EL PASO, Texas — Despite the pandemic, the 2020 census count is continuing. The population count, which takes place every ten years, is necessary in determining how much and what kind of support different regions need from the federal government.
The census deputy director for the El Paso and Las Cruces region says nationwide response numbers are up this year. He credits the use of online data reporting to reduce processing times.
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“One good thing about the census in 2020 versus ten years ago, or any other Census, is that most households have the ability to respond from home without going anywhere, without talking to anyone, without having any contact, in a very safe manner,” Dennis Johnson said.
Johnson says that as of May 22, just under 60% of El Paso households had responded to the 2020 census. In Las Cruces, just under 58% had.
The census is intended for everyone: citizens and non-citizens. There is no citizenship question on the form. All are urged to fill it out as accuracy in the count is key.
“It's so important and it's not something that impacts us just this year. It impacts us for the next 10 years,” Johnson said.
Field operations recently resumed in Las Cruces. Workers are provided with masks and occasionally gloves to ensure safety.
The U.S. Census Bureau is still hiring workers and will need extra help later this summer, particularly when it comes to reaching rural areas. You can apply here.