Governor Wolf to United States Census Bureau Officials: Extend 2020 Census Deadline
Harrisburg, PA – As efforts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus continue in Pennsylvania and across the country, Governor Tom Wolf today urged the U.S. Census Bureau to consider extending the deadline for the 2020 Census submission beyond July 31 to ensure that Pennsylvanians — and people in every state across the country — can be counted properly.
“Over the past few months, my administration has reiterated to Pennsylvanians the importance of being counted in this 2020 Census. In January, we launched a statewide awareness campaign and began assisting efforts in local communities to ensure that everyone is counted,” said Gov. Wolf. “Considering Pennsylvania’s current efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, closing the Census deadline submission on July 31 as currently planned could likely hinder those efforts.”
As recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), practicing effective hygiene measures, staying home if sick, avoiding large gatherings if possible, and practicing social distancing will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep Pennsylvanians healthy.
These proactive measures will likely have a detrimental effect on getting a complete count for the Census. The health practice of social distancing unfortunately runs counterproductively to the Census Bureau’s strategy of door-to-door enumeration for non-responders, as well as any public awareness campaigns about the importance of filling out the Census.
Read the governor’s letter to the Census Bureau.
The U.S. Constitution requires a Census count once every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States once and only once. The results of the 2020 Census will help provide fair representation when determining congressional districts, policy, decision-making, and distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the daily lives of Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years.
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132