Low census count jeopardizes South Carolina

Deadline to respond is Sept. 30

The U.S. Census can be filled out online in about five minutes. (Photo by Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash)

South Carolina is in danger of losing billions of dollars in assistance over the next 10 years because the state is under-reporting its census data.

The S.C. Governor’s office, which keeps track of the numbers, said, as of August, that fewer people have responded to the census this year than in 2010.

This could dramatically impact the amount of money our state receives for roads, education, and other vital services. The census count also informs emergency preparedness and public safety plans, and guides how federal funding is distributed to communities for local needs.

Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the Palmetto State has grown by more than 520,000 people since 2010. This means, if the state continues to under-report its numbers, we will be serving a huge population growth with far less funding.

These numbers are absolutely vital to all of South Carolina as it literally determines the state’s representation in Congress for the next decade. The census count also influences the way legislative lines are drawn at the federal and state levels.

“It’s estimated that for every hundred persons not counted in the 2020 census, South Carolina stands to lose $2.6 million in federal funds that will otherwise go to other states,” explained Robert Doty, evaluation manager with Trident United Way.

Without an accurate count, South Carolina will lose vital aid and services.

The deadline to self-report is Sept. 30. For more information and to fill out the short questionnaire, visit 2020census.gov.

Also, for information and resources in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, visit https://charlestondiocese.org/2020-census.

Making sure South Carolina is fully counted in the U.S. Census is one of many issues supported by the South Carolina Catholic Conference. To learn more about their advocacy, visit https://charlestondiocese.org/south-carolina-catholic-conference/advocacy/