Mississippi among nation’s leaders in Census participation

Mississippi is among the nation’s leaders in terms of participation in the 2020 Census.

With a participation rate of 22%, Mississippi is several percentage points ahead of the national average of 19.2% (as of Monday afternoon).

“We are so encouraged,” said former state Senator Giles Ward, chairman of the Mississippi Complete Count Committee. “This is an opportunity for Mississippi to show the nation how it’s done. We are a shining example right now, and we can make it even better if we all work together. Many of us are working from home, and it’s a good time to take care of this while we can.”

The Census is used to determine the flow of federal funding, representation in Congress and much more. According to John Green, Ph.D., director of the Mississippi Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi and one of the executive members of the Mississippi Complete Count Committee, every person not counted in the census represents approximately $50,000 in federal funding over 10 years.

Mississippi was in the bottom 10 in terms of participation in 2010.

“Mississippi undercounted by about 265,000 people in 2010, representing $13.2 billion dollars left on the table,” Green said. “That’s a lot of money we could have used. We can all change the path for Mississippi and help the state get our share of the dollars by completing our census and encouraging others to do the same.”

The census can be completed online by visiting http://mscensus2020.org. Just hit the blue “Complete My Census Now” button. Although some people have received their census invitation in the mail, you can complete your census online without an invitation by simply selecting “Start Questionnaire.” If you do not have a 12-digit code from a paper invitation, click the link on the login screen that says: If you do not have a Census ID, click here.

The U.S. Census Bureau will mail paper questionnaires to those who do not complete the census online, followed by phone calls. In-person, door-to-door visitation has been postponed until a plan can be made in light of the coronavirus pandemic.