Residents now have an additional month to be counted in the 2020 census.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh from California approved a court order Thursday, September 24 extending the deadline to October 31 for Census submission, along with a later deadline for data review by Census Bureau statisticians.
Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by President Donald Trump’s administration this past July would likely produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.
In August, a group of civil rights organizations and local governments sued the Census Bureau and the Trump administration to block the government from ending the count in September, arguing that the shortened schedule would result in undercounting minority groups.
Deadline extensions allow harder-to-reach communities a fair chance to be counted and be accurately represented.
The Census is used to determine how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year for local communities, schools, roads and other public services – and the number of representatives each state has in Congress.
Florida is currently ranked number 33 out of the total 52 states and territories, with a self-response rate of 63%.
Census Bureau statisticians will start tallying the final data on November 1 and will have until April 2021 to review their findings, decide funding distribution and the number of state representatives.
“Much of the federal funding that goes to local governments is based on population and population data comes directly from the Census,” says Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson. “If people fail to be counted, Gulfport’s slice of the pie gets smaller and the benefits per capita are less than they should be. Be counted so we can make it count for all of us.”
If you have questions concerning the U.S. Census, or are ready to fill out your form, visit 2020census.gov.