CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County is issuing an urgent message to residents. The county risks losing out on federal funds if there is a low census response.
Next Monday, Oct. 5, is the deadline to return your census form.
Ethel Byndom, community empowerment director and county census coordinator, says the census response rate in St. Louis County is at 75 percent but she’d like to see that number higher.
Officials say minority groups, including Black citizens and immigrant communities, have been hesitant to participate over the years. But officials emphasize that responses to census questions cannot legally be used against individuals in any way. Responses are confidential and protected by the strongest national privacy laws.
Federal funding for schools, housing, and job training are based on population statistics.
“We want to make sure that as many people as possible know about the census, understand the importance, and what it means regarding census funding in St. Louis County and our region for continued growth,” Byndom said.
Byndom says it’s important to count children in your households as well as adults and she strongly encourages county residents to fill out the census form over the next day or two and send it in.