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Do your part to be counted in 2020

It will soon be time to be counted. The 2020 Census is fast approaching, and states are beginning preparations to make sure all residents are represented.

Mississippi has begun comparing local address information to address information housed at the U.S. Census Bureau.

This address update initiative, dubbed the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program, is the first step in the 2020 Census process.  LUCA is the only opportunity offered to tribal, state, and local governments to review and help revise the U.S. Census Bureau’s residential address list, which has been the most effective way to contact, survey, and count individuals across the country.

All of Mississippi’s counties and municipalities have committed to participate in LUCA.  In 2010, the last time a decennial census was conducted, only 35 Mississippi counties (48 percent) and 97 cities (32 percent) participated in sharing updated address data with the U.S. Census during LUCA.   

“Census data is used in almost every facet of our lives — research, economic development initiatives, aid and grant distribution, and so on,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “If we are going to get an accurate count, we had to start with a commitment to help from our counties and municipalities.  They quickly answered the call.”

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, designated chair of the Census LUCA Committee by Governor Bryant, agreed.

“We are already ahead of where we were in 2010,” Hosemann said. “Every Mississippian counts, so it is imperative for our State and local governments to band together in this united effort to find every inhabited residence.”

Data collected through the Census process determines congressional and many state legislative seats, and is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.  In 2015, Mississippi receive more than $6.14 billion in federal aid for programs like Medicaid, S-CHIP, Head Start, and the National School Lunch Program as a result of Census information.

It’s important to be counted. Make sure you do your part to be included in the 2020 Census.