisions will be made upon Census data,” said Behler.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau reached a 57.3% response rate nation-wide. In the state of Massachusetts, the self-response rate was 59.6%. In Boston, 47.6% response rate.

“Massachusetts overall looks like it’s doing very well but specific communities in Massachusetts are at a great risk of going under counted,” said Alex Psilakis, Policy and Communications Manager at MassVote.

Psilakis said those numbers are good, but it’s crucial those communities who have been hit hard by the crisis are accounted for. He said that money could go toward community health centers, school lunch programs and affordable housing.

If you haven’t completed the 2020 Census, you’re urged to visit My2020census.gov to respond using your address. You can also respond by mail or phone.

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