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Census gets one-week extension; La. continues to rank near bottom

Staff Report

The U.S. Department of Commerce will grant a one-week extension for Americans to include themselves in the head count of every U.S. resident.

The ability for people to self-respond to the census questionnaire, along with the door-knocking for those who have not yet responded, will end Oct. 5.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross issued the one-week extension on the census, which was supposed to end Oct. 1.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was encouraged by the announcement. He urged residents to take advantage of the last chance to response.

“This is great news, and I implore all Louisianans who have not completed their Census form to make every effort to do so within the next several days,” Edwards said. “Every person in every household should be counted from the youngest to the oldest. This opportunity only comes once every 10 years. 

“It takes just minutes to fill out, but the impact is far reaching. Currently, Louisiana is lagging behind the rest of the country in our participation rate, jeopardizing millions of federal dollars to improve our communities,” he said. “We can and must do better.  The census will determine how we are represented in Congress and how much in federal funding our state will receive for vital services such as health care, education and roads. Now is the time for everyone to be counted.” 

The announcement comes as Louisiana ranks near the bottom nationwide in the total self-response rate. The Pelican State has only a 59.7 percent response rate, which only ahead of Main and Alaska.

In Iberville Parish, the total response rate is 56 percent and only 35.5 percent online.

In West Baton Rouge Parish, the total response rate is 62.5 percent, and the online response rate is 51.0.

The total is 49.1 percent in Pointe Coupee Parish and the online tally is 35.6 percent.

The total response rate in Ascension Parish is 66.4 percent and the internet response rate is 56.5 percent.