As state and local officials prepare for the upcoming census, local social services are worried about the impact it could have on their bottom line.
Meals on Wheels, transit lines, even public schools; all of those are funded on the federal level and all of those entities are counting on the 2020 Census to secure money coming in.
“Once that census is done, if those numbers have decreased then funding is going to decrease,” said Mike Drew with the West Central Illinois Area on Agency. “That makes it harder to reach more people.”
Meals on Wheels reaches hundreds of homes in Quincy alone. Drew says the program has continued to struggle over the past couple of years as they try and keep up with expenses. If people fail to register with the 2020 Census, that could mean cutting back even more.
“Everything has gotten more expensive, especially with gas prices going up, food prices going up, it’s very hard to keep up with those,” said Drew.
Since the money coming from the federal government is based on population, Quincy City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer stresses the importance of getting counted.
“The census indirectly funds a decade worth of services and the city and the county has one shot to get it right,” said Bevelheimer.
Especially since Bevelheimer says the state is projected to lose about $1,400 per person per year if we don’t have an accurate census count.
“If people don’t get counted, it shows a population loss when we really have a population here,” said Bevelheimer. “So, the need for the services still exist but the money for the services diminish.”
The census is every ten years and next year the census day is April 1. You can complete the census questionnaire online, by mail or by phone.
For more information on the 2020 Census, click here.