Georgia and White County still have gains to be made in the 2020 Census with less than two weeks to be counted.
Residents yet to complete the questionnaire have through Wednesday, Sept. 30, to respond online, by phone or by mail. Census takers also will stop making follow-up visits to homes at that time.
As of Sept. 14, Georgia was among the states with the lowest rate of housing units counted at 85.6% (61.3% self-responses and 24.3% when including those from Census taker follow ups. Only Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Alabama had lower total percentages.
As of the same reporting date, White County had a self-response rate of 51.1%, with Cleveland at 55.5% and Helen at 21.8%.
State and local officials have long emphasized the importance of having as many residents counted by the deadline as possible. Changes in population counts factors in determining areas represented by state lawmakers and local government districts, as well as federal funding for a multitude of programs and grants benefitting White County. Census data also provides insight on local growth and development needs.
The nationwide population count is mandated every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution. Questions will seek information on the number of people in a household and demographic data, among other details. There are three ways to fill out the survey: Go online at www.my2020census.gov; call 1-844-330-2020 (English) or 1-844-468-2020 (Spanish); fill out the paper survey that came in the mail and send it back to the U.S. Census Bureau, which says it is bound by law to protect answers and keep them confidential.