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With census deadline approaching, Louisiana falling behind

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BATON ROUGE - In an effort to get more people to fill out their 2020 census questionnaires, Governor John Bel Edwards declared Wednesday Louisiana Census Day. Louisiana currently ranks 46th in the country in terms of response rate.

The 2020 census began in March, with paper questionnaires mailed to hundreds of millions of Americans.  In those five months, East Baton Rouge Parish has just a 61.8-percent self-response rate.

That's lower than our 2010 census response rate at 65.2 percent, and the current national average of 65.5 percent.

"Louisiana is prone to a lot of things that may negatively impact our communities, but the end is not today. We still have some more days to advocate and to keep going, and I will remain positive that we will reach higher than we did in 2010," said Janea Jamison with the Power Coalition of Equity and Justice.

The more people fill out their census, the more federal money an area receives for school funding, roads, health care and disaster relief funds. The census also determines political representation.

"Your first shot as being recognized as an individual in your community begins with the census. If you take the census, you'll get access to so many resources and things for your community to thrive. Something as simple as a fixing a pothole in the street connects to census data, so we definitely have to think about the bigger picture," Jamison said.

Field staff are canvasing neighborhoods for those who have not responded. As of Wednesday, Louisiana's non response follow-up rate is 22.6 percent.

Click here for more information on how to complete the 2020 census:
https://2020census.gov/

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