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Posted on: March 11, 2020

2020 Census: Make Athens Count!

City and County officials with Census banner

From the Alabama Counts! 2020 Census website:

Funding to Alabama for many important programs that affect health care, education, housing assistance, infrastructure development and more is tied in some form to census data. An accurate count will ensure that the state receives its fair share of funding for these important programs. A recent study by George Washington University  indicates that the U.S. government returned almost $1,600 to the state in 2015 for every Alabamian counted in the census.

George Washington University also indicated that a total of more than $13 billion was allocated to Alabama in 2016 from 55 programs that are guided in some part by data derived from the census. All of us either depend on the assistance provided through these programs or know someone who does.

Just a few of the programs and their 2016 obligations in Alabama are:

Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid)$3.9 billion
Medicare Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance)- Physician Fee Schedule Services$1.1 billion
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)$1.2 billion
Head Start$138 million
Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies$230 million
Pell Grants and Student Loans$471 million
Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments and Housing Choice Vouchers$194 million
Highway Planning and Construction$797 million
Community Development Block Grants$21 million

You may respond in one of three ways:

  1. Complete it online at
  2. Call the U.S. Census Bureau toll-free 844-330-2020. Telephone assistance is also available in multiple languages:
  3. Return the paper form included with your invitation letter (see next paragraph).

Some households, mainly in rural areas, will receive a traditional paper form during the first mailing while other households, mainly in metro areas, will receive an invitation to respond online first. By mid-April, everyone who has not yet responded will receive a paper form. 

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