Mercer County prepares for Census Action Day

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Tomorrow is census action day in West Virginia, and the population of the entire state needs to be represented.

The annual census in West Virginia helps determine the federal funding for basic programs in the state each year. In the midst of COVID-19, Community Connections in Mercer County is utilizing digital methods to help bring awareness to the people. 

“We’re going to be doing a lot, posts are going to be on Facebook,” said Community Connections Executive Director Greg Puckett. “We’re asking for a lot of shares, trying to make sure that people go on to the census gov website to make sure that they log on. Make sure that they are counted so that we can get our federal resources back down to Mercer County.”

With an estimated census suggesting a possible 10%, population loss over the past decade in Mercer County, West Virginia is hoping for a higher statewide response rate to maintain the necessary national funding. The state currently holds an estimated response rate of just 48.3%. 

“When you know you’ve got a reduction in those numbers over a period of time, you’re not going to be getting the federal resources that you need,” Puckett said. “We’ve got to make sure every single dollar is going to be coming here by every single county and every single person being counted in the census this year.”

Despite the challenges of raising in-person awareness due to the pandemic, the media has provided a much-needed outlet to let people know how vital the 2020 census is. There are multiple online resources where West Virginians can do their part and complete the census. 

“Most of the things that we’ve been able to do is, thankfully, through the media,” Puckett said. “We’ve been able to expose people to understanding that census is really important. You need to log on to go to mycensus.gov. You can go to census2020.gov. Whatever you do, you’ve got to make sure you get counted. Tomorrow is one of those days where it’s just another emphasis day. It really shows, hey, this is why this is important, this is why you need to log on and go do it.”

For more insight into the 2020 US Census, you can visit 2020census.gov