COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The year 2020 is the year of the census and according to local representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau, Muscogee County is lagging behind in its response rate.
Gloria Strode, a U.S. Census Bureau partnership specialist, said 51.2 percent of Muscogee County residents have responded so far, which is below the state average of 53.6 percent and several points below the national average of 57.3 percent. Strode said it’s vital for residents to fill out the census because it counts for representation, tax dollars, and more.
“So, it's for things like hospitals, roads, and bridges,” said Strode. “For our millennials, it's for things like Pell grants. So, education is a big part of that. For our young parents, it's about head start slots, it's about school lunch programs. For our city, it's about first responders and the things they need. We really have a lot at stake."
Strode said if residents in Muscogee County don’t respond, Columbus could lose its standing as the second largest city in Georgia for the next decade.
Completing the census only takes roughly five minutes.