G Government Affairs

The census deadline has been extended through October. Here’s what that means for Florida.

By By Natalie Weber, For Tampa Bay Times, On 29 September 2020, Read Original
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The state is ranked 43rd out of the 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in terms of the percentage of its population that has been counted.

Updated Sep. 25 

According to a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, there are more than 21 million people living in Florida — and soon, the bureau must account for all of them.

Or, at least those still living in the state, as well as any new residents.

The U.S. Constitution requires a count of the country’s population each decade to determine how many U.S. representatives each state gets, as well as to allocate federal funding.

That goal has been complicated, however, by the pandemic and ever-shifting deadlines.

While the Census Bureau initially sought a fieldwork deadline extension until Oct. 31, it announced in August that it would be cutting its timeline to the end of September, under the direction of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. In yet another reversal, a federal judge Thursday ordered the Census Bureau to adhere to its Oct. 31 deadline.


Where Florida’s numbers stand

As of Thursday, 95.2 percent of Florida’s population had been enumerated, ranking it at 43rd out of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Santos said that doesn’t mean that all of the counted Florida households have responded to the census. He contributed to an Urban Institute report that said Florida was at a high risk of an undercount, particularly among Black and Hispanic households.


Norma Henning, government affairs coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida, said many nonprofits feared their census education efforts would be cut short when the bureau proposed a Sept. 30 deadline.

“Every nonprofit organization had to go into hyperdrive to try to fulfill their goals," she said.


Read Full Article: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2020/09/25/the-census-deadline-has-been-extended-through-october-heres-what-that-means-for-florida/ 

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