Boone County partnership aims for complete census in 2020

4 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 3:18:00 AM CST November 15, 2019 in News
By: Micki Neiman, KOMU 8 News Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia and Boone County are announcing the Boone County Counts Partnership on Friday. This partnership will allow both the city and the county to work toward a more complete count in the 2020 Census.

The partnership gathers community organizations to help educate locals on why the census is important. 

"The partnership is important to ensure that Boone County is fully represented and receives accurate federal funding for our schools, hospitals and roads," Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said. "Our past participation can definitely be improved. We’re a rapidly-growing county and we want to make sure all 10 years of population increase are accounted for." 

Every 10 years the census records everyone living in the country. A questionnaire is sent to every address. The data is then used to prioritize funding for resources like fire stations, schools, clinics and other entities. In addition, the census results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

"In the fiscal year 2016, the state of Missouri got $16 billion in federal funding based on census data," Community Relations Specialist Sara Humm said. "But it was from 2010. So we have to consider whatever the numbers are in 2020. We’re stuck with those numbers for 10 years so that’s why it’s so important to get a complete count."

The partnership hopes to ensure everyone in the community is well-educated on why the census is so important and how it affects everyone individually.

"The goal is to use community partners and their networks of people and their knowledge about our community to help us reach out to the community," Humm said. "Especially the historically underrepresented populations to make sure we’re reaching them in a way that works for them."

Lennon said a common misconception is that college students don’t count in the Boone County census.

"Students live here the majority of the year so they do count in our census numbers," Lennon said. 

Humm said there is a lot at stake in this census.

"We could potentially lose $1,300 per person, per year who is not counted," Humm said. "If you think of that, for one person that is $13,000 we are not getting for 10 years because they did not participate. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to participate because that’s a lot of funding for our roads, our bridges, the snap program, our hospitals, our schools."

The announcement will come at 8 a.m. at City Hall.

The official date for the 2020 Census is April 1, 2020.

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