Wright said, “With this modern-day technology, we know more about how many census forms have been sent in and how many haven’t. The first figures are telling us Talladega County and Sylacauga are woefully behind the state average.
“We’ve got to get the word out there for people to, number one, get their forms sent in and, number two, call us if you haven’t received a form.”
The time for citizens and non-citizens from all across the country to mail back their forms is growing short. Wright said the Census Bureau is looking for people to have their forms mailed in by April 1.
He has talked to several people who have not received their forms. These people need to contact their local government about getting a form.
Deciding not to fill out the form will not save anyone the hassle of not filling the form out. Census takers will visit the residences where a form has not been submitted, which will expend time, energy and tax dollars that could be saved if people fill out their forms and mail them in.
“We’ve got to get everybody to cooperate,” Wright said. “Filling out the census is like giving blood. You don’t know who it’s going to help, but it will help somebody. We need everybody to get their forms in.”
According to the Census Bureau, the census data is used in many ways including:
• Serving as the basis of congressional redistricting.
• Producing small-area population data needed to redraw state legislative and congressional districts.
• Determining how to distribute funds for government programs such as Medicaid.
• Planning locations for schools, roads and other public facilities.
• Helping real estate agents and potential residents learn about a neighborhood.
• Identifying trends over time that can help predict future needs.
The count is meant to include everyone, whether they are a citizen of the United States or not. Current Census Department estimates have the U.S. population at just under 309 million.
Personally identifiable information in the census will not be released for 72 years. Anyone in the Census Bureau who does release that kind of information is subject to be charged with a crime.
The first census was conducted in 1790 by U.S. marshals on horseback and listed a population count of 3.9 million. It has been conducted every year ending in zero since then. The Census Bureau is a division of the U.S. Commerce Department.